The Ivy Covered Walls

The school is different from most of the world. Most of the world deals with hard reality, with results, with commercial applications. Within the walls of academia, the emphasis is on thought, not on the realites of the outside world.

It is this distance from reality which makes the university valuable, encouraging at its best new thoughts and ideas unencumbered by prevailing orthodoxies. All too often, however, the result is not original thought, but merely thought drawn along different lines of orthodoxy.

The prestigious universities in the United States have followed such a pattern over the past few decades. Students are taught to doubt and question the conventional teachings of industry and the military. They are frequently not encouraged, however, to apply the same level of doubt to the liberal orthodoxies. Such a dichotomy represents not a new manner of thinking, but an old way disguised as original.

Today's college students more closely resemble those of the late fifties or early sixties than any time since. They are conservative, in a sort of libertarian way, but are more concerned with enjoying themselves and getting a job when they graduate than they are in fermenting revolution. Perhaps they differ from those of 25 years ago most in that they are more self-centered and more serious than those earlier students.

Yet the faculty at many of the Ivy League schools and elsewhere are throwbacks to the sixties, an era of failed romanticism. What was good about that era has long since been incorporated into the culture. The rest has been dismissed except for in some isolated pockets such as academia. It is in these pockets that John Anderson was the candidate of choice and that what Jeffrey Hart has called "victim studies programs" (Native American Studies, Black Studies, Women Studies) are still the vogue. Mainstream America is rejected, but the solutions offerred are ones which have long since been found unworkable.

My object will be, if possible, to form Christian men, for Christian boys I can scarcely hope to make.
Thomas Arnold, on his appointment to headmaster of Rugby

I am prepared to give the boys more liberties provided they do not take them.
Michael McCrum, headmaster of Eton

At Dartmouth, we make you into a man by allowing you to remain a boy.
John Dickey

You know, this is what I've always thought a college should look like.
Dwight Eisenhower, on Dartmouth Row

It is better to speak wisdom foolishly like the saints than to speak folly wisely like the deans.
G.K. Chesterton

I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley Jr.

That Edison or Lincoln could have been Edison or Lincoln after four years of Harvard is improbable.
Arthur Brisbane

Universities are of course hostile to geniuses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have the best of two worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree.
John F. Kennedy, receiving an honorary Yale degree

About all some men accomplish in life is to send a son to Harvard.
Edgar Watson Howe

Perhaps Harvard's greatest contribution to our nation is its requirement that its on-leave professors who want to keep their crimson seats must return from Washington after 24 months.
Malcolm Forbes

The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks, and extremists this side of the giggle house.
William F. Buckley Jr.

The only way to solve a differential equation is to know the solution beforehand.
Shawn Buckley

Black Studies: A unique area of vocational training designed to instill pride in non-white students as a substitute for an education that would dangerously increase their employability.
Bernard Rosenberg

At best, most college presidents are running something that is somewhere between a faltering corporation and a hotel.
Leon Bostein

Remember that no child is dumb anymore...he is suffering a developmental lag; problems in the cognitive area.
John T. Beaudouin and Everett Mattlin

Grades are a subtle type of coercion which discourages students from taking responsibility for their own education. Through grades the college controls a large part of what we study.
Andy Kipnis, Open Forum

How many more years will our educators continue to lecture us on the evils of whipping children until they bring home high grades? Year after year we listen to these fellows tell us that it is not the grade that counts but the development of the child's personality. After the lecture they go back to all the best schools and reject our children because they have C averages.
Russell Baker

One modest suggestion for my friends in the academic community: the next time a mob of students, waving their non-negotiable demands, starts pitching bricks and rocks at the student union- just imagine they are wearing brown shirts or white sheets-- and act accordingly.
Spiro Agnew

"Whom are you?" he asked, for he had been to night school.
George Ade

Willie was a scientist But now he is no more. What Willie thought was H2O Was H2SO4.
Graffito, from U. of Washington Smith Hall as quoted in Graffiti of the PAC 10 by Haan and Hammerstron

Nothing irks a college student more than shaking out an envelope from home and finding nothing in it but news and love.
Detroit News

Princeton is a wonderful little spot. A quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts.
Albert Einstein

