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Bohi, Mary Janette, 1927- / A history of Wisconsin State University Whitewater, 1868-1968

3. The Normal corporation: a teaching-learning partnership (1868-1885),   pp. 35-66

Page 35

The Normal Corporation: 
A Teaching-Learning Partnership 
Coiled up in this institution as in a spring, there is a vigor 
whose uncoiling may whirl the spheres. 
It is that which a student breathes that makes him, rather 
than that he swallows. 
-LEwis H. CLAR1, '792 
The builders of the Whitewater Normal, like their fathers, believed that
order and discipline were the keys to operating any venture. When Horace
Mann dedicated the Bridgewater Normal in 1840 he sensed that education 
had sprouted wings. By 1868 leaders were confident that the normal school
system was an effective answer to the need for universal education, as indi-
cated two years later when the National Education Association assimilated
as a department the American Normal School Association. Because the 
normals of New England and New York had succeeded, and because so 
much effort had been expended to locate the Whitewater institution, both
the faculty (many of whom were imported from the East) and the com- 
munity were determined that the new undertaking should meet with impu- 
nity the highest standards of the land. To that end professors, students,
and citizens became glad stockholders in the valued enterprise. 
President Arey came in January, 1868 to organize the school, and when 
the students arrived in April they sensed that order was heaven's first law.
Recorded Salisbury: "The young men and women who gathered into this
school in those early years found here a new and stimulating atmosphere.
The spirit of earnestness-almost a severe earnestness-pervaded the place;
and the high ideals of its administration were contagious in a remarkable
degree."3 Oliver Cromwell Arey spent his youth assimilating the virtues
of a Christian home, appropriating the values of a sound education, and 
appreciating the ventures of a sea-faring life. Besides the lessons learned
at his parents' knees, young Arey was taught at the district school by stu-
dents from Dartmouth and Harvard. At the age of 14 he entered into an 
agreement with two other boys to refrain from the use of profane language,

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