In 1930 an article by Dr. Howe entitled “Will vs. Brains as Assets to Education” appeared in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin (Dec. 18, 1930). The main focus of the article, as the title suggests, was on students, but its key message addressed how to develop in them good character and common sense.
It is the school’s and the college’s job to develop this sound common sense. It cannot be done by any one educational system. It cannot be done by having masters with Ph.D.’s. “American college authorities have been suffering for a third of a century from the Ph.D. delusion—the fantastic idea that anyone bearing the badge of servitude has at least a presumptive right to be considered a teacher.” It can be done, I believe, only by associating youth with such men of my own generation and Alma Mater as the Shalers, the Wendells, the Hurlbuts, and the Briggses, between whom and their students existed mutual friendliness, trust, and respect, and deep belief in each other’s sound citizenship, and willingness to accept responsibility in all human relationships.
At Dr.Howe’s request, the first major addition to the School’s original plant was named for Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, whose Harvard teaching career ran from the end of the Civil War until his death in 1906. By then he had become a legendary professor of geology as well as dean of the Lawrence Scientific School.
Bolles, constructed in 1923 before the School’s opening, and Elliot, built in 1926, were also named for Harvard legends of Dr. Howe’s acquaintance. Not until 1928 when Mrs. Atkins donated the original library in memory of her husband did the name of a donor appear on a classroom building. Even then, it appeared on a relatively modest structure at an institution that under modern fund-raising practices might well bear the name Atkins Academy. Such was the importance attached to choice of faculty by the two persons but for whom the School would not exist.
With the passing of years, the School has created its own homegrown roster of faculty names deserving of more lasting recognition, not just on academic buildings but even for individual classrooms, there have been so many. Indeed, assembling all these names and the stories that go with them would by itself write a quite compelling history of the School, underscoring the key role of the faculty in the School’s success and the loyalty of its graduates.