Light on the hill: A history of Tufts College, 1852-1952

Miller, Russell
1986

TUFTS HAD BECOME MORE THAN A LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE within two decades of its chartering in 1852. In the 1860's it had committed itself to offering undergraduate education in two professions: engineering and the ministry. Admittedly, both curricula - the first established in 1865 and the second in 1869 - had a large amount of what is generally considered "liberal arts" content. Yet both were intended to prepare students for careers requiring some degree of special training beyond that expected in the somewhat amorphous creature known as the "liberally educated man." The addition of the medical and dental curricula and the establishment of the graduate school in the 1890's and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the 1930's reinforced the idea of preparing students for professional competency, whether at the graduate or undergraduate level, whatever lip service might have been given to the so-called liberal arts. On the eve of the Second World War, Tufts College embarked on a new series of academic ventures which committed it to a greatetr extent than ever before to professional education - this time largely at the undergraduate level. These new extensions of the College's responsibilities provoked considerable controversy among a liberal-arts-oriented faculty who were consulted on none of the major policy decisions involved. They also produced inevitably a tangled web of administrative relationships which remained a mystery to all but a few.

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TUFTS HAD BECOME MORE THAN A LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE within two decades of its chartering in 1852. In the 1860's it had committed itself to offering undergraduate education in two professions: engineering and the ministry. Admittedly, both curricula - the first established in 1865 and the second in 1869 - had a large amount of what is generally considered "liberal arts" content. Yet both were intended to prepare students for careers requiring some degree of special training beyond that expected in the somewhat amorphous creature known as the "liberally educated man." The addition of the medical and dental curricula and the establishment of the graduate school in the 1890's and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the 1930's reinforced the idea of preparing students for professional competency, whether at the graduate or undergraduate level, whatever lip service might have been given to the so-called liberal arts. On the eve of the Second World War, Tufts College embarked on a new series of academic ventures which committed it to a greatetr extent than ever before to professional education - this time largely at the undergraduate level. These new extensions of the College's responsibilities provoked considerable controversy among a liberal-arts-oriented faculty who were consulted on none of the major policy decisions involved. They also produced inevitably a tangled web of administrative relationships which remained a mystery to all but a few.

 

Light on the Hill, the history of Tufts College, was published to coincide with the centennial of the institution in 1952. A second volume was published in 1986. This edition was created from the 1966 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume I.

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Tufts University--History
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ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00003
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