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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 10 (Feb. 15, 1955)

Faculty,   p. 18

Page 18

Curti Cites Threats to
  Fear is abroad in our country, and
those who live by ideas are especially
subject to hysterical and unwarranted
  Dr. Merle Curti, Wisconsin's Fred-
erick Jackson Turner professor of his-
tory, made this charge as retiring pres-
ident of the American Historical Asso-
ciation,* and warned that "civil liberties
won through centuries of struggle are
in danger."
   Intellectuals thus are obliged, he said,
not only to promote researches which
may further illuminate the problem but
also to search for possible alleviations
of today's critical tensions.
   "In exercising our functions as schol-
ars, we must resist strong pressures and
face severe tests, for we do not want to
   *The annual meeting of the American
Historical Association highlighted a tribute
paid to Prof. Curti by the publication by
Harper and Brothers of a collection of his
essays on various facets of the intellectual
history of America under the general title
"Probing Our Past." Curti is best known
for his Pulitzer Prize winner, "The Growth
of American Thought." He is co-author of
"An American History" and "A History of
American Civilization."
-           FACULTY
Honored and Appointed
   Prof. Ragnar Rollefson, physics, re-
ceived a special commendation from the
chief of staff of the US Air Force for
work on an important study group on
NATO defense.
   Dr. Archer P. Crosley, fr. replaces
 Dr. John W. Brown as director of the
 UW department of preventive medicine
 and student health. Dr. Brown resigned
 because of ill health.
 On the Move
   Prof. Henry Ladd Smith, journalism,
 resigned to assume the directorship of
 the University of Washington School of
 Communications in Seattle on Feb. 1.
   Prof. Glenn Vergeront, dairy special-
 ist, who has been especially interested in
 studying improved herd blood lines, has
 retired to an emeritus status. Few men in
 Wisconsin know the families and pedi-
 grees of herds over the nation so well,
 according to associates.
fail our country in a time of great crisis,
as the German intellectuals failed theirs."
  Prof. Curti's address, entitled "Intel-
lectuals and Other People," posed the
paradox of America's emphasis on rea-
son and mass education on the one hand,
and the distrust of "egg heads" on the
   In his presidential address to fellow
historians, he pointed out that although
most observers agree that popular suspi-
cion of the critical role of intellectuals
has increased, has become more intense,
and demagogues are exploiting it as
never before in our history, anti-intel-
lectualism is neither new nor uniquely
   "It has existed in other times and
places-in ancient Egypt, in the Athens
of Socrates, and    in the totalitarian
countries of our own day. It owes some-
   Carlisle V. Hibbard, general secretary
of the University YMCA for many years.
According to a former student: "I have
often heard of men who are responsible
for the training of boys and young men
claim that they were just one of the boys,
but so far Mr. Hibbard is the only man
I have ever seen who can make this
claim-and he doesn't make it."
thing to the Christian tradition which
associates the quest for knowledge with
the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
It also owes a good deal to more recent
movements of thought which are Euro-
pean in origin."
  Prof. Curti explored many of the
theories which might explain the growth
of hostility toward "ideas and men of
ideas," and warned that "what the people
have thought about intellectuals cannot,
of course, be separated from what the in-
tellectuals have  thought about the
   Historians, he urged, must help bridge
this gulf which has been "dangerously
widened between the masses and intel-
   "It is not easy publicly to defend the
chief value to which historical scholar-
ship, all scholarship, is committed; that
is, freedom  of thought and expression
in its widest scope.
   "It needs defense," he said, "and in
 that defense we can, as historians, appeal
 to a tradition that both includes and
 transcends the American past. This tradi-
 tion of intellectual freedom has had
 vitality here not merely because of intel-
 ligent leadership  but because, when
 understood, it has also enlisted the sup-
 port of the American people."
  Abby Shaw Mayhew, Wisconsin phys-
ical director from 1897 until 1912, when
she was sent to establish a school of
physical education for Chinese girls in
Shanghai. She retired in 1930.
   Prof. Thomas C. McCormick, sociol-
ogy, a nationally recognized scholar for
his research in social statistics and social
UW Joins PhD Thesis Plan
  UW Regents have approved a recom-
mendation that doctoral dissertations be
published in microphotographic form
and that summaries be published in a
monthly publication of the Association
of Research Libraries. The University
thus joins 59 other leading institutions
making use of this procedure.
   From now on, candidates for the doc-
torate degree will be required to present
only a single copy of the thesis to the
Memorial Library instead of the two
formerly required. This copy will be
micro photographed and then placed on
the library shelves.
  Doctoral candidates will be asked to
prepare a 600 word abstract of the dis-
sertation for publication in "Dissertation
Abstracts," the publication.
   Under this new schedule, the Univer-
sity will no longer publish an annual
volume of summaries of Wisconsin doc-
toral disserations, a practice which has
been carried on since 1935.
   Incidentally, there'll be a five dollar
increase in the thesis deposit fee for
doctoral candidates, making it $20.
               WISCONSIN ALUMNUS

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