The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from one graveyard to another.
J. Frank Doyle

Research is something that tells you that a jackass has two ears.
Albert Lasker

Research is reading two books that have never been read in order to write a third which will never be read.
From a file in the NASA archives

If you steal from one another it's plagiarism, if you steal from many, it's research.
Milton Mizner

In business school classrooms they construct wonderful models of a non- world.
Peter Drucker

When a subject becomes entirely obsolete, we make it a required course.
Peter Drucker

I wouldn't attach too much importance to these student riots. When I was at the Sorbonne I used to go out and riot occasionally.
John Foster Dulles

Educators are as afraid of merit pay as they are of leprosy.
Linus Wright, Dallas school superintendent

There is no crisis to which academics will not respond with a seminar.
Prof. Marvin Bressler

When a large Midwest university asked its alumni if they preferred their life today to the good old days on campus, one married alumnus voted for his present life because "I have a cuter roommate."
Pat Englehart

College professor-- someone who talks in other people's sleep.
Bergen Evans

My advice to freshmen: as quickly as possible, become a sophomore.
Greg Fossedal

My rule on honorary degrees has always been to have one more than Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
John Kenneth Galbraith

One thinks of college girls working out their orgasm average.
Anthony Glyn, on Americans

History repeats itself; historians repeat each other.
Philip Guedella

All our yesterdays, it is true, have only lighted fools the way to dusty death. But we need at least the dates of the yesterdays and the list of the fools.
Stephen Leacock

God cannot alter the past but historians can.
Samuel Butler

When a history book contains no lies, it is always tedious.
Anatole France

An event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.
Lee Simonson

Very few things happen at the right time; and the rest do not happen at all; the conscientious historian will correct these defects.

When Abraham Lincoln was murdered
The one thing that interested Matthew Arnold
Was that the assassin shouted in Latin
As he lept on the stage
This convinced Matthew
There was still hope for America.
Christopher Morley

Non-linear means it's hard to solve.
Arthur Mattuck, MIT Mathematics professor

We want to build a university the football team can be proud of.
George Cross

The thing is that 90% of the colleges are abiding by the rules, doing things right. The other 10%, they're going to the bowl games.
Tony Mason

There are only two kinds of coaches -- those that have been fired and those that will be fired.
Ken Loeffler

The new rule in the Ivy League is that athletes can only be awarded letters on the condition that they can tell what letter it is.
Dartmouth Alumnus

The score did not accurately reflect the one-sidedness of the game.
Overheard from Columbia football fan, after a football game in which Columbia was decisively defeated

I met this Harvard guy last fall and asked him if he'd been to the game that afternoon and he said, "Not really." Well, now what does that mean? At least at Dartmouth we know when we've been to a game.
Ken Rosenfield, Dartmouth cheerleader

It was the last game of the year and you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn't win.
J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Harvard students have completed more English courses and less forward passes than any school in this generation.
Will Rogers

Does college pay? They do if you're a good open-field runner.
Will Rogers

Whether four years of strenuous attention to football and fraternities is the best preparation for professional work has never been seriously investigated.
Robert Hutchins

February 11: Dartmouth Winter Carnival opens, proving once again that bitter cold is no obstacle to going completely out of control.
Lisa Birnbach, The Preppy Desk Diary

I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.
Clark Kerr

Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.
Sinclair Lewis

Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Saul Lavinsky

I think Tabard's [Dartmouth fraternity] going coed is just a symptom of the more serious problem which is just that the guys there don't want to play poker anymore.
Steve Kroll

Botany is the art of insulting flowers in Greek and Latin.
Alphonse Karr

The Dartmouth staff consists of many people like the receptionist is housing. You know -- she's the one with the robin's nest hairdo and the personality of an electric chair.
Keeney Jones

When I hear the word "culture" I slip back the safety catch on my revolver.
Hanns Johst

Policy studies majors usually become government bureacrats -- the same people who brought you taxes and busing. Additionally policy studies majors can neither read nor write; instead they "ize" -- you know, they prioritize.
Keeney Jones

A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.
Spiro Agnew

Perhaps you have heard about the college executives who were discussing what they wanted to do after retirement age. One hoped to run a prison or school of correction so that the alumni would never come back to visit. Another chose to manage an orphan asylum so that he would not be plagued with advice from parents.
Robert H. Jackson

All economists should be locked up until they admit that they don't know what they're talking about.
Andy Rooney

Every short statement about economics is misleading (with the possible exception of my present one).
Alfred Marshall

You can make even a parrot into a learned political economist -- all he must learn are the two words "supply" and "demand."
Thomas Carlyle

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, they still wouldn't come to a conclusion.
Unknown tour guide at U.N.

