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The inauguration of this day at the fair is one of the best means to that end. Dallas should become to us as Mecca to the Arab, where we shall come each year in reunion to be baptized anew in the spirit of the University. Here we should take a vow. It should be the one that was taken by those few representatives of the leading nations of Europe, when they met in a little room on a little island in conspiracy against that greatest conqueror of modern times. They took it and brought about the battle of Waterloo, the crumbling of Napoleon's vast empire and at last his incarceration. The vow that was in their hearts and inscribed upon their banners as they marched out to the fields of diplomacy and of battle, was “We shall stand all for one and one for all." Then we may hope to see the University in a field of eminence where the want of more worlds to conquer, as it were, will be the only thing to obstruct it in its onward march to more and greater achievements. Then we can hope to see the ex-student body of the University, in those things that interest and appertain to the upbuilding and well-being of our great State, exercise a powerful and a magnetic influence. In conclusion, that each and every one who has entered the walls of that University, may in the battle of life realize even more than the most ambitious mother's most fanciful and extravagant dream for the future of her son, is the wish of one who loves that institution.
STUDENT IDEALS AND OBLIGATIONS.
[Speech of Charles S. Potts, '01, at the Alumni Banquet at Dallas, Uni. versity Day, October 21, 1899.)
The student of today is favored above all his predecessors. He has free access to all the wisdom of the past and present. Time, hoary with age, unlocks his treasure-house and bids him enter. Nature, all teeming with life and “urgent to be known," invites to research and discovery. The victories of the past and the hopes of the future stimulate the student of today to his loftiest effort and noblest endeavor. He has no sympathy with the cant that whining tells of a “Golden Age” at some period in the past, remote and mythical. This is the “Golden Age,” this the mightiest time the world has known. Men are better and braver, and women fairer and truer, than they have ever been. We share the buoyant optimism that believes in human evolution, in one eternal progression, and that demands more of us than it did of our fathers. The skies are still blue, the sun still glorious, and winging all about the heavens are the auguries of a brighter tomorrow.
At the University of Texas we, the students of today, enjoy a richer inheritance than you who have gone before us. Many are the changes since some of you were students there. From year to year the buildings have enlarged, the faculty made stronger and more numerous, and the schools and departments multiplied on every hand. Our numbers have increased from 221 in 1884, and 306 in 1890, to 800 in 1899, and, from present prospects, we will not fall far short of a thousand students by the close of the present session. Though the youngest of the southern universities, our attendance is larger than any of them, and more of our strong men and women have gone to northern and eastern schools on scholarships and fellowships than from any other single institution in the south.
And we are a thoroughly cosmopolitan body. We represent more than a hundred counties of Texas, and not less than fifteen states and territories of the Federal union. Rich and poor, representing forty-five trades and occupations and professions, meet on an equal footing with the chances in favor of the toiler. All classes of society, all political parties, and all religious creeds mingle, and learn the great lesson of toleration and charity. From this association must inevitably spring a broader view of life and a truer type of manhood than we have yet produced.
We of today are richer, not only in numbers and equipment, but by the very lives you lived who have gone before us and the noble examples you left behind. Your efforts encourage us, your successes cheer us, your victories inspire us. You have shown what may be expected from the youth of Texas in the field of literature, of science, and of government, and have spread the name of your alma mater to other States and to foreign lands. You have become a potent factor in the progress of the race, and in enlarging the bounds of human learning.
Shall we do less? Nay, shall we not, with greater opportunities, achieve even greater results in the years to come? The world may say we are vain. We are not. We know the people and country from which we come. God made no fairer land than Texas, no nobler race than her people. And we are the sons and daughters of this goodly land and this noble race. Be not surprised, therefore, if there spring from our midst men and women who are great and good; rather expect it and cheer them on in their lofty aspirations.
The student of today realizes that with increased opportunities come increased obligations. Where much is given much is required. If our inheritance is great, still greater must be our gift to those who follow. If the moral and social standards are high, it ours to maintain them and lift them still higher. The real student is rapidly coming to realize that dissipation is inimical to good scholarship. He learns an important lesson from athletics. If special diet and abstinence, regular hours and moral rectitude are necessary to achieve the fading laurels of a football game, how much more essential are those cardinal virtues to him who would win the fadeless glories of a grand and useful life? Slowly, perhaps, but certainly we are struggling upward through all our human weakness and human passions toward the goal of broader scholarship, cleaner manhood, and nobler endeavor.
