William Alfred Millis,
The History of Hanover College
From 1827 to 1927

(Hanover, Indiana: Hanover College, 1927).

Hanover Historical Texts Project

Scanned and proofread by Sadiye Amcaoglu, Nida Khan,
Julie Merkel, Jonathan Perry, Faiza Shah, and Cory Sims in November 2000.

Chapter IX
Objectives of the College

[Page 142] IN DR. CROWE'S mind the College was founded and existed primarily as a feeder to the Seminary. Its business was to provide the church with an adequate supply of ministers. In his manuscript history, prepared at the direction of the Trustees, he says: "As the first, the great and the ultimate object of the founders of Hanover College, was the education of young men for the Gospel Ministry, the Theological Department of the institution was of course, in their estimation, its most important part." President Scovel and his Faculty, of which Dr. Crowe was the strong factor, apparently had the same conception, although the Seminary had some time since severed its connection with Hanover, as revealed in a catalogue statement issued in 1847:

"Since its charter, ninety-two students have graduated from Hanover College; of these forty-seven are now preachers of the gospel, of whom all but eight are in the Old School Presbyterian Church, and of these eight, five are in other Presbyterian bodies. Five others are now theological students.

"Of the much greater number, amounting to many hundreds, who have spent a considerable time in the College, and received their literary education in it, but did not graduate, the number now in the ministry is believed to be some thirty or forty, chiefly in the Old School Presbyterian Church. Among these are sev [Page 143] eral of the most esteemed ministers in the Synod of Indiana. The whole number of Ministers of the Gospel sent out from the College during the few years of its existence then is not much less than one hundred; almost all are laboring in the great West, from Pennsylvania to Missouri, and from Iowa to Louisiana. A very respectable fraction of the Synods of Cincinnati, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, are from this number. It is believed that a very large proportion of these would never have entered the ministry but for this College.

"Hundreds of other students not in the ministry, including fifty Alumni, are scattered throughout the West and South, most of whom are known to be occupying honorable and useful positions in society.

"In view of these facts, may not the cordial support of Western Presbyterians be confidently asked for an institution, which, in so brief a time, has accomplished so much for supplying the West with a Presbyterian ministry ?"

The conception of the broader function of the institution appears very early. In Dr. Blythe's inaugural address of 1833 he expresses the thought that the business of the College is to prepare men for all of the then learned professions: Law, Medicine, and the Ministry. He says "If I am not mistaken, the time has arrived in our country, when, in the opinion of the intelligent part of the community, neither the pulpit, the bar, nor the office of the physician, can be any longer occupied by any but men of science and letters." Again, "Not only have we theological schools and colleges founded by sectarian munificence, but law schools are multiplying all over our country, and our medical halls are numerous and crowded. All of these facts put together, form an announcement of public sentiment which appears to us conclusive, viz: that the three leading professions of the country must be filled [Page 144] with scientific men. And when society shall have received its perfect form, then shall stand in company, the man who twines the cord that binds the soul to eternity, he who in the name of the Great Lawgiver of the universe helps to administer justice, and the enlightened physician who, while he enters the sick chamber carrying in his hand the lamp of medical science, directs his dying patient to Heaven. I repeat it, the testimony of the public is that these concerns are too sacred to be any longer committed to the hands of ignorance."

But in the mind of the Faculty, and of the supporting clientele, during the first half of the century the essential business of the College was to prepare men in scholarship and purpose for the Theological Seminary. President MacMaster dreamed of a great university at Madison, but the devotion of the church to the original ideals of the College blasted his hopes.

