Johnson, Dwight A. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 51, Number 1 (Oct. 1949)
A gift to encourage forensics, p. 38
"Forensics the most valuable part of my college experience." Harry W. Adams, '00 by Wallace Meyer, 16 ... KORN KURLS HARRY W. ADAMS, Beloit, has made an initial gift of $2,500 to the University of Wisconsin Founda- tion for the encouragement of for- ensics at the University. Of the gift, $500 is earmarked for Hesperia, the literary and debating society of which Mr. Adams was a member. A man long prominent in civic, state and University affairs, Harry Adams while still a young man gained nation-wide acclaim as the Mayor of Beloit who fought suc- cessfully for open bids on certain paving materials. Mr. Adams is engaged in the prac- tice of law with one of his sons, Allan W. Adams. He is active also in the management of several in- dustrial concerns including the Adams corporation which manufac- tures a special food product known as Korn Kurls. This product is dis- tributed throughout the United States, Canada, Cuba, and Hawaii. Only recently Mr. Adams was on business trips to 'the Pacific coast and Hawaii. The Adams gift for forensics is administered for the University of Wisconsin Foundation by three men, speech Professors Henry L. Ewbank and Winston L. Brembeck and Basil I. Peterson, secretary of the foun- dation. 38 In his letter to the foundation, Mr. Adams made an illuminating an- alysis of higher education. The fol- lowing excerpt seems particularly appropriate at the start of Wiscon- sin's second century: ADAMS WRITES. "My years as a student at Wisconsin gave me the opportunity to learn the worth of forensics-especially debating-to the individual and also society as a whole. The years spent in active life since graduation have strengthened my conviction that forensics prop- erly belong in the college curriculum and should be a major part of it. "Higher education, to a consider- able degree, is specialization-often in a very narrow and obscure field. "It is a matter of intensive small plot cultivation. Some are suited to or choose one plot, others quite a different one, but from each over the years, by the labor and consecration of many, learning is advanced and society as a whole benefitted. This has been especially true of Wiscon- sin. "The power of effective public speaking throughout our history has been one of the great forces for cre- ating and preserving our independ- ence and the American way of life. "The achieving of our independ- ence, the preserving of our national unity, the working out of our great national economic, industrial, poli- tical, and moral problems from the beginning not only have been influ- enced but largely wrought by great men who were masters of public ut- terance. That is in the last analysis, what forensics is, although it of course also includes utterance for mere expression of emotions and for entertainment and pleasure-such is at times oratory and frequently declamation. "Ideas and thoughts are primary forces in life and in national ad- vancement and cultural develop- ment. "A citizenship with many who are trained and skilled in ready think- ing, concentrating study on a single important subject, selecting and ap- praising pertinent facts and forging them into an intelligent reliable conclusion to be used in formulating a vital policy or course of action and then putting the whole into convinc- ing speech and thus help mold pub- lic opinion, is something a liberal education can and should give. "I am convinced that the educa- tion I received at Wisconsin in for- ensics, through its debating soci- eties, primarily Hesperia, and under such leaders as Professor Franken- burger, is the most valuable part of my college experience. "I have written by way of intro- duction somewhat at length, not only to express my own appreciation of what the University did for me through its forensic department and facilities, but also in the hope that I may be of some assistance in re- viving the interest in this field of learning so that Wisconsin may make forensics a more vital part of its curriculum and assume a leader- ship in promoting it. "I trust that not only others from the outside, like myself, but those in official positions within the Univer- sity may give this matter serious and sympathetic consideration that the ends mentioned may be achieved." SPEAKING of scholarships, an annual award to honor Scott H. Goodnight, University dean of men for more than 30 years, now emeri- tus dean of men, is being established by the Wisconsin Men's Association. The award, to "recognize Dean Goodnight's contribution to Wiscon- sin student life," will be presented to a second-semester sophomore or a first-semester junior man who has shown excellence in scholarship and particularly in student activities. It will consist of at least one $100 grant to this outstanding man. WMONSIN ALUMNUS Harry Adams scholarships for 1949-50 have already been awarded to Paula Ann Cornish of Fort Atkinson and Ben T. Larson of Chippewa Falls. Both scholarship winners had outstanding records in speech activities during their high school careers, Miss Cornish at the Fort Atkinson high school from which she was graduated last June, and Larson at the Chippewa Falls high school from which he was graduated in 19,44. The awards were of $250 each.
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