In the formation of college spirit and traditions I am not unmindful of the tremendous moulding power of the college president or the popular college professors. This is strikingly illustrated in the expression of an old college man, who said in this connection:
“I don’t remember a thing Professor —— said, but I remember him.”
When the graduate of a college has sons of his own, he realizes more fully than at any other time the great influence of personality upon youth. He understands better the problems that are faced by boys, and the great task and responsibility of the faculty.
I know that there are many football men who at different times in their career have not always praised the work of the college professors, but now that the games are over they probably look back affectionately to the men who made them toe the mark, and by such earnestness helped them through their college career.
It is undoubtedly true that the head masters and teachers in our preparatory schools and colleges generally appreciate the importance of developing the whole man, mental, moral and physical.
SCHOOLMASTER AND BOY
Indeed it is a wonderful privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with the boys in our preparatory schools as well as in our colleges. At a recent dinner I heard Doctor S. J. McPherson, of the Lawrenceville School, place before an alumni gathering a sentiment, which I believe is the sentiment of every worthy schoolmaster in our land.
“Schoolmasters have attractive work and they can find no end of fun in it. I admit that in a boarding school they should be willing to spend themselves, eight days in the week and twenty-five hours a day. But no man goes far that keeps watching the clock. There may be good reasons for long vacations, but I regard the summer vacation as usually a bore for at least half the length of it.
“To be worth his salt, a schoolmaster must, of course, have scholarship—the more the better. But that alone will never make him a quickening teacher. He must be ‘apt to teach,’ and must lose himself in his task if he is to transfuse his blood into the veins of boys. Above all, he must be a real man and not a manikin, and he must enjoy his boys—love them, without being quite conscious of the love, or at least without harping on it.
“The ideal schoolmaster needs five special and spiritual senses: common sense, the sense of justice, the sense of honor, the sense of youth and the sense of humor. These five gifts are very useful in every worthy occupation.
“Gentlemen, none of us schoolmasters has reached the ideal; however, we reach after it. Nevertheless, we neither need, nor desire your pity. We do not feel unimportant. Personally, I would not exchange jobs with the richest or greatest among you. I like my own job. It really looks to me, bigger and finer. I should rather have the right mold and put the right stamp on a wholesome boy than to do any other thing. It counts more for the world and is more nearly immortal. It is worth any man’s life.”