This vocational bias of the founders of the College was reflected also in the "Manual Labor System" which was maintained until 1839, when it was abandoned because of the impossible financial burden involved rather than because of a change of appreciation. This feature of the Academy was adopted by Presbytery purely as a means of student self-support. Without doubt this was Dr. Crowe's suggestion. He and his associates appropriated the idea from the Pestalozzi-Fellenberg schools of Europe whose object was purely educational. These European schools were the beginning of industrial education. But it seems that this conception had little if any weight with the founders. However, the Legislators, who were asked for a charter for the new Academy, were interested in the vocational aspects of the project rather than its advantages as a means of student support. They were impressed with the possibility of [Page 145] the experiment in combining liberal and trade education. Over the subdued protest of Dr. Crowe's committee the Legislature incorporated in the charter the provision that "Those students in said college who are of sufficient bodily ability, shall, during the time they continue as such, be exercised and instructed in some species of mechanical or agricultural labor, in addition to the scientific and literary branches there taught. And the Trustees shall annually report to the Legislature the plan, progress and effects of such mechanical and agricultural exercise and instruction upon health, studies and improvement of the students."

That the Trustees early discovered that the Manual Labor Department was a serious liability, and endeavored to justify its maintenance on purely educational grounds is shown in the following excerpt from their report to the Legislature published in the annual catalogue of February, 1834:

"In order to obviate misapprehension on this subject, the Board here beg leave to make a few remarks. They have reason to believe that many regard the manual labor system as a very lucrative concern, furnishing, at least, the means of defraying the whole expense of an education.

"All such expectations end in disappointment. The system has been introduced, principally for the following reasons:

"First. As a preservation of health as a means of giving that firmness of muscle and that elasticity of nerve which shall be sufficient to sustain the operations of the most powerful intellect. What prudent engineer would think of placing a steam engine of forty horsepower in a light and crazy boat? The body is merely the organ of the mind's operations and unless the organ be of substantial materials and in a sound condition, there must be not only a crippling [Page 146] of the operations of the mind, but an excitement so disproportionate to the energies of a feeble system as to ensure its speedy dissolution. Hence the necessity of educating both body and mind, viz: of providing for the growth and healthful condition of all members and organs of the body as well as the powers of the mind. And hence we see the correctness of that definition of education which represents it as "the proper development of the powers of both body and mind, and not as it is now practically defined, the culture of the mind to the neglect and permanent injury of the body." The fearful ravages of sedentary habits on the health and lives of students have long been seen and deplored. The exhortations of parents and instructors have all proved unavailing, as have also the irregular and capricious exercises of the gymnasium. And experience has now fully established the fact, that there can be no security but in college regulations, that our most promising young men will not fall victims to their indiscreet zeal in the pursuit of knowledge.

"Second. As the means of invigorating the mind. A judicious system of manual labor in connection with study expands intellect, and gives energy and decision of character.

"Third. But what is perhaps still more important, manual labor is found to be a most effectual safeguard to morals. The opinion of Dr. Rush, that 'idleness is the parent of every vice,' is corroborated by every day's experience and every day's observation. Moreover, vice is infectious, especially to the ardent and unsuspicious character of youth. A multitude of boys suddenly released from the restraints of parental authority and thrown together, not only tempt each other to wickedness, but encourage each other to deeds of daring which would otherwise never have been thought of. In support of this position, we beg leave to present the following testimony: 'Youth must and will have employment of some kind. They cannot study always. In our colleges they are suffered [Page 147] usually to devise their own ways and means of amusement. They are expected, indeed exhorted to take exercise, and they are allowed abundance of time for the purpose. Still the whole concern is left to their own discretion. The time they have, and the question is, how do they spend it? Often in mere idle lounging, talking, smoking, and sleeping; often in sedentary games, which, whether in themselves lawful or unlawful, are always injurious to the student, because he requires recreation of a different kind, but seeking it too frequently in low degrading dissipation, in drinking and gaming to the utter neglect of every duty, and to the utter abandonment and sacrifice of every principle of honor and virtue.

"And it is also very important in a pecuniary and political point of view, inasmuch as it lessens the expense of education so far as to throw open the door of science to all talented and enterprising young men whatever may be their circumstances.

"On this point we cannot refrain from presenting the following extract from the pen of one of the most eloquent and indefatigable friends of education of the present day. The point which he is attempting to establish is the following, viz: 'The present system of education is so expensive that its practical effects are anti-republican.'

