Link to Ferris Homepage
Print this window
"Too Many in Class." Detroit Free Press article.

Chicago, Ill. Oct 16- "America has gone mad on the subject of schooling- not education- of its boys and girls. And this is the opinion of a man who has been a mentor in the classroom for more than 30 years and has handled 75,000 students in that time," Senator Woodbridge N. Ferris of Michigan told the Executives' Club in an address here.

"There are too many of our children in the high schools, colleges and universities," he continued. "I believe that any able-bodied youth that can not earn his way through college or university ought not to be in college or university."

"The institutions of higher learning today amount to a continuation of summer resorts. The directors of these institutions offer the attractions of excitement and comfort to build up their registration and compete as rival hotels might do for capacity business."

"I object to the extravagances as I object to the plan of substitution of the winning foot ball game for the winning of intelligence. I am not against athletics but I believe that athletics should be participated in by a greater proportion of the students."

"I think that the underlying cause of our present tendencies is too much prosperity in the nation. Prosperity is the reason that Christian principles do not appeal to our people. They have set up a new god- the god of comfort."

"I am not a particle alarmed over the youth, as such, and their characteristics. They are not going to the devil- not all of them."

"I am alarmed, however; at their mothers and fathers who seem to be going there. I am not alarmed at the flappers who paint and bob their hair and shorten their skirts. In fact, it occurs to me that it is exceedingly interesting. But when we find grandma dolling herself up to look like a child, then I am alarmed."

"We are confronted with the fact that two and a half billions of dollars are expended in schooling our youth each year, and that while in the last generation the population has increased 35 per cent the attendance at the higher education institutions has increased 450 per cent. Out of it there is being afforded a great deal of schooling but not much education."

"The great fault lies with the home- or the lack of it. The domestic science and home economics education has been removed from the home to the school. They teach thrift in schools- a most damnable thing, a lazy makeshift of parents who will not teach their children that virtue in the home- and penalize children who are not given money to pass along to their school accounts."

Source: Too Many in Classes. Addresses and Writings, Box 6. Woodbridge N. Ferris Papers. University Archives. Ferris State University.