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Dedication of Haviland Hall

Content section: 

Address of Dr. W.W. Campbell
President of the University of California
Dedication of Haviland Hall
March 25, 1924

Dean Kemp, Superintendent Wood, and ladies and gentlemen: It is my privilege, as President of the University of California, to welcome those who have come to dedicate Haviland Hall, the home of our School of Education. It seems to me significant and fortunate that the beautiful building which is to serve in this capacity exemplifies the cooperation of a citizen of the State with the State itself in meeting a great educational need. As Dean Kemp has just stated, the funds for its construction were obtained in part through the generosity of the people of California, but chiefly through the generosity of a public-spirited Californian, Mrs. Haviland, who gave to the University the sum of a quarter of a million dollars.

     The success of this joint undertaking should impress us with the proof that the devoted interest of citizens to the extent of personal financial contributions, is the logical support which the State will from time to time expect to receive in behalf of higher education within its borders. Through such support, the University has on many occasions been able to do splendid things for which the State, generous though it has been, could not at the time afford to provide.

     It is in recognition of such private service to the cause of education that this building has been designated by the Regents of the University as the “Haviland Hall of Education.” And I am glad that the hall is a beautiful structure. A beautiful building, set upon an eminence, should be a strong educational force in this state, through the medium of those teachers who enter it from day to day and work within its walls.

     It has been said that education is the life insurance of the nation, that in time of danger to the country, the education of the people will cause the acceptance of reason instead of prejudice, that the people will be governed by the cause and effect relationship instead of by fear and superstition. In this way, the resulting national safety will be recognized as the insurance purchased through the premiums of state appropriations, of personal gifts, and of the intelligent and devoted service of teachers.

     The character of an educational system depends very largely upon the knowledge, the ideals, and the devotion of its teachers. A teacher must have extensive knowledge of the truth, to find real pleasure in contributing to its dissemination. This idea is not restricted to university professors. The high school teacher, for example, should keep up with the development of his special subject. Those students in our School of Education who receive degrees and diplomas next May should not thereupon say, in ecstasy, “Now I am educated. Verily, I am prepared to teach even unto the end of my life,” but should rather say, “Now I have a good foundation of knowledge, a good comprehension of history, of psychology, of basic methods of teaching, I am prepared to do the teaching required of me next September. But I am not prepared to do the teaching required of me five years or ten years hence. I have, here in this School of Education, acquired the fundamentals, however, which will let me, by my own effort, build up my knowledge of my special subject, my knowledge of the best method of teaching my subject, so that I shall measure up to the advancing requirements of each year as it comes. Perhaps I may even hope to be a leader in the profession of teaching, through the exercise of imagination, of initiative, of hard work, and of good judgment.”

     Professor Thorndike, of Teachers College in New York City, called attention several years ago to the public danger of half truths, a danger which is even more apparent now than it has ever been before. He explains that it is the fate of all to be half educated, in the sense that large areas of the mind are uncultivated, that many fields of knowledge have not been explored. However, no greater public danger lurks in this condition. There is a public danger in proportion to the fact that a man’s mind is incompetent all over, that he does not realize his inferiority. This difference, according to Professor Thorndike, leads with unerring certainty to a society in which fear and superstition rule, and in which luck is the goddess to which homage is paid.

     Thorough teaching is necessary, if democratic education is to protect the public. The opinion of the multitude of the uninformed must give way to the knowledge of experts. When a public service corporation desires to plan and build a dam, it does not call a public meeting and decide by a majority vote upon either the general design or the engineering elements of that dam. The matter is obviously one in which no majority vote will outweigh and protect the public from serious error of construction. Nature has no substitutes for the correct answer. Only the expert can furnish the proper design. Economic and political laws may be more complex than those which should govern the building of dams, but they are just as certain in their operations. Without thorough and certain teaching in our schools, we shall be in continual danger from the poorly educated man of good intentions as well as from the quack, perhaps most of all from the man whose false interpretation of democracy tells him that everything must be reduced t a common level. We can all agree that the opportunities for securing an education must be made as nearly equal as possible.

     My conscience will not find tongue in this address, unless I speak further as to other things in the carrying out of our educational programs. May I treat of this subject in a somewhat unusual way? A short article in a daily newspaper recently attracted my attention. It was entitled, “How I Made Good,” written by Mr. Babst, a man who, concluding his college career, went from one success to another, and, during the past nine years, has been president of the American Sugar Refinery Company. In speaking of the qualities which meant success, which, in his opinion, contributed most forcibly to the degree of success which he had reached, he said, in the concluding paragraph, “In my judgment, the most important quality for a young man to cultivate if he wishes t succeed, is that of doing his work well, whatever it may be.” The chief characteristic of doing a thing well is, I believe, thoroughness. To do a thing thoroughly is to do it correctly and completely. If children are permitted to go through the grammar schools, if boys and girls are permitted to go through the high schools, if young mean and young women are permitted to go through college and university in a careless, slovenly manner of living and studying, when those young people go out to do some of the world’s work they will not be successful, they will not do anything worth while, until they shall first rid themselves of their bad habits, and, secondly, shall have acquired habits of thoroughness.

     In the University itself, the School of Education occupies a unique place. The physician, the scientific farmer, the engineer, are taught by their appropriate professors. Our interest in that is mainly that of the observer. But with the teachers, it is altogether different. In the university family, we are all teachers. The matter of appropriate training of the teachers assumes a parental aspect. It is as though the continuation of the species were at stake. In consequence, the School of Education should always be closely scrutinized. It has first the duty of setting up the right standard for the University in its work of training and large corps of public servants. The founder of this School of Education, Doctor Lange, has recognized this duty in his program of training for the high school teacher. He has insisted that the professional training be founded upon the broad cultural basis of the larger sort, and that early specialization in professional studies should not displace sound training in the fundamentals.

     I conclude this address by giving to Professor Lange’s curriculum for the training of teachers for the secondary schools my hearty approval. And to our School of Education, to its director, its faculty, and its students in their home, I wish complete success.