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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

Report of the Board of Curators to the Governor

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Report of the Board of Curators to the Governor.

University of Missouri, Columbia, To His Excellency,

Gov. T. T. Crittenden:


By an act of the General Assembly approved February 24, 1870, the Board of Curators at the close of each University year are required to make a report to the Governor exhibiting the progress, condition and wants of the several colleges or departments of instruction in the Institution, the course of study in each, and the number and names of the officers and students, together with all other matters pertaining to the best interests of the University.

In the reports which follow, made by the President of the Institution, and the Professors having charge of the different departments, including the School of Mines and Metallurgy at Rolla, you will find the information required by the Statute.

The University is in a prosperous condition, and the work accomplished during the year about to close has been entirely satisfactory to its friends and patrons, and in all respects creditable to those who have had charge of its instructions and internal government.

Good order and a spirit of emulation for improvement have prevailed throughout the year, and the progress of the students, male and female, has been fully equal to that of any preceding year.

It is only those who have been engaged in the work who can realize, and who lave any just conception of the labor, toil, and expense it requires to place upon a solid foundation, and to build up, a first class Literary, Scientific and Practical Institution, commensurate with the absolute wants of the age, and of the reasonable demands of a great commonweath like the State of Missouri.

But this is the work we have set out to perform, and in the labor of which we have been engaged many years, at times under the most discouraging circumstances, requiring courage, energy and patience to go on steadily with the enterprise.

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To the accomplishment of this important task, alike involving the [unclear: hon] those who have gone before us; of the men of the present generation [unclear: actively] gaged in pushing forward the car of progress; and of those who are to come [unclear: after] we must continue to exert all our energies and best efforts, until what we [unclear: air] the thorough education of the masses of the people, is attained. This is the made [unclear: pay] by the founders of the State Government under which we live, one [unclear: that] been adhered to down to the present period, and which must not be [unclear: abandoned] that pledge is made good at whatever cost of time, and labor and money.

In the experiment of Free Government, which is being tried in our [unclear: country] every thoughful and intelligent man knows the dangers that beset us, and [unclear: how] dangers can best be avoided. The masses of the people must be trained [unclear: mind] and intellectually, and sufficiently educated to understand and appreciate [unclear: the] acter of our free government and the necessity of maintaining and [unclear: upholding] and this can only be done by the thorough education of the people in [unclear: our] send and colleges.

In the performance of its part of the work the State of Missouri has [unclear: provide] her organic law a public system of education sufficiently broad to meet the [unclear: den] of all the children within her borders. The system of which we speak is [unclear: dressing] in the State Constitution as the; 'Free System of Public Schools, and the [unclear: University] with its various departments, and which are to be maintained out of the [unclear: con] resources of the State.

The attention of the authorities and of the people of the State cannot be [unclear: too] often to these provisions of our Constitution. Hitherto they seem not to been thoroughly comprehended, but the fact must continue to be repeated this system of public education is well understood by every citizen.

The number of students in attendance upon the various departments of the university during the last year has reached six hundred, the largest number that entered the University in any one year, and representing between eighty and counties in the State, so that gradually, but certainly, the University is [unclear: bee] known to and appreciated by the people in every portion of the State. Young and women desiring a liberal [unclear: education] are beginning to find out that then need of leaving the borders of Missouri to enjoy all the advantages of liberal c to be found in our country, and at afar less cost. And as the subject of higher cation is becoming better understood by the people, our own facilities will [unclear: corner] to improve in all the departments of instruction, until we shall be able to [unclear: preset] the patronage of the public an institution of learning second to none in the [unclear: Misippi] Valley.

The passage of the law by the recent General Assembly, making a liberal [unclear: aspiration] for the enlargement of the main University edifice, may be taken as a [unclear: that] future Legislatures will not fail to make every needed provision to me growing demands for higher education by the rapidly increasing population State. It is a public misfortune that several other bills, favorably [unclear: recommend] your liberal message to the General Assembly, and bearing upon the best [unclear: in] of the University, had not been passed. Their importance seemed not to be [unclear: arcuated], although their passage would have entailed but little expense upon the whilst the bill known as the Funding Bill, intended mainly to provide for [unclear: the] and permanent investment of moneys derived from the sale of Agricultural Lands, after having passed the Senate as it was introduced into that body by an page 5 whelming majority, and without objection, was so changed by so-called amendments in the House of Representatives as almost to destroy the enlightened aims and objects had in view in its introduction. We cannot regard the failure to pass this bill, as it came from the Senate, in any other light than as very damaging to the Agricultural Department of the University, as well as to the agricultural interests of the State. How far these evils will be remedied by another General Assembly, time alone can determine.

The further suggestion contained in your far-seeing message, that the State should provide a permanent Endowment Fund, the annual interest thereon to be forever appropriated for the support of the Institution and its various departments, was founded in deep wisdom. Such an endowment has been provided for the common schools constituting the other part of our excellent Public School System as recognized in the Constitution.

Why not make a similar provision for the University? Thus assuring its permanent independence and lasting success, and placing it beyond the biennial wrangles and controversies which must ever occur in the General Assembly when appropriations are asked.

Other States have pursued this policy with great success to their colleges. Only very recently the legislature of Indi and passed? a law for this purpose, levying a very small tax to run a given number of years, and at the end of the period named would secure a permanent endowment for her State University of upwards of 8600,000.

Possessing, as Missouri does, one of the best Public School Systems of any State in the Union, planted from the beginning, by the wisdom of our fathers, in the Constitution of the State, and even ante-dating the adoption of this instrument in the articles presented by Congress for the acceptance of the people before the admission of Missouri into the Federal Union, we have everything to encourage us in giving a warm and generous support to this admirable system. We should look; upon it as the very embodiment of wisdom and enlightened statesmanship; we should cherish and cling to it as the sheet-anchor by which in the coming future the people of the State, aided by other educational agencies that may be established, will reach that high degree of intelligence, refinement and culture which will enable them thoroughly to comprehend the blessings of free government; the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and at the same time inspire them with the high and patriotic purpose of transmitting unimpaired these inestimable privileges even unto the latest generation!

In your liberal course as a public man, and in your efforts to serve the people of Missouri acceptably in the high office to which they have elected you, we have every guarantee that they will have your earnest co-operation in all enlightened schemes to advance the intelligence, happiness and better education of the people.

I am, with very high regard, your obedient servant,

James S. Rollins

, President of the Board of Curators, Of the University of the State of Missouri.