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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Functions of the School

Functions of the School.

"Now," said Dr. McDowell, "I come to the main subject of my address—' The Functions of the University School of Commerce The functions of the School of Commerce must be the functions of the University itself, and there has been no more concise description of these functions than that given by Lord Curzon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, when he said: 'The University is A Focus of Culture, A School for Character, and A Nursery for Thought.' These are the functions our School of Commerce aims to fulfil. Let me deal with the first—A Focus of Culture. At the Universities there should be provided a course of liberal education suited for students who devote, or intend to devote, themselves to business careers. It has been realised long since that culture means the development of all the intellectual faculties, not only of the receptive and reflective powers of the mind, but also a quickening of the reasoning faculties, a stimulation of the powers of observation, and a kindling of the imagination.

"From days of old the basis of University education has comprised a knowledge of Greek and Latin, History and Philosophy, grouped together under the title of 'The Humanities.' The study of such subjects was supposed to afford the best means of developing the powers of the mind, and conduce to the attainment of the I highest intellectual culture, which Matthew Arnold has defined thus: 'The acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.'

"Such studies, being conducted through the medium of Greek and Latin, not only opened up the storehouse of the history and philosophy of these ancient races, but laid bare their splendid literature and poetry, thus giving suitable training to the imagination, and the process of translation not only gave excellent mental exercise but also had the advantage of training the student's powers of expressing thought, and leading him thus to appreciate more fully the niceties and aptitudes of his mother tongue.