Light on the Hill, Volume II

Miller, Russell


WITH THE EXCEPTION of a larger number of course choices within the five areas comprising the general foundation subjects, the degree requirements in Liberal Arts and Jackson in 1953 were identical to those in force in 1940 when the curriculum had last been reviewed. The total number of credits required for the AB, the BS, and the BS in Chemistry was 122, having been reduced by one credit with the elimination of a hygiene requirement. Completion of two years of physical education was required both in 1940 and 1953.

The so-called "foundation areas" were English (six credits), foreign language (six credits above the elementary level), literature (six credits in one department), social studies (six credits in one department, with a choice of history, government, or economics), and science or mathematics (six credits). The concentration requirements were still thirty-six credits, including six in a related field. There had been seventeen majors ("departments of instruction") from which to choose in 1940, and twenty in 1953, the Departments of Fine Arts,


Government, and Sociology having been added in the meantime. Shorthand and typing had been added as non-credit optional courses. Both an Air Science and a Naval Science curriculum reflected the presence of the ROTC on campus in 1953, populated most numerously by students in the Engineering School.

Prospective engineers took an identical set of courses the first year, before electing from among chemical, civil, electrical, general, or mechanical. The total number of credits required for all engineering degrees was 140. English 1-2 was mandatory during the freshman year. The curriculum was almost all prescribed for each year, with the exception of four courses to meet a humanities and social studies requirement.

One degree requirement in effect for all undergraduates in the three divisions in 1953 which seemed to have had a completely spontaneous and independent existence was the stipulation that "good moral character as determined from all the evidence available to the College is a prerequisite for a degree." The statement had mysteriously appeared for the first time in the 1951-52 catalogue, and no one knew for sure who was responsible for it or what had prompted its inclusion. It was possible that President Carmichael had had it inserted because of some episode that had come to his attention. Such a statement had applied to both medical and dental school students beginning in 1893 and 1899, respectively, and continued to appear every year thereafter. The first statement specifying "good moral character" as a requirement for admission of all applicants had appeared in the very first catalogue issued by the institution in 1854-55 and lasted until 1883 except for the theological school which retained it until 1906.

The faculty not only accepted the 1951-52 statement but in 1959 its Committee on Administration had voted to move it forward to a more prominent place in the catalogue statement of requirements for degrees. The requirement was not challenged until 1967, when the aggressive student editor of the Tufts Weekly (Judith Mears) questioned both its relevance and the definition of what actually comprised "good moral character." The editorial provoked extended discussion in the faculties of both Liberal Arts and Jackson, and Engineering. On 4 March 1968 the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, representing both faculties, voted to delete the statement from the catalogue. The following statement was substituted: "Students are expected to conduct themselves with due regard for the rights of others and for reasonable standards of behavior." The knotty problem of how to define "good moral character"


was thus happily averted, although the new statement raised its own question of definition.

  • Light on the Hill, the second volume of the history of Tufts University, was published in 1986, covering the years from 1952 to 1986. This doucument was created from the 1986 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume II.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
DCA Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
 Title Page
1. Setting the Stage for the Second Century
2. Long-Range Planning
3. Bricks and Mortar 1952-1967
4. The End of Theological Education at Tufts
5. Ever-Widening Curricula for Liberal Arts and Engineering
6. Jackson College: A Search for Identity
7. Defining the Role of the College of Special Studies
8. The Arts and Sciences Faculty I
9. The Arts and Sciences Faculty II
10. The Central Library
11. The Changing Character of the Student Body
12. Fraternities and Sororities at Tufts: A Cyclical History
13. A Beehive of Activity: From Trustees to Students
14. From Wessell to Hallowell
15. The Hallowell Administration: Years of Trial and Tribulation
16. The Hallowell Administration: Continued Trial and Tribulation
17. Educational Ventures, Successful and Otherwise
18. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
19. Medical and Dental Education I
20. Medical and Dental Education II
21. Taking Stock of the University in the 1960s and 1970s
22. The Mayer Administration: A Preliminary View
23. The Mayer Administration: Consolidation and Expansion