We shall find in the endorsements of the State Association the general attitude of the churches toward education in the state.
The steady progress of Doane College was a source of satisfaction. Merrill Hall has a companion in Gaylord Hall, fittingly named after Reuben Gaylord, whose widow expressed in substantial ways her sympathy and interest.
An observatory well adapted for practical use in due time appeared a library building was added to the group; debts are paid; an endowment is being planned for, and the trustees are looking forward to a much larger and better equipment. In all these things the churches take a profound interest and help on in the work. But they can not forget that they are a part of a great state; and state interests have their claim. How shall they express themselves in reference to these? What is their relation thereto?
At the Beatrice meeting, 1885, Chancellor Manatt of the State University presented a minute bearing on this general matter, and it was adopted by the association. It is interesting in showing not only the attitude of the association toward education in the state, but is also a good illustration of some of the problems with which the state had to deal, and though somewhat lengthy it is worthy of record here
"I. The entire education of the commonwealth is one common interest, to be administered with a single view to the highest intellectual and moral improvement of the whole people and the people as a whole.
"II. In order to its administration with economy and effectiveness, its promoters must act on the principle of cooperation rather than of competition.
"III. We recognize as constituting our system of education in Nebraska: (a) the common schools and the private elementary schools; (b) the public schools and the academies; (c) the University and the chartered colleges.
"IV. (a) We believe that in this system elementary education is for quantity abundantly provided for, while we urge the importance of improving its quality as a preparation for life, and particularly as a means of moral discipline.
(b) We recognize as a weak point in this system the want of good secondary schools. While Massachusetts has nearly 300 high schools and academies, training 30,000 pupils,
EDUCATION IN THE STATE
from whose numbers five colleges are recruited, Nebraska has a smaller number of genuine preparatory schools than of colleges. We therefore urge the building, up of good, honest high schools and academics throughout the state, at carefully chosen points, with all ultimate view to providing thorough preparation for college, as well as a sound English education, in at least one place in every county. (c) In the higher education we hold that concentration is the necessary law. The multiplication of colleges, out of all proportion to the provision for secondary and the demand for higher education, violates every principle of economy, and tends inevitably to the degradation of college standards and degrees. The fact that young Nebraska, with but a fraction of her sod turned over, has now three times as many colleges as old Connecticut, nine times as many as New Hampshire, must convince even the wayfaring man that it is high time to call a halt.
"V. In view of these principles, it is the sense of this association: (a) that the founding of new colleges is unwise and inexpedient; (b) that those now existing should be supported on their merits; (c) that the best interests of education would be promoted by such concert of action on the part of the University and the other colleges as to secure substantial uniformity in standards and degrees."1
Doubtless the association remembered its attitude and vote at this time when soon after it was called upon to decide whether it should support a second college in the state. Nor are we surprised that the next year, 1886, Chancellor Manatt, as visitor to the German Seminary at Crete, recommended that it should be affiliated with Doane College in the interests of economy and efficiency, having as much of the work as possible done in the college, and that the Com-
mittee on Education, Rev. Willard Scott, D.D., chairman, to whom the Chancellor's report had been referred, recommended that the report and suggestions be referred to a committee consisting of President Perry, Supt. George E. Albrecht, and Rev. Wm. Suess for such action as "in their united judgment may seem best."
The Committee on Education also recommended "that a committee be raised to consist of one representative from each of our educational institutions in the state, to be appointed by itself and the Chancellor of the State University, reconsider the general educational interests of our denomination in Nebraska, and to report, at the next meeting of the General Association."2
2 Minutes, 1886, pp. 12, 18.