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The Spectrum (Buffalo, N.Y.) 1955-current, December 11, 1978, Image 3

Image and text provided by University at Buffalo

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00130006/1978-12-11/ed-1/seq-3/


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i by Joel DiMarco r U While most universities consider their most important benefactor to have been their founder, Samuel Paul Capen gave UB something far more valuable than a mere beginning. Capen gave UB a foundation on which to stand and roots with which to first chancellor, Millard Fillmore. But while Fillmore went on to become the 13th president of the United States the university did not see a similarly meteoric rise. By the turn of the century, UB had four schools Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Law — declared Capen, \It is an aggregate of scholars, voluntarily assembled for the pursuit of learning. Some are neophytes, some are masters of the craft of knowledge. \The quality of a university, and hence its reputation, depends on the persons who compose it,” he continued, \But if a university is not a place, it must nevertheless have a place of residence and it must have instructors to derhonstrate old truths and to hunt for new ones. Indeed, for the modern university a suitable habitation has become absolutely indispensable and just as a man's home becomes associated in intangible ways with his personality until it seems the visible manifestation of his essential qualities, so the buildings 1923 and became a'full fledge ? department in 1927. Similarly, ? education of the College in 1923 § and became a full fledged o department in 1927. Similarly, “ education courses were brought f, together to form a separate school | in 1031; a School of Social in 3 1939. - grow. When Samuel Capen was first appointed chancellor in 1922, he saw UB more as a diversity than a university. Established in 1846, the University of Buffalo consisted of'a loose association of professional and graduate schools housed at various facilities in downtown Buffalo. Its chancellors had previously been prominent civic leaders and attorneys beginning with the university’s to which Chancellor Charles P. Norton added a college of arts and sciences in 1913. Then in 1920 Walter P. Cooke, Chairman of the College Council, raised a total of $5 million with which to establish a single, unified campus. He used part of the money to buy a portion of the old Erie County Almshouse which was to become the nucleus of the Main St. campus. He then appointed attorney John Lord O’Brian to head a committee charged to find a professional educator to be the new chancellor. O’Brian offered the chancellorship of UB to the widely' respected Capen who at the time was on the American Council on Education and had turned down many more attractive offers from other' colleges and universities. Capen was at first hesitent, but to O’Brian’s astonishment, he accepted his offer in June of 1922. The College of Arts and J Sciences continued its creative practices by establishing a independent study and honors | programs for upper classmen. The honors program developed f steadily until 1932 when a I tutorial scheme replaced the ? Samuel P. Capen honors program and was made compulsory for all upperclassmen. !? Capen also encouraged the | liberalization of the curriculum and the replacement of required Innovative master of creative academia moves UB into educational limelight \If the investigator is not suppressed, criticism of his findings leads to the uncovering of new evidence, to the disclosure of any errors in his procedure or conclusions, to ultimate refutation or to proof. And what is finally proved beyond dispute becomes part of the world’s store of Knowledge.\— Samuel P. Capen irKwhich a university is housed become merged 'with the courses with a system of free-electi ves. A further innovation was the “anticipatory examination,” a precursor for the modern national Advanced Placement examination. In the fall of that year, Samuel P, Capen was inaugurated Chancellor, of the University of Buffalo and shortly thereafter was given the keys to the first building on the new campus, Foster Hall. At Foster Hall’s dedication ceremonies, Capen made the first in a long series of speeches spanning his 28 years as chancellor of UB in which he defined what a modern university should be and eloquently described its role in society. \A university is not a place. It is not a group of buildings,” Aggregate of scholars university Honors programs Capen began his educational innovations by establishing a division for evening sessions and by placing the College of Arts and Sciences on an equal footing with the professional schools it had originally been founded to serve. Indeed, the college was to become the educational nursery from which future departments sprung and prospered. One such outgrowth was the School of business Administratiort, which began as a unit of the College in Schools flourish Capen’s guiding hand also shaped changes in the professional schools. In 1923, dental education was broadened when dental students were required to take the same basic medical courses as medical students. This went on to become a standard practice in dental schools throughout the country. In 1930, the School of -continued on page Samuel Capen's famous pronouncement, \All are free hare,\ was repeated many times during the course of his 28 years as chancellor pf the University of Buffalo. His vision and dedication wore the main thrust in the growth of UB from a loose collection of profaulbnal schools into a university based on the highest prihciples despite meager financial resources. His imprint on this University is little short of its actual existence.

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