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Addresses at the inauguration of Daniel C. Gilman online

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Johns Hopkins University.



JF'ebruarj' 22d, 7876.


'President :






Soard of Trustees:









President of the Johns Hopkins University,

Baltimore, I'ebruary 22, 7876.

u. b.

Printed by John Murphy & Co.

182 Baltimore Street.



The public exercises connected with the Inauguration of the
first President of the Johns Hopkins University, were held in the
Academy of Music, in Baltimore, Tuesday, February 22d, 1876.
His Excellency, the Governor of Maryland ; his Honor, the Mayor
of Baltimore ; the Presidents and representative Professors of
a large Dumber of Universities and Colleges ; the Trustees and
other officers of the scientific, literary and educational institutions
of Baltimore ; the State and City officers of public instruction
and other invited guests, together with the Trustees of Johns Hop-
kins, occupied the platform. The house was filled with an atten-
tive audience.

At eleven o'clock, the chair was taken by the President of the
Trustees, Mr. Galloway Cheston. The orchestra of the Peabody
Institute, directed by Professor Asger Hamerik, gave the Over-
ture to "Aloeste,^' by Gluck.

A prayer was then offered up by Rev. Alfred M. Randolph,
D. D., of Emmanuel Church ; after which the Chairman of the
Executive Committee, Mr. Reverdy Johnson, Jr., said :

" Our gathering to-day is one of no ordinary interest. From
all sections of our State, from varied sections of our land, we have
met at the opening of another avenue to social progress and
national renown. After two years of pressing responsibility
and anxious care the Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University,
present the first detailed account of their trust. Of the difficul-
ties attending the discharge of their duty ; of the nice balancing
of judgment; of the careful investigation and continued labor
called for in the organization of the University, this is not the
place to speak ; but for the Board of Trustees, I may be allowed
to claim the credit of entire devotion to the work, and a sincere

desire to make of the UnivevBity all that the public could expect
from the generous foundation. Happily, our action is unfettered,
and where mistakes occur, as occur they must, the will and power
are at hand to correct them. We may say that the University's
birth takes place today, and I do not think it mere sentiment,
should we dwell with interest upon its concurrence with the
centennial year of our national birth, and the birth day of him who
led the nation from the throes of battle to maturity and peace.
But it is not my province to detain you from the exercises which
are to follow. I am happy to state that we have among us to-
day one who represents the highest type of American education,
and one who, from the beginning has sympathized with, coun-
selled and aided us. I know you anticipate me, as I announce
the distinguished name, from the most distinguished seat of
learning in our land — President Eliot, of Harvard University."

President Eliot next delivered a Congratulatory Address,

Beethoven's Concert Overture, " The Consecration of the
House,'''' (C maj., op. 124,) having been performed by the Orches-
tra, Mr. Reverdy Johnson, Jr., introduced President Oilman, re-
marking, as he did so, that the University now stands forth
baptized with ancient Harvard as its sponsor.

President Oilman then delivered the Inaugural Address.

At its conclusion, the Orchestra gave Weber's "Jubilee Over-
ture,^^ (E maj., op. 59.)

The benediction was pronounced, and at half past one, the
assembly dispersed.




^7^eside?ii of Jfarrai'd IIniye7'sity.


THE oldest University of the country cordially
greets the youngest, and welcomes a worthy
ally — an ally strong in material resources
and in high purpose.

I congratulate you, gentlemen, Trustees of
THE Johns Hopkins University, upon the noble
work which is before you. A great property, an
important part of the fruit of a long life devoted
with energy and sagacity to the accumulation of
riches, has been placed in your hands, upon con-
ditions as magnanimous as they are wise, to be
used for the public benefit in providing for coming
generations the precious means of liberal culture.
Your Board has great powers. It must hold and
manage the property of the University, make all
appointments, fix all salaries, and, while leaving
both legislative and administrative details to the
several faculties which it will create, it must also
prescribe the general laws of the University.
Your cares and labor will grow heavy as time
goes on ; but in accordance with an admirable
usage, fortunately established in this country, you
will serve without other compensation than the



public consideration which will justly attach to
your office, and the happy sense of being useful.
The actuating spirit of your Board will be a spirit
of scrupulous fidelity to every trust reposed in
you, and of untiring zeal in promoting the welfare
of the University and the advancement of learn-
ing. Judged by its disinterestedness, its benefi-
cence, and its permanence, your function is as pure
and high as any that the world knows, or in all
time has known. May the work which you do in
the discharge of your sacred trust be regarded with
sympathetic and expectant forbearance by the pre-
sent generation, and with admiration and gratitude
by posterity.