If all the pretty young things at the Vassar debutante ball were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
Dorothy Parker

Another difference between Milton [Friedman] and myself is that everything reminds Milton of the money supply. Well, everything reminds me of sex, but I keep it out of the paper.
Robert Solow, American economist

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
Laurence J. Peter

At least 50 percent of being an expert is using the right words.
Thomas Hill, MIT professor

It is possible that the percentage of honest and competent whores is higher than that of plumbers and much higher than that of lawyers. And enormously higher than that of professors.
Robert Heinlein

The educational process should not be one of homogenizing. It should be one of encouraging excellence... when we fail to make financial aid depend upon performance, we eliminate the incentive to excellence.
John H. Sununu, NH Governor

Right this second, if you are in college and are not dead drunk or with a girl or with a dead girl, you are letting precious time slip by -- time so valuable that you are losing about five thousand dollars a day in monetary terms.
Harvard Lampoon

Philosophers always sound better with a German accent.
Jeffrey Hart

Fourth law of the lab: experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined.
Dr. Lee Harrisberger

The use of [the computer language] COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.
Edgar Dijkstra

In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.
Friedrich Nietzsche

State financing always means State control, and State control in the educational system is inherently out of whack with intellectual freedom.
Harry R, Logan, Vice Chairman, W.R. Grace & Co.

Rigorous mathematics is a system in which absolutely no cheating is allowed because you can always revise the rules.

University of Chicago: A Baptist school where Jewish professors teach theology to atheists.

There is no damn reason for it; it is just our policy.
Dean of Students at Princeton

History: big abstract words with "isms" at the end.
Dartmouth professor

This exam will be conducted on the honor principle. Please take seats three rows apart.
Dartmouth professor

I would have done better on finals, but we covered all new material this term.

You can kiss Smith, but you can Mount Holyoke.
Dartmouth student

You may be winning, but you're still Harvard rejects.
Harvard Crimson cheer

I believe in the two party system, but not in the same night.
Fraternity member

There are no men in Norton, at least none worth looking at or talking to.
Woman at Wheaton College

It is, sir, as I have said, a small college, but that does not mean it needs a small administration.
Dartmouth College official

Why doesn't the dean look out the window in the morning?
Because he'd have nothing to do all afternoon.
Overheard at Dartmouth faculty meeting

I don't give a damn about this truth and beauty stuff...will it get me a woman?

The intensity of dark circles under a student's eyes is inversely proportional to the time remaining in the term.
Wilson's Law

Ignorance is like a delicate,exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is raically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.
Oscar Wilde

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

His studies were pursued but never effectively overtaken.
H.G. Wells

Some men are graduated from college cum laude, some are graduated summa cum laude, and some are graduated mirabile dictu.
William Howard Taft

A college education shows a man how little other people know.
Sam Slick

Education -- the ability to describe a beautiful girl without your hands.
Charles Salak

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell

Intellectuals: Effete pawns aspiring to be heroic knights; they do little but talk of overthrowing the military-industrial-academic complex to which all of them are happily enslaved.
Bernard Rosenberg

I think that intellectuals who end up in hell will have to read page proofs and check indexes there.
Edward Teller

He's [John K. Galbraith] not an intellectual, he's a humorist.
William Simon

Law School taught me one thing: how to take two situations that are exactly the same and show how they are different.
Hart Pomerantz

The mind reels at the multiplication of books intended to justify the author's promotion from assistant to associate professor.
C. Northcote Parkinson

Many of the greatest creations of man have been inspired by the desire to make money...If Oxford undergraduates were paid for their work, I would have performed miracles of scholarship and become Regius Professor of Modern History.
David Ogilvy

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