"At many of our colleges the annual expense, exclusive of books and clothing, is not far from $200; at others, $150, and at the cheapest, $100. Who then can educate their sons at college? Not more than one family in twenty. Thus nineteen-twentieths of our population are shut out from the advantages of education in the higher branches. And as knowledge is power, the sons of the rich by enjoying advantages for the acquisition of power vastly superior to others, may secure to themselves a monopoly of those honors and emoluments which are conferred upon the well educated. In this way society is divided into castes. The laboring classes become 'hewers of wood and drawers of water' for the educated. The two parties stand [Page 148] wide asunder, no bond of companionship uniting them, no mutual sympathies incorporating them into one mass, to a common level for both. The chasm between them, even in this republican government, already yawns deep and broad; and if it be not speedily bridged, by bringing education within the reach of the poor, it will widen into an impassable gulf, and our free institutions, our national character, our bright visions of future glory will go down into it.

"The general and state governments have done much in order to bring education within the reach of the great mass of the people. Millions have been expended in the erection of buildings, the establishment of professorships, and in the purchase of libraries and apparatus. And what is the result? Why, the wealthy can educate their sons a little cheaper than before. But education is still so expensive that the community generally receive no benefit from such appropriations. Thus our legislatures have in effect aided those who needed no assistance, and tantalized the needy with a show of aid so far removed, that it can never avail them.

"If a portion of the funds thus appropriated had been expended in furnishing the students of our institutions with the means of profitable employment during those hours each day which are not devoted to study, such appropriations would have benefited the character of a republican people; and our institutions instead of meting out their blessings as they now do, only to a favored few, would pour them equally upon all. 'The sun of science would not rise merely to illuminate the palace but to gladden the hovel.'-Weld.

" Influenced by such views on the subject, the Board of Trustees introduced manual labor with the commencment of their institution, and, although the experiment has been made under many embarrassing circumstances, its success leaves little doubt that the plan of connecting manual labor with study is practicable."

[Page 149] Dr. Crowe reports the failure of the "Manual Labor System" as a business venture in the following paragraphs:

"But the employment of more than two hundred young men and boys, of every variety of habits and disposition, in a way that would prove profitable to the corporation, seemed to be out of the question. Especially when it is considered that many of them had never been accustomed to work at home, and that with the most of them, the great object was to get through the time set apart for labor, with the least possible amount of fatigue.

"Experience had proved satisfactory to the Board, that the cultivation of the soil could not be made profitable. Their farm could hardly be called second rate land and the price of produce was very low. (Note: E. G. Corn 25 cents and potatoes 12 1/2 cents per bushel.) And besides the months of April and October, most important months to the farmer, were vacations in the College, the students being dispersed on visits to their homes. The farm was consequently abandoned, and attention turned exclusively to mechanical operations. Moreover, the weekly reports of the shops convinced them that a radical change was necessary there."

While the Trustees arrived at a very commendable conception of the educational values offered in the industrial department the administration seems not to have been concerned about the educational possibilities. The balance sheet completely obscured the "discipline of instruction" which the Legislature desired. The venture was immensely successful as a means of attracting students. The plan involved training in most of the standardized trades, including gardening, agriculture, carpentry, major and minor cooperage, wagon making, chair making, printing and bookbinding. An equipment was procured for all [Page 150] these lines of training and employment, comprising a farm of one hundred and fifty acres; a carpenter's shop twenty by forty-five feet and two stories high; two cooperage shops, one twenty-five by forty feet; a wagon-making shop, twenty feet square; and a printing establishment and bindery which did commercial printing, published a church paper, and printed and bound books in full leather. Competent foremen were employed in each of these shops to direct and supervise the work of the apprentices. All of this equipment was sold during the MacMaster administration in order to pay the accumulated debts of the enterprise, and thus ended the first experiment in vocational education in Indiana.

The church paper, published for a brief period by the College, was known as The Western Presbyterian. This paper and the printing plant were sold to Joseph G. Monfort who removed the property to Cincinnati. The paper was developed into The Herald and Presbyter and became a well known and welcome friend in thousands of Presbyterian households of the Middle West. The publishing interest is well known as Monfort and Company of Cincinnati.

