University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The University of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number IX (June 1937)

Gillen, Martin J.
The march of Wisconsin,   pp. 339-341

Page 339

                 The March of ViscoinIsilm
     A cavalcade of outstanding educators have
a scientist, educator, and
     led  the  University     in  its march     of progress             wise
administrator.  He changed
status from that of a college to
of a university of great possi-
and laid for all time the
   F  HE University, now in its 88th year, has held   foundations of "A
   University of Scholarship"-
       an historic and commanding position in the     both Bascom and Chamberlin
were great intellectual
       world of scholarship for three generations.    architects. Their broad
plans worked to a single pur-
    L  During its existence, if it could not count    pose,-a University
   for the coming generations.
       upon the vast accumulations of the private-     Chamberlin had been
professor in schools and colleges
endowed institutions of the Atlantic seaboard, nor    of the State for more
than 20 years before he came to
the resources granted by merchant princes to institu-   us as President.
He was State Geologist of Wiscon-
tions elsewhere, it was able to build upon the count-   sin, 1873-1882, and
in that capacity he had directed
less individuals, contributing through the machinery    a state survey of
distinguished merit. This work had
of the State, made by people resolved that their educa-  also given him exceptional
opportunities to know the
tional system should have as its capstone, a center of  people of the State.
Thus he brought to the position
research, and intellectual freedom equal to the best.   of President of the
University a knowledge of the
  Wisconsin created a great University   great by     people of Wisconsin,
which surpassed that of any
every title. It captained its University for its youth  other of our presidents.
He came when the college
with great administrators and educators, who before     of Liberal Arts developed
by Bascom was expanding
accepting the Presidency of the University, had won     into the later University.
He foresaw the future clear-
recognition in some particular field of the arts and    ly and outlined the
policy to be pursued. He diplo-
sciences. Great intellectual guides for young men and   matically acquainted
the legislature and the people of
women. It is recorded that first among its great presi-  Wisconsin with his
vision and brought in to happy
dents was John Bascom, philosopher, student of        cooperation all forces
for developing and financing a
English, and associate of Mark Hopkins from Wil-      future university.
 He, too, brought outstanding
liams College. He brought the best traditions and     scholars to the faculty.
methods from New England colleges and gave char-
acter to the future course of our institution.  He       AFTER     leaving
the University, he founded in
taught the "senior class" philosophy, the essentials of  1893,
"The Journal of Geology."    In 1894, he ac-
which were visions of rational life, and with him     companied the Perry
Relief Expedition, and on his
came to the University outstanding educators from     return rapidly from
his pen came many scientific treat-
the east, among the most noted, Edward A. Birge.      ises. He published
his "General Treatise on Geology;"
He outlined new departments modeled upon those of     in 1916, his epoch-making
volume, "The Origin of
Williams College. -Bascom brought to the youthful    -the Earth," and-in
1928, "The Two-Solar Families."
University the best traditions of the American college  He was regarded in
the profession as without ques-
and made them living forces on the campus, both in    tion the ranking geologist
in America of his day.
the class room as teacher and in the larger field of the   Following President
Chamberlin was Charles Ken-
administrator.                                        dall Adams, teacher,
historian, and wise administrat-
   HE met the Seniors every day in a class on phil-     or. He came to us
from the Presidency of Cornell
   lHE met the Seniors every day in a class on pbil-   University. He introduced
the seminary method of
osophy or ethics, which became the center of the in-    instruction, for
advanced students, in the Universities
tellectual life of the University. His record as admin-  of Michigan and
Cornell. Andrew D. White, form-
istrator shows that he came in 1874 to a "Hill" Uni-    er President
of Cornell University, when requested to
versity of 343 students and a faculty of 21, includ-    advise, as to a nominee
for the Presidency of the Uni-
ing 10 professors; he left it in 1887 with 435 stu-     versity of Wisconsin
said, "My first choice would be
dents, but with a faculty of 43, including 25 pro-    Charles Kendall Adams,
my second choice would be
fessors. Among them, to mention only a few, were      Charles Kendall Adams,
and my third choice would
such names as those of Van Hise, Birge, Franken-      be Charles Kendall
Adams."    He was a "building"
burger, Bull, Power, Comstock, Slichter, Turner. No     President and ever
in harmony with the legislature.
further words are needed to tell how his administra-    Dean Birge described
him "as one of the first men of
tion advanced the intellectual growth of the Uni-     this country to catch
the spirit and temper of true
versity. President Bascom also addressed the larger     University work."
  Adams used to say, "The Uni-
world in numerous books on philosophy, ethics, and    versity is for the
students, and a University is chiefly
religion.                                             an inspiration and
an opportunity." These were the
  He left the University, at the end of his 13 years    key-notes of his
policy and he was always proud to
of office, an effective educational institution organized  feel that he kept
the "team pulling together."
about the college of liberal arts as its center.         Adams was an extraordinary
judge of character
  Then, in 1887, came                                                   
       and scholarship and never
President  Thomas    C.                                                 
       showed jealousy, in hav-
Chamberlin,   an   out-                                                 
        ing able scholars about
standing national con-                                                  
        him, and too, with him
tributor to constructive     ~              1                           
       came to the faculty. a gal-
thinking  in  geological  M  artin    J. Gill-en, B.A. 96, B.L. 9s      
        axy of intellectual stars,

Go up to Top of Page