The students of the University of Texas are not ungrateful for the favors they receive at the hands of the State. No more loyal and patriotic band of young people can be found in all the land than that which gathers daily within the walls of our University. We glory in the history of our State and the heroic deeds of the men who made it free. The flag of the single star, the flag that never waved over a coward or retreated from a field of battle, is the banner of our victorious hosts today, and under its protecting folds we will march on from conquering to conquest. We are proud of the conduct of our soldier boys on the battlefields of Mexico, of Tennessee and Virginia, and, still later, on the field of Santiago de Cuba. We rejoice at the peaceful development that has spread like a mighty river over all the land, converting forests into farms and rolling prairies into waving fields of grain. We rejoice that our great State has placed education within the reach of all, and has opened a fountain of knowledge to which those who thirst may come and drink without money and without price.
It is sometimes said that the University is not in sympathy with the common schools of Texas; that its interests are antagonistic to theirs. This, we are sure, is a mistake. Our free school system is
one harmonious whole. It extends from the primary grades, up through the intermediate and high school departments, and culminates in the University—the capstone and crowning glory of the entire system. The usefulness of the whole depends very largely on the prosperity of all the parts. Their interests are one. They have a common aim, a common purpose, a common destiny. A friend to one is a friend to all. The public schools are the feeders of the University, while it in turn must raise and maintain the standard of scholarship and efficiency of the public schools. Already about a hundred high schools throughout the State have so extended their courses of study that their graduates are admitted without examination to all the privileges and advantages of the University. The world should know that the University of Texas is a great institution, and that it is in hearty sympathy and perfect accord with the great system of public free education.
The idea of a university in Texas is not a new one. More than sixty years ago, when the Republic was less than three years old, the Congress of the infant state showed its wisdom and statesmanship by providing for establishing and endowing a great university. By the Act of 1858 and the Constitutions of 1866 and 1876, still further endowment was made, and steps were taken for putting the long-cherished design into execution. Our institution would now be many years older had it not been for the cruel civil strife and the painful period of reconstruction. But at last the seed planted by the fathers and watered by their successors have budded and blossomed, and now the ripe fruit is ready for those who will pluck and eat.
Texas, the mother who gave us birth, who tenderly cared for our childhood, and now cherishes our young manhood, says to us, “Thus have I done for you. What shall be my reward ?” “O, Texas, we
O, will live for thee and serve thee. We will build thy houses, bridge thy rivers, tunnel thy mountains, heal thy sick, teach thy children, write thy history, make thy laws, and if need be defend thy fair lands and fairer name on the gory field of battle. Thy people shall be our people, thy God our God, and thy prosperity and happiness our highest joy.”
THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.
[Speech of John H. Foster at the Alumni Banquet at Dallas, University Day, October 21, 1899.]
Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Students and Friends:
It is with extreme diffidence that I rise to respond to my name tonight, not because I do not enter most heartily into the spirit of this festivity, but because my modesty, or rather a correct knowledge of my own capabilities, warns me that I am not equal to the occasion. This is especially the case after hearing with pleasure and admiration the speakers who have preceded me.
The members of the medical profession have never, I believe, been famous as speakers. There are, of course, exceptions, but it is needless for me to say that in this case I am “one of the majority.” I shall therefore make no attempts at flights of oratory.
I came tonight to bring greetings to you from the Medical Department; to tell you that while circumstances have prevented many of our number from being here who were anxious to come; this failure is due in no wise to a lack of interest in the University. I would assure you that as we are gathered here tonight the thoughts of many of the medicos are turned upon us as they regret that they cannot be of our number.
I am glad that this annual reunion of the students and ex-students has been instituted, not so much on account of the pleasure we derive from its celebration, and that is great, but because I believe that it will bring into closer union the different departments of the University with each other as well as with the alumni. It will broaden us all and intensify our interest in the University.
The Medical Department is a comparatively young institution, and in the first few years of its existence it was natural that college spirit should be at a low ebb. College spirit, sirs, comes only by the slow process of evolution. But the fact that we are situated two hundred miles from Austin and are hence, of necessity, somewhat out of touch with the other departments, does not make us feel that we are any the less a part of the University.
We are proud of our medical college, believing that its work is