John F. OHara, thirteenth President. His youth and training. His work as Prefect of Religion. Elected President. The development of the Graduate School.
WHEN the Provincial Chapter met in the summer of 1934, Father O'Hara, who had been acting as president all during Father O'Donnell's illness, was appointed President of the University of Notre Dame, the thirteenth in that series which had begun with Father Sorin in 1842.
John Francis O'Hara was born at Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 1, 1888, the son of John W. O'Hara, who had come originally from a farm near Connersville, Indiana, and Ella Thornton, whose birthplace had been Galveston, Indiana. About two months after the birth of John Francis, the O'Hara family left Ann Arbor for Bunker Hill, Indiana, and a year later, in 1889, moved to Peru, Indiana, where they lived until 1905. At Peru John attended the parochial school and the public high school.
On March 6, 1905, Theodore Roosevelt appointed John's father United States Consul at Montevideo, Uruguay. John went to South America with the family and at Montevideo he attended the Jesuit school, Collegio del Sagrado Corazon, for a few months, leaving school to give his full time as secretary to the United States Minister to Uruguay, Mr. Edward C. O'Brien.
In March, 1906, John O'Hara spent a month in the Argentine. He liked it so well that he resigned his post as secretary to Mr. O'Brien, and spent six months on a ranch in the Argentine, riding and "punching" cattle. He did not return to Montevideo until November, 1906, from which time until March, 1907, he conducted, under the direction of his father, industrial and trade surveys for the State Department in Washington. This assignment completed, he once more enrolled in the Collegio del Sagrado Corazon, carrying a full schedule of classes until the close of the term in December, 1907.
In the meantime, the elder O'Hara, having returned to the United States on leave, had been transferred to the consulship at Santos, Brazil. Young John went along to be his father's secretary, while an older brother remained in Montevideo as Consul. John remained with his father in Santos until July 8, 1908, at which time he returned to the United States, taking up residence at Indianapolis. He came to Notre Dame in January, 1909. During his first two years at Notre Dame he studied for his Bachelor of Philosophy degree and taught a few elementary Spanish classes. After his graduation in June, 1911, Father Cavanaugh asked him to stay on for another year and teach some classes in history and English.
John O'Hara wanted to be a priest. In the summer of 1912, he entered the Novitiate at Notre Dame and the following year went to Holy Cross College in Washington, where, along with his theological studies, he took classes in Latin-American history under Doctor Peter Guilday of the Catholic University. In his third year, Sept. 9, 1916, he was ordained a priest at Indianapolis by Bishop Chartrand. During the summer of his ordination, Father Cavanaugh asked him to be ready, after another year, to take over the classes in Commerce at Notre Dame, and also to prepare courses in Foreign Trade. The summer of 1917 was spent, partly in some commercial houses in New York, partly at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. In September Notre Dame became the first American University to offer a four-year course in foreign commerce.
In the fall Father O'Hara joined the faculty at Notre Dame and took charge of the seventy-five or so students in the Commerce Department. He organized a Chamber of Commerce for these students, partly to get acquainted with all of them, partly to develop some unity of interest. In 1921 the Department became the College of Commerce, with Father O'Hara as its first dean.
After the United States entered the war in 1917, it became apparent that some of the priests on the campus would have to leave as chaplains. When this finally took place, around New Years, 1918, Father O'Hara inherited Father Walsh's history classes. He also became Prefect of Religion in place of Father Charles O'Donnell. In this latter capacity, he found the greatest opportunity for his zealous heart and performed a work for which he will best be remembered.
Notre Dame considers the office of Prefect of Religion one of the most important in the administration of the University. Father Sorin thought the post so vital that for fifty years he left it in the hands of the saintliest man he knew, Father Alexis Granger. It is not difficult to find reasons for its importance in an educational regime which intends, above all other things, to be religious. Disciplinary regulations nearly always demand some sacrifice on the part of students. Conformity to the rules is necessary if peace and order are to be maintained. These rules could probably be enforced without the aid of religion, but their enforcement would be much more unpleasant. It is the duty of the Prefect of Religion to motivate the students, for reasons derived from their Catholic Faith, to acquiesce with good heart in the enforcement of rules which have no other object than their own Christian formation.
