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The answer of any one who knows the College is this: if a man is interested in anything outside of himself, he will get human fellowship in Cambridge; if he is not, he will not get it anywhere. The best friendships, as divers wise men have told us, are based on common interest in work. Editors of a college paper, debaters in a college team, students working side by side in a laboratory — or even in athletics, now that athletics have ceased to be play — these men, and not the fellow poker-players, are laying the foundation of permanent friendship. Harvard College contains hundreds of groups of men who come together for work which they do for the love of it; and in some one of these an earnest man is sure to find or make his friends. Is it better to know everybody in a class of fifty or fifty in a class of five hundred? Which offers the more reasonable and promising basis for the friendship of a life? Is there not, after all, some danger when even affinities are, as it were, prescribed and provincial — some danger in that extempore intimacy, that almost instantaneous swearing of eternal friendship, which a small community may demand?
"But what of the relation between student and instructor ?” In a small college the Faculty know, or think they know, every student. Between the large college and the small there is a real difference in the relation of the instructors as a whole toward the students as individuals, and in the relation of the students as a whole toward the instructors as individuals. In Harvard University are over three hundred professors, instructors, and assistants under the Faculty of Arts and Sciences alone, of whom more than a third are members of that Faculty appointed either for a term of years or without limit of time. No teacher knows by sight. every other teacher; still less does any teacher know every student. Yet many teachers know more students than they
would or could know in a small college; and every student is known by several teachers besides his Freshman “adviser.” Even the large lecture courses are so combined with laboratory work or conferences or excursions that the students in them are brought into contact with the younger teachers if not with the older ones. There is, I believe, no college in which the relation between instructor and pupil is more delightful. The maturer students are frequently consulted in matters of general importance and frequently called upon to help other students who need the strength that comes from strong friends. Many instructors invite students to their houses, or keep certain hours clear, as the University preachers do, for any and all students. Every Christmas Eve Professor Norton opens his fine old house at Shady Hill to all members of the University who are away from home. Some young men, it is said, stay away from home a day longer to meet Professor Norton thus; and their host would forgive them if he could know the charm of an evening with him.
Within a few years the wives of certain University officers have instituted a series of afternoon teas on Fridays between Thanksgiving and the first of March, and have invited all members of the University. The teas, on which students at first looked sceptically if not scornfully, are now fairly established. They have done much in giving newcomers what they sadly need — the society of refined women — and in giving all students opportunities of meeting persons whom it is a privilege to know. The room used for the teas is the large parlor of Phillips Brooks House; the rug in the centre was Bishop Brooks's own; and the bust in the adjoining hall, with the tablet beside it, leads men's thoughts to him for whom the house was named, and in whose honor it was dedicated to hospitality as well as to piety.
The homesick Freshman from a distant State finds at Cambridge a better welcome than he expects, though no kindness can at once and forever annihilate homesickness. Some years ago a well-known professor, walking through the College Yard at the beginning of the autumn term, met a young man whose aspect prompted him to say: “Are you looking for anybody?” The young man answered: “I don't know anybody this side of the Rocky Mountains.” Of what immediately followed I know nothing, but can guess much. Of one thing I am sure,— the young man is to-day a loyal graduate of Harvard College. Nowadays the newly arrived student finds waiting for him, even before he meets his “adviser,” a committee of instructors and undergraduates whose business and whose pleasure it is to help him adjust himself to his new surroundings. Nor has he been long at the University before he is invited to the room