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Johnson, Dwight A. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 51, Number 1 (Oct. 1949)

Meyer, Wallace
A gift to encourage forensics,   p. 38

Page 38

the most valuable part of my college experience."
                 Harry W. Adams, '00
by Wallace Meyer, 16
  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-
  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-
  "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
  "Ideas and thoughts are primary
forces in life and in national ad-
vancement and    cultural develop-
  "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
  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.
  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

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