The University which is to take its rise in the
splendid benefaction of Johns Hopkins must be
unsectarian. None other could as appropriately
be established in the city named for the Catholic
founder of a colony to which all Christian sects
were welcomed, or in the State in which religious
toleration was expressly declared in the name of
the Government for the first time in the history of
the Christian world. There is a too common
opinion that a college or university which is not
denominational must therefore be irreligious; but
the absence of sectarian control should not be con-
founded with lack of piety. A university whose
officers and students are divided among many
sects need no more be irreverent and irreligious

than the community which in respect to diversity
of creeds it resembles. It would be a fearful por-
tent if thorough study of nature and of man in all
his attributes and works, such as befits a univer-
sity, led scholars to impiety. But it does not; on
the contrary, such study fills men with humility
and awe, by bringing them on every hand face to
face with inscrutable mystery and infinite power.
The whole work of a university is uplifting, re-
fining and spiritualizing : it embraces

" Avhatsoever touches life
With upward impulse ; bo He nowhere else,
God is in all that liberates and lifts ;
In all that humbles, sweetens and consoles."

A university cannot be built upon a sect, unless,
indeed, it be a sect which includes the whole of the
educated portion of the nation. This University
will not demand of its officers and students the
creed, or press upon them the doctrine of any par-
ticular religious organization ; but none the less —
I should better say, all the more — it can exert
through high-minded teachers a strong moral and
religious infl.uence. It can implant in the young-
breasts of its students exalted sentiments and a
worthy ambition ; it can infuse into their hearts
the sense of honor, of duty, and of responsibility.

I congratulate the city of Baltimore. Mr. Mayor,
that in a few generations she will be the seat of a
rich and powerful university. To her citizens its


grounds and buildings will in time become objects
of interest and pride. The libraries and other col-
lections of a university are storehouses of the know-
ledge already acquired by mankind, from which
further invention and improvement proceed. They
are great possessions for any intelligent commu-
nity. The tone of society will be sensibly aifected
by the presence of a considerable number of highly
educated men, whose quiet and simple lives are
devoted to philosophy and teaching, to the exclu-
sion of the common objects of human pursuit. The
University will hold high the standards of public
duty and public spirit, and will enlarge that culti-
vated class which is distinguished, not by wealth
merely, but by refinement and spirituality.

I felicitate the State of Maryland, whose
Chief Magistrate honors this assembly with
his presence, upon the establishment within her
borders of an independent institution of the high-
est education. The elementary school is not more
necessary to the existence of a free State than the
University. The public school system depends
upon the institutions of higher education, and
could not be maintained in real efficiency with-
out them. The function of colleges, universities
and professional schools, is largely a public func-
tion ; their work is done j^rimarily, indeed, upon
individuals, but ultimately for the public good.
They help powerfully to form and mould aright


the public character; and that public character
is the foundation of everything which is precious
in the State, including even its material prosperity.
In training men thoroughly for the learned pro-
fessions of law and medicine, this University will
be of great service to Maryland and the neighbor-
ing States. During the past forty years the rules
which governed admission to these honorable and
confidential professions have been carelessly re-
laxed in most of the States of the Union, and we
are now suffering great losses and injuries, both
material and moral, in consequence of thus thought-
lessly abandoning the safer ways of our fathers.
It is for the strong universities of the country to
provide adequate means of training young men
well for the learned professions, and to set a
high standard for professional degrees.

