EQUALIZER: When Woodrow Wilson assumed the presidency of Princeton University, he made it his first order of busines to raise the school's academic standards.
Snap courses were dropped from the curriculum, easy-going instructors suddenly became demanding, and students were put on notice that if they failed to maintain grades, they would be flunked out.There was grumbling from the undergraduates and the alumni, grumbling that swelled to a roar when it was announced that entrance requirements would also be stiffened, and that as a result, freshman admissions would probably drop.
One prominent alumnus complained to the new president that he was making Princeton much too difficult to get into.
"That is true," conceded Wilson, "but then we are going to make it much easier to get out of."
MONUMENT: When he was in his final illness, Henry David Thoreau inquired of a friend:
"Do you think I will be remembered after I am gone?"
"Indeed you will be," the other assured him. "The townspeople are planning to commission a statue of you to stand in the park."
"I wish they wouldn't," said Thoreau. "I have no desire to take up space in this world after I have left it."