The MacMaster administration undertook the establishment of a law school, but upon the failure of the health of the first and only professor of law, Judge Eggleston, the school was abandoned. The College has through most of its history been conscious of the importance of contributing to the improvement of the teachers in the public schools. As early as 1840 the catalogue announces that " Special instruction will be given in the art of teaching, to those who design to engage in that occupation." Two years prior to this time the following action was taken by the Faculty: Resolved, That the students be required to remain in the hall on Saturday mornings, from seven [Page 151] until two o'clock, and that the exercises be, lst, A general examination of all classes on the studies of the week, and 2nd, some general instructions on the best method of teaching common schools." From 1882 to the close of his administration, President Fisher carried in the annual catalogue the advertisement of the preparatory department as providing the necessary training for teaching: "The other class of students for whose benefit this department is intended, consists of those who may desire by a year or two of special study to fit themselves for teaching or business. A reference to the curriculum will show that it is well adapted to this purpose." And from 1886 to 1893 the annual catalogue contained this announcement:

"Course for Teachers. Teachers who actually are engaged in the work of instruction, and who desire to take a special course with direct reference to their professional work, can pursue such suitable studies during the Spring Term without the payment of the usual Contingent and Library Fees." From 1894 to 1905 the statement was amended by omitting the promise of free tuition and adding "by a system of electives from the courses from the respective college classes and from the preparatory courses. The following studies indicate some of the selections which may thus be made, the only limitations being the ability of the student and the details of the arrangement of the schedule:

Mathematics. Higher Arithmetic; Geometry; Trigonometry; Surveying.

English Literature. English Prose; English Poets; Chaucer; Principles of Literary Criticism; Theism.

History and Political Science. English and American History; International Law; Civics; History of Pedagogy.

[Page 152] Physical Sciences. Botany; Chemistry; Anatomy and Physiology; Physics; Physical Geography.

Languages. Latin, Greek, German, French.

From such a list-which is, besides, not complete as herein given a teacher can select a course which is very profitable." The conception of professional training of teachers has gone far since 1905, whether wisely.

With the exception of the summers of 1906 to 1908, since 1903 the College has conducted a summer session of from six to twelve weeks. During a part of this time by combining a six weeks' "Mid-Spring" term with the twelve weeks' summer session the student was able to accomplish a full half year of study. In the announcement for 1903 it was stated that, "Revised Courses, especially arranged to assist teachers in preparing for county and state certificates and elementary and advanced courses in Regular College Work will be offered." Full credit was granted for these courses. The 1904 Summer Term Announcement stated that:

"This school is conducted by members of the Faculty on their own responsibility, who have placed at their command the buildings and equipments of the College, but with the consent and hearty encouragement of the Board of Trustees. It will be seen in the following statement that nearly all the members of the regular teaching force of the College take an active part in the regular instruction of the school and that besides these only the most competent lecturers are employed.

"The purpose of the Summer Term is three-fold:

"First. To afford teachers and those who are preparing to teach an opportunity to do review and advanced work, and at the same time to study Methods [Page 153] of Instruction, School Management and Practical Pedagogy.

"Second. To give grade teachers, who cannot attend the regular College Sessions, the opportunity of taking up such work under the most favorable circumstances and receiving credit for work satisfactorily done.

"Third. To give prospective students, whose preparation is not up to the entrance requirements to College, an opportunity to complete their preparation that they may enter upon the College work not burdened with conditions, and to afford delinquent students an opportunity to remove their conditions."

In 1908 a "Department of Education" was established with a part time professor in charge. The departmental statement contains the following:

"The object in the courses in Education is to give the student a two-fold training: First, that large conception of educational values, functions, processes, and instrumentalities which goes toward the making of intelligent citizenship on the one hand, and the giving of a proper appreciation of the factors in the student's own education on the other. Second, the professional training of young men and women for teaching. The College is accredited by the State Training School Board of Indiana for the training of teachers for service in the public schools of the state. Students who complete satisfactorily thirty-six hours in the following courses and who satisfy the requirements for graduation will receive the Teachers Certificate admitting to Class "C" of the Indiana classification. Special groupings of twelve and twentyfour hours' work will be made for the certificates admitting to Classes "A" and "B."