President Gilman, this distinguished assembly
has come together to give you God-speed. I wel-
come you to arduous duties and grave responsi-
bilities. In the natural course of life you will not
see any large part of the real fruits of your labors ;
for to build a university needs not years only, but
generations; but though "deeds unfinished will
weigh on the doer," and anxieties will sometimes
oppress you, great privileges are nevertheless
attached to your office. It is a precious privilege
that in your ordinary work you will have to do
onlv with men of refinement and honor; it is a


glad and animating sight to see successive ranks
of young men pressing year by year into the battle
of life, full of hope and courage, and each 3'ear
better armed and equipped for the strife ; it is a
privilege to serve society and the country by in-
creasing the means of culture; but, above all, you
will have the great happiness of devoting yourself
for life to a noble public work without reserve, or
stint, or thought of self, looking for no advance-
ment, "hoping for nothing again." Knowing well
by experience the nature of the charge which you
this day publicly assume, familiar with its cares
and labors, its hopes and fears, its trials and its
triumphs, I give you joy of the work to which you
are called, and welcome you to a service which will
task your every power.

The true greatness of States lies not in territory,
revenue, population, commerce, crops or manufac-
tures, but in immaterial or spiritual things ; in the
purity, fortitude and uprightness of their people,
in the poetry, literature, science and art which they
give birth to, in the moral worth of their history
and life. With nations, as with individuals, none
but moral supremacy is immutable and forever
beneficent. Universities, wisely directed, store up
the intellectual capital of the race, and become
fountains of spiritual and moral power. Therefore
our whole country may well rejoice with you, that
you are auspiciously founding here a worthy seat


of learning and piety. Here may young feet,
shunning the sordid paths of low desire and
worldly ambition, walk humbly in the steps of the
illustrious dead — the poets, artists, philosophers
and statesmen of the past ; here may fresh minds
explore new fields and increase the sum of know-
ledge: here from time to time may great men be
trained up to be leaders of the people; here may
the irradiating light of genius sometimes flash out
to rejoice mankind; above all, here may many
generations of manly youth learn righteousness.


IF this assembly, with one voice, could utter
the thought now uppermost, there would be
a deep, quick, hearty acknowledgment of the
bounty of Johns Hopkins.

His beneficence, so free, so great, so wise, pro-
moting at once the physical, intellectual and moral
welfare of his fellow-men, awakens universal sur-
prise and admiration, and calls for our perpetual

In respect to the giver, I can say but little to
you, the citizens of Baltimore, who knew him so
well ; who remember his industry, sagacity and
intellectual force ; who have tested his integrity,
and found that his word was as good as his bond ;
who recall his fore-sight, his enterprise, and his
belief in the future of this city and state ; who
recollect that more than once in financial crises
he hazarded his own fortune for the protection of
others ; who heard, it may be from his own lips,
2 17


the motives and hopes which prompted these royal
gifts ; who believe that great acquisitions involve
great responsibilities, but who know how hard it
was for one long accustomed to power to yield that
power to others ; to you, his fellow-citizens, who
saw the steps by which this benefactor toiled
upwiird to the temple of Fortune, and there un-
satisfied, went higher, by more arduous steps, to
the temple of Charity, where he bestow^ed his

While I leave to others the commemoration of
our founder, you must let me refer to the tributes
of admiration which his generosity has called out
on the remotest shores of our own land, and in
the most venerable shrines of European learning.
The Berkeley laurel and the Oxford ivy may well
be carved upon his brow when the sculptor shapes
his likeness ; for by wise men in the east and by
rich men in the w^est, his gifts are praised as
among the most timely, the most generous, and
the most noble ever bestowed by one, for all.

The genesis of American munificence is a bright
chapter of our history. From the days of the
Puritan minister, who gave his name to our oldest
University, and the days of the London merchant,
who endowed the second college in JSTew England,
each generation has surpassed its predecessors.
It is a striking coincidence that among the very
earliest names on this heraldic roll, is that which


our foundation bears. The schools which Edward
Hopkins, a colonial governor, established in 1660,
by his will, and his gifts to Harvard, still keep
alive his name and influence. So may the name
of our founder live for more than two hundred
years to come, and his gifts be immortal. Johns
Hopkins might have used the very words of
Edward Hopkins, who desired to bestow " some
encouragement for the breeding up of hopeful
youths, for the public service of the country in
future times."