For this reason, the Prefect of Religion is without any disciplinary authority. He cannot suspend or expel students, he cannot punish them. He has no authority in strictly scholastic problems. His work lies in the hearts and minds of the students. He acts as the guide and counsellor of their conscience. And the students know this. There is, about his office, all the secrecy and sanctity of the confessional. So the students are more ready to listen to his advice and his encouragement.
Father O'Hara was a superb Prefect of Religion, an office he exercised without interruption from 1918 until he was made president in 1934. And there can be no doubt that it was an office he would have chosen for life if it had not been otherwise decreed. Of course Notre Dame offers exceptional opportunities for this sort of work. It is the only Catholic school of its size in the country where so many young men compose one "family," where opportunities for religious instruction are so readily at hand, where it is impossible for the student body generally to escape the Catholic influence. Indeed, these opportunities are so striking that Notre Dame sometimes asks itself the question: "Why haven't we done much better than we have?" It was one of Father O'Hara's frequent questions.
Like Bishop Chartrand, from whom he had taken inspiration, Father O'Hara tried first of all to encourage the practice of frequent communion. We have grown accustomed to the idea now, but in the early decades of this century frequent and daily communion was almost revolutionary. Indeed, it took a Pope himself to assure the Catholic world that such a practice did not savour of foolhardiness.
The history of daily communion at Notre Dame began when John O'Hara was yet a student and young instructor, about the year 1911. As he observed the preps in Carroll Hall, he was convinced that their spiritual welfare demanded some special care, the care of a priest who, while not quelling their youthful ardor, would direct them in a manly, spiritual way, particularly fostering the practice of daily communion. He went to Father Cavanaugh with his idea, and pestered him until the president appointed Father Cornelius Hagerty as religious director for Carroll Hall.
It would be a mistake to suppose that Carroll Hall became at once a model of perfection. There was the same boisterousness, the same appetite for pranks, the same youthful restlessness. But there was something new, too. The chapel on the third floor of the Administration Building was made the chapel for the Carroll Hallers. There they had their own religious devotions, their sermons, their novenas. Every night as well as in the morning during Mass, some priest was there in the confessional. There was a "calling list," signed by those who wished to be called in the morning for Mass and Communion. On Monday evenings they held meetings of the Eucharistic Society -- Anarchistic Society, it was called by a neighboring professor, who had not grown quite deaf. One thing was noted principally: the boys were happy. And so was John O'Hara as he watched them.
There was no parade, no fuss, no advertising. But shortly a number of college men began to appear daily, either in their hall chapels or in the basement chapel, for Holy Communion. When students saw some of the football huskies, like Ray Eichenlaub, going simply and quietly to the altar rail, they followed without much persuasion. It all began so quietly that it caused no consternation at all, except among some very old persons who thought this was too good to be true. But the practice went on, grew in strength and numbers, until, for Catholics at least, it was the most outstanding feature of Notre Dame.
Perhaps it was the football team that carried to the nation the practice of daily communion for college men. The University found rich compensations for all the abuse she had received for her athleticism in the fact that her football team, playing the toughest kind of schedule, should give such an inspiring example of spiritual life. Every year, whether at home or on the road, the team found time for Mass and Communion. This custom was begun in November, 1921, when the team was preparing to entrain for West Point. "We'll be on the train First Friday! How are we going to get to Communion?" It was Paul Castner and Roger Kiley, two members of the squad, who asked the question. Looking up the train schedule, they noticed a twenty-minute stop-over at Albany, N. Y. Father O'Hara dispatched a telegram to Father Charles in Albany, and when the team arrived there on Friday morning, a fleet of limousines was waiting to whisk them away to the Farrell Institute where they received Communion at the Grotto of Lourdes. From coast to coast, the newspapers picked up the story of that eventÄsurely an unusual one for the sporting public.
Ever since that first stop-over in Albany in 1921, the football teams have had the opportunity of receiving Holy Communion while traveling. The Apostolic Delegate later on gave the teams the privilege of Mass and Communion on the train for the long trips to California and back. When, on these long transcontinental trips, the train comes to a halt for a few moments at some point in the southwestern desert, very few of the passengers realize that this stop has been made so that the chaplain, celebrating Mass in the Notre Dame car, may breathe over bread and wine, the words of consecration. This was all the fruit of Father O'Hara's work among Notre Dame men.