The subjects included in the curriculum were: "Psychology, Logic, Ethics, History of Education, [Page 154] General Pedagogy, High School Pedagogy, Pedagogy of Major and Minor Subjects, School Management, and Observation and Practice Teaching, constituting a full major." This curriculum has been modified from time to time to conform to the requirement of the State Board of Education in order to protect those Hanover students who must teach as a steppingstone to other professions, as well as to prepare properly those persons who expect to adopt teaching as their profession, and who desire to have their education in Hanover College. All of the professional courses required in preparation for high school teaching are accepted toward graduation. Only those subjects in the elementary teacher curricula which are identical with regular college courses are so accepted.

In common with other standard colleges, Hanover also in recent years has provided a pre-medical course, and has made certain groupings of subjects for students who decide not to pursue the full course, in order to enter technical schools earlier. Like many other supposedly new practices, however, this has been done through most of the history of the College.

But, notwithstanding these several concessions to vocational demands, Hanover has been essentially and consistently a Liberal Arts College since 1833. This will become obvious in the chapter on the curriculum. The following excerpts from the declarations of policy issued by several presidents will accurately define the primary objectives of the institution. Dr. Wood said in his inaugural address, 1859: "The Course of Study ought to be adequate to meet the demands of any vocation which the undergraduates may have in view. Accurate and thorough scholarship, with a good moral and gentlemanly character, should be required and insisted upon, as an indispensable prerequisite for securing a college diploma. Religious [Page 155] instruction must form a part of the regular college course. Dr. Heckman said in 1871: " The object of every system of education should be to produce students who will possess general learning, with a practical culture in some one branch of knowledge or profession, since all problems, social, political, financial and religious in the Republic, must continually be referred to a jury of the people.

President Fisher's conception of the object of the College is expressed in his catalogue statement, 1901:

"The exclusive object of the College is to furnish the students with a good opportunity for higher education. This education is held to be of the entire man-and especially man on his Psychical side. The necessity of a sound body is recognized, and the student is encouraged to care for it in every available and suitable manner. The opportunity to do this without resort to expensive appliances or to doubtful contests of strength is one of the advantages afforded by this College. But this is accepted as only incidental to the great end for which all institutions have a warrant for their existence. This College is carried on for the purpose of developing and disciplining the powers of the soul, and of furnishing the mental and moral outfit that will best prepare men and women, who enjoy its advantage, to take up work which may be specially open to them in the world.

"An indispensable element in the accomplishment of this object is good conduct on the part of the students. Neglect of study and irregularity in attendance upon any of the exercises of the College, just as truly as any other violation of duty, are held practicaily faults which are fatal. The presence of youth, therefore, who by idleness or evil propensities have shown themselves specially to need constant restraint and oversight, is not solicited."

[Page 156] Likewise the conception of the present administration is stated in this excerpt from the 1926 catalogue:

"Hanover College is a Liberal Arts College. It is carried on for the purpose of training men and women for wise and effective leadership; for assisting the student to find himself; to fire him with enthusiasm for noble ideals; to give him that species of wellbalanced mental training and that grounding in general scholarship which will admit him to the company of the best men on equal terms. It seeks by graduation to have introduced the student to some acquaintance with the culture which has come down largely as a heritage from the past, and for which a broad scholarship alone can prepare him. At the same time its instruction is organized so as to prepare for a subsequent study of law, medicine, theology, engineering, commerce, administration, and for teaching, for business, and for other like pursuits."

Thus Hanover puts great stress on sound, general scholarship. But greater than scholarship is culture-that discriminating wisdom which secures a just appreciation of values. But greater than scholarship and culture is personality. The real business of the College is the development of men and women. The closing paragraph of the President's charge to each graduating class is:

"But most of all, we hope that you will keep your lives unspotted before God and man. The next finest thing in all the world is a man, clean of body and mind, pure of heart, clear-eyed, sound, frank, and positive for the right. The finest thing in all the world is a woman, genuine, sympathetic, always true to her better nature, never trading her birthright for tinsel and show. Such men and women are the Things and queens of American democracy-the true aristocracy. Of such we hope and pray you will always be.

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