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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Development of Character

The Development of Character.

"I want now to refer to the third function of the University, namely, the development of the character of the student. I think this is a very important feature of University life. I do not know any training that is more helpful in developing the character of a man than that which is afforded by the social life of our University College. A man goes there, and, even if not a matriculated student, he has his name entered on the books, and he joins the different sports clubs, and in playing their games he develops character. He learns the laws of the game of life in learning how to play football and cricket and hockey. The common-room life is also of very great value. The student meets there men of his own age, who are studying for the medical and legal, teaching, and clerical professions, and by mixing with them he learns how to hold his own intellectually, and recognises what are his own powers and limitations. Then in the debating contests he learns how to express his views. It is most important to business men that they should learn how to handle men, how to speak to them, and how to persuade them. The debates in the College Hall all help to bring out these qualities, and when a student emerges from the University life he is thus, with the educational and moral training he has received, much better fitted for the struggle that is to come in the battle of life.