We may conjecture a spiritual if not a j^hysical
descent in the line of Hopkins. In 1676, the
name is written on the door of an endowed gram-
mar school at A^ew Haven, older than Yale, and
second onl}^ to Harvard ; in 1776, the name is
signed to the Declaration of Independence; in
1876, it distinguishes a University foundation.
To our cotemporary, we may apply the words
with which the deeds of the colonial governor
are recounted. After saying that his last will
is an interesting monument of private friendship
and public spirit, that friends and domestics were
not forgotten, that his public gifts were " for the
promotion of religion, science and charity," the
historian adds this eulogy: "I%ws did this lofty
and intellectual spirit devise and distribute blessings
in his own age, and by his ivisdom, prepare and make
them perpetual for succeeding times y


The Endowment.

The total amount of the public gifts of Johns
Hopkins, is more than seven million dolhirs. The
sum of $3,500,000 is appropriated to a university;
a like sum to a hospital ; and the rest to local
institutions of education and charity. Let us com-
pare these benefactions with some others. Thirty
years ago, when the gift of Abbott Lawrence to
Harvard College was made known it was said to
be " the largest amount ever given at one time
during the life time of the donor to any public
institution in this country," — the amount was
$50,000 ; the gift of Smithson, so well adminis-
tered in Washington, amounted to over half a
million ; the foundation of Stephen Girard sur-
passed two million dollars.

You may see from these figures what great
munificence has brought us together. So far as
I can learn, the Hopkins foundation, coming from
a single giver, is without a parallel in terms or in
amount in this or anv land. But beware of exaji-
geration. These gifts are often spoken of as if the
whole, instead of the half, was intended for the
university, and then as if an equal amount was
given to the hospital ; and so it happens that
dreams of monumental structures and splendid
piles and munificent salaries flit through the mind


which can never become real. Do not forget how
much wealth is accumulated by older colleges —
in repute, experience and influence, and also in
material things. The property of Harvard Col-
lege is more than five million dollars ; that of
Yale must equal our endowment. The land invest-
ments of a university in the Northwest are said to
exceed these values ; and Ezra Cornell, while he
lived, expected that the endowments at Ithaca
would approach, if not surpass, the funds of Har-
vard. The income yielding funds of Harvard in
1875 were over three millions ; those of Yale near
a million and a half. Even these figures look small
compared with the accumulations of Oxford and

Now turn our capital into income. Our univer-
sity fund yields a revenue of nearly $200,000. Let
us compare this amount with the resources of our
two richest colleges. Harvard, in 1874-5, (in all
departments), received from tuition $168,541.72;
from property, $218,715.30 ; a total of $387,257.02.
The college alone, not including the library, the
general administration, or any of the special de-
partments, cost $187,713.20, which is nearly our
whole income. Yale College reports its academical
expenses (i. e., exclusive of those in the scientific,
theological, law, medical and art departments), in
1874-5, as $126,073.56.


But all our revenue is not at once available ; for,
as the capital cannot be spent for buildings, some
income must be reserved for this. Of course, the
buildings will be good and costl3^ If now we
deduct from our income, as a building fund, one
hundred thousand dollars annually, it will take
several years to accumulate the requisite amount.
Of that which remains a large sum will be absorbed
by taxation, administration and the purchase of
books, instruments and collections. Thus it is
evident that the educational income at present is
not large. Its expenditure requires great discretion
and prudence. The trustees are men of liberal
views in respect to professional salaries, but they
see as clearly as a schoolboy sees through a problem
in short division that the larger the divisor, the
less the quotient ; the more salary, the less chairs ;
the more eminent and costly the teachers, the fewer
can be secured. I wish that every one who sees
the need of a great university, and who knows the
range of human science, would take a pencil and
distribute our income in the departments which he
would like to see promoted here. If his experience
is like mine, he will find that before his pencil has
half gone down the column of the sciences, the in-
come has been twice expended.

I fear that these remarks are a little ungracious,
and I would gladly repress them ; but the private
and public utterances of thoughtful men have been


so vague as to what it is possible for the trustees
of this university to accomplish at once, and our
friends are so very generous in their expectations
that I feel compelled, at the very outset, to utter a
word of caution. If our physicists could bring us
"Aladdin's lamp," or our chemists produce "the
philosopher's stone," or our merchants give us
"the widow's cruse," our aspirations should not

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Online LibraryJohns Hopkins UniversityAddresses at the inauguration of Daniel C. Gilman → online text (page 1 of 4)