At Horner’s in the fall of 1869, Captain Webb and a fellow teacher expatiated on an educational Utopia. Their lively imaginations conjured up the vision of a Great University. It would elevate the mental status of the world. The German universities of the time were "mere nothings" in comparison. Meanwhile, they coped with intolerable realities. By 1870, Sawney was determined to move west. He armed himself with recommendations from former teachers and established what contacts he could. It almost broke his heart to be leaving home so far behind, but he was sick of almost everything else in his native state. He hungered for independence and a change. By late spring, he was aboard a railroad train facing unknowns across the Alleghenies. -- Schoolmaker page 50 [74 in electronic version]
By W.R. Webb
Nashville Meeting | Southern Educational Association | November 22-24, 1905
A bit of philosophy from this speech -- "Progress is made only by experiment manipulated by individual initiative. Is this age of transition from authority to experiment, there must be somewhere an experiment station for the children where authority in the use of tools and methods is not compulsory."
The Mission Statement's origins
[found in the 1923 view book] There is in the school files a copy of the 1875 catalogue, on the margin of which are penciled in the hand of one of the principals the following words: "The Ideal-to turn out boys that are tireless workers, and that know how to work effectively; that are accurate scholars; that know the finer points of morals, and practice them in their daily living; that are always courteous gentlemen, but without a single trace of snobbery." [though there were girls in the first class back in 1870, the language in early documents focused on the male gender]
1970's - Present [revised to be gender neutral and to correct grammar] "…to turn out young people who are tireless workers and who know how to work effectively; who are accurate scholars, who know the finer points of morals and practice them in their daily living; who are always courteous."