The influence of this salutary custom is difficult to measure, but it has been great. Newspaper reporters generally mention this "strange" habit, but they are not the only ones. The following letter, typical of many, was received by Father Charles O'Donnell from a Catholic attorney in Philadelphia:
I wish to thank Notre Dame, through you, for a great favor unconsciously done me by the football squad last Saturday morning, when my three boys, aged 141 2, 13, and 12, all attending non-Catholic schools, and all of whom play foot-ball on the lots, arose at 6:00 AM. on their own initiative and trudged and trolleyed the eight miles or so that separate my house from Sr. Luke's Church in Glenside, to see the archangel of the laity, Mr. Rockne, and his squad.
The example of manly, matter-of-fact devotion to the Blessed Sacrament manifested by the Notre Dame squad and its coach impressed my boys so strongly that it is impossible to exaggerate its effect. Your men have done, unconsciously, more to back up parental example and suggestion than anybody else could possibly do.
My gratitude to Notre Dame for this glorious and totally unexpected assistance is so very keen that I cannot help writing this note of thanks. I now perceive the value and importance in this country, not necessarily of your remarkable foot-ball squad, but of the quiet influence of the manly religion of the members of so remarkable a foot-ball squad. Be assured their influence and the effect of their example are influencing the citizens deeply. It is hard, indeed, under such circumstances, not to root for Notre Dame even if one is a University of Pennsylvania man.
Father O'Hara, after becoming Prefect of Religion, made arrangements, first of all, for confessions in the hall chapels every evening after night prayer. In 1922 permission was granted to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in each of the hall chapels. The students were able to receive Holy Communion from 5:15 A.M. until noon. Each year has seen an increase in the proportion of students to become daily communicants.
Isn't it a fact, asked some well intentioned critics, that if you encourage reception of Holy Communion outside of Mass, you propagate disrespect for the Mass itself? Do you not lower the esteem for the Holy Sacrifice? The question was of some importance to Father O'Hara, so he aimed it at his students. The answers proved that the contrary was the case. "It is not daily Mass that brings daily Communion; it is daily Communion that fosters daily Mass." "Ninety per cent of the daily Communions received at Notre Dame are received during Holy Mass and most of the devotees of daily Mass have been led to it through devotion to daily Communion."
Someone was always available for Confession. First, in Sorin Hall, and later in Dillon Hall, from early morning until noon, all the student had to do was sound a buzzer and some priest came to the confessional. In the hall chapels confessions were heard every evening after night prayer, and before and during Mass in the morning.
These facilities for confession were not the only means that helped to produce a steady rise in the number of daily communicants. At registration, each student receives a Eucharistic calendar informing him of where and when he may go to confession, and urging upon him the practice of daily communion. There are the annual missions for Freshmen and for upper-classmen, originally given during Lent, but advanced by Father O'Hara to the first part of the school year, in September.
When so many of Notre Dame's students and friends were taking part in World War I, Father O'Hara advocated a special form of prayer for their assistance: the novena of Communions. The popularity of these novenas was such that they became a permanent part of the religious life of the students. Annually, under Father O'Hara's impetus, and more often than not, at the suggestion of the students themselves, novenas were held for a variety of ends: for the success of the football team; for purity (December 8th); for parents, at Christmas time; for vocations, during Lent; for a happy marriage (preceding St. Joseph's feast day, March 19th); for the sick (before February 11th, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes); for success in examinations; for Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day.
As Prefect of Religion, Father O'Hara determined all religious activities. He it was who made out the list of sermons to be preached to the students, and appointed the priests to preach and celebrate different functions.
In 1921 Religious Bulletin came into being. Its origin was humble. On October 24th, Father O'Hara wanted to call the attention of the students to certain abuses he had noticed during the first day of the Mission. He typed out seven copies of admonition and placed a copy on the bulletin board of each hall. He didn't remark much improvement in the conduct of the students, so he repeated the following day, and each succeeding day, until the end of the Mission. When the Mission closed, that was the end of the Bulletin, it seemed. But Father O'Hara's psychological approach had been so genuinely apt that there was a general clamor for more of the Bulletins. He responded with two or three a week, and finally they began to appear every day, posted on the bulletin boards of the campus. In 1929 the demand for personal copies was so great that one hundred and fifty copies were mimeographed daily and given to those who requested them. But the demand grew to such proportions that copies were placed at the doors of each of the students. Faculty members and alumni were placed on the mailing list at their request. It was hardly any time until students of other schools were asking for copies. Today over six thousand copies are mimeographed daily, and they go to every state in the Union.
Of the Religious Bulletin, Father O'Hara said: "It is an application of modern principles of advertising to the spiritual life. From day to day, it hammers at student foibles, or suggests means of advancement in the spiritual life. It is a caricature rather than a portrait, for a portrait is too true to be comfortable, while the exaggerations of a caricature carry home a point without leaving too much sting." The language of the Bulletin is seldom either pious or polished. The students realize that its exaggerated form of expression is used to gain attention. It is not always whimsical. As an instrument for calling attention to coming religious events, commenting on the religious news of the day, or giving short, pithy instructions on character and ideals, the Bulletin served admirably.
To discover what were the results of this rather intense religious program, about which many were gloomily dubious, Father O'Hara instituted in 1921 the Religious Survey. This consisted of a number of questions directed to the students, to be answered anonymously, asking whether frequent and daily communion had lessened their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, had helped them to be better Catholics, had helped them in their studies, and other kindred questions. Father O'Hara spent the summer collating the replies. Not all the students answered, but so great a number did that the result was a fine cross-section of the student mind and conscience. There was utter freedom of expression since no one could identify the answerer. Some uncomplimentary, bitter, rash things were said, but that was all to the good, for it gave further testimony to the absolute freedom with which the students replied. The vast majority of the students testified that frequent and daily communion had brought them to a higher state of perfection than would have been the case without this practice. Father O'Hara obtained permission to publish the results, stating the questions that had been asked, giving the proportion of students answering, dividing them by classes, and adding some student comments on each question. It made a small volume of twenty-eight pages. One thousand copies were printed. Within four months three other editions were required, totalling nineteen thousand copies.
The Religious Survey attracted nation-wide attention. Father O'Hara determined to repeat the process the following year. These "confessions" made by college men proved to be a "best-seller," except for the rather expensive fact that they weren't sold. Later issues ran to fifteen thousand copies annually, and were sought by missionaries, psychologists, educators, sociologists, and business men. Each year the incoming student is given a copy, that he may see for himself the fruit of religious life at Notre Dame. To the newcomer, it is a stimulant, frequently reminding him of religious practices long neglected or ignored.
It was argued, however, that, whereas the University fostered the religious life among the campus students, the alumni may have proven themselves no better than average. Father O'Hara, eager to get at the problem, sent a questionnaire to the former students of Notre Dame. Again, the answer was favorable. On the whole, Notre Dame men in the world, as shown by the Survey of 1932, were not ashamed of their work. The questionnaire to the alumni had stirred up some helpful thoughts. As one answerer put it: "Thanks for the questionnaire. It made me realize that the Sorin Chapel is functioning as of old, and a certain door is still open. I can even hear a certain voice say: 'Well, well, one of my ostriches!'" One of the most important means of helping the student is personal contact. The success of this method depends largely on the temperament of the Prefect of Religion. Father O'Hara had a gift for winning young men. More than anything else, his willingness to listen to all their tales won the students to him. His door was always open. With infinite patience and zeal, he devoted himself to the students. No story could be too long or horrible, or, too trivial, for his attention. Father O'Hara's answers were brief and to the point. His mind had uncommon agility and he could outline a course of action very succinctly. It would be a mistake to think that Father O'Hara did all this work single-handed. The priests on the campus cooperated with him generously. There were many unofficial prefects of Religion. But one always thinks of Father O'Hara as the outstanding personality of our generation in connection with that office. His zeal and capacity for work, the long hours he spent in conversation with students, in tracking down the lax, in encouraging the weak, brought the realization that here was a priest fulfilling his duty in no perfunctory manner. The students knew he was at their service day and night. When the students left the campus for their vacation periods, a notice was sent to all the students that Father O'Hara would be at the disposition of any student, for confession or communion, "from two in the morning on."
When, in the fall of 1933, Father O'Hara was named Vice-President of the University to succeed Father Mulcaire, it was with deep regret that he relinquished the hours he had lavished on the students. When congratulated on this new appointment, he said: "If the students are satisfied, I suppose I should be; but I find it hard to be reconciled to being separated from the students." His former office, happily, was relinquished to the able and no less capable hands of Father John J. Cavanaugh.
During the long and grave illness of Father Charles O'Donnell, the duties of the president fell entirely on the shoulders of Father O'Hara. The summer of 1934 saw Father O'Hara elected to the presidency. Father Hugh O'Donnell, former prefect of discipline at Notre Dame, and later, President of St. Edward's University at Austin, Texas, was named Vice-President. Two things, principally, were to occupy the mind of Father O'Hara during his presidency: the building of more residence halls, and the development of a graduate school.
In fields of higher research, whether in pure science, literature, or history, the number of students will always be comparatively small. The instruments with which graduate students must work -- laboratory equipment, extensive library facilities, and a fully trained faculty -- are complex and expensive. The graduate student is engaged largely in original work, where a multiplicity of experiments must be made, and more often than not, abandoned in favor of other leads or clues. Sometimes, technical facilities upon which thousands of dollars may have been expended, become obsolete within a few years and, from a financial point of view, represent almost a total loss. Occasionally there is expended on one graduate student, in the course of one year, enough money to furnish the equipment for a four-year undergraduate education for several students. Not all graduate work is so expensive, but some of it is considerably more so.
Happily, the work of research is not principally measured in terms of finance, but in the enrichment of the fields of knowledge, in the discovery of things hitherto unknown, and at times, of things that may make for a better and happier world. Nevertheless, the question of finance cannot be ignored. Someone has to furnish the money. Someone has to act as patron. No graduate school can support itself on the meagre fees exacted from its students. Quite often, the research workers are incapable of giving anything but their devoted attention to the work in hand. Father O'Hara's problem, then, was to raise endowment for this work.
The history of serious graduate work at Notre Dame is associated with the opening of Summer School in 1918. In that year applications for graduate work became so numerous that the University felt impelled to respond. A graduate faculty, with an acting dean, was organized in the following years. This early effort failed of its purpose however, because during the regular school year there was so little demand for graduate work. After a trial of two years, it was discontinued in 1923.
For the next eight years, graduate work was in the hands of a committee on graduate studies. With one exception, research work was confined to that leading to the Master's degree. That exception was the field of chemistry, in which Father Nieuwland, together with Professor Henry Froning, laid the foundations of courses leading to the doctorate. During its twenty years of existence, the Department of Chemistry has won for itself an enviable national reputation for its advanced work especially. Concentrating on special fields, it has built up a well-rounded faculty, extensive laboratories and library facilities. It has also increased its requirements for entrance and graduation.
To the labors of Father Francis Wenninger, who died at his desk in the biological laboratory on the morning of February 12th, 1940, is due, principally, the flourishing condition of graduate work in the Department of Biology. The original experiments of J. Arthur Reyniers, the industry and initiative of Dr. Theodore Just, to mention only a few of the faculty, are of national interest and importance.
In 1933, the Department of Metallurgy began to offer courses leading to the doctorate. This department, while small, is rich in its equipment for advanced types of fundamental metallurgical research. Its very capable head is Dr. Edward Mahin. His principal interest in recent years was to prepare students for vital positions in the war program, and to pursue significant research.
When Father Philip Moore returned to the University in 1933, he was named Secretary of the Committee on Graduate Study. Father Moore, after obtaining his doctorate at the Catholic University, had spent three and one-half years at the Ecole des Chartes in Paris, engaged in medieval studies. Father Moore had a keen understanding of what graduate work should be, and to his insistence on high standards of achievement is due, in large part, the great progress made in the last nine years.
During this period four more departments were developed in staff and facilities to the point where work for the doctorate could be offered -- the departments of Philosophy, Physics, Mathematics and Politics.
It is entirely within the tradition of a Catholic university that graduate work in philosophy should be the first to be developed. It is a Catholic philosophy of life and action that marks the difference between Catholic and other schools. In furthering this work, Father O'Hara saw the immediate necessity of procuring an outstanding faculty. With secular universities floundering from one insecure philosophy to another, a Catholic university, true to the foundations upon which our Western civilization has been built, continues to teach the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition inherited from the medieval universities. In the Department of Philosophy, "the aim of both the research and the teaching is to integrate the intellectual traditions of the Western world with modern philosophical problems, to repossess ourselves, as it were, of our philosophical tradition and to express it in terms of our present problems."
In 1936 Father Moore and Father Leo R. Ward planned the present well-rounded program of studies leading to the doctorate in philosophy. Special effort was made to extend the library facilities and to procure a faculty for graduate work. Besides the aforementioned priests, Father Bernard McAvoy and Father Hugo