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Nicholas MiraculousThe Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler$
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Michael Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174213

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174213.001.0001

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A University Is Born

A University Is Born

(p.74) Chapter Three A University Is Born
Nicholas Miraculous

Michael Rosenthal

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on Columbia's transition from a college to a university. Columbia had no problem maintaining its old curriculum during the transition. It was only President Frederick A. P. Barnard who objected. The majority of the trustees were content with a small school that adequately prepared its two hundred or so students for the moral challenges of adult life, but Barnard wanted an institution “in which provision should be made at once for giving instruction of the highest order in every department of human knowledge, and for encouraging and facilitating original investigation in every subject of interest to man.” For Barnard, it was a mission “of such dignity and grandeur that beside it's [Columbia's] original function, as a school for the training of boys, shrinks into comparative insignificance.” Unfortunately, Barnard's tact fell far short of the majesty of his vision. Barnard's poor health caused him to resign in May 1888; he was replaced by Henry Drisler. In 1890, the twenty-eight-year-old Nicholas Murray Butler was appointed dean of Columbia University's faculty of philosophy.

Keywords:   college, university, curriculum, Frederick A. P. Barnard, instruction, Henry Drisler, Columbia Universit, philosophy, Nicholas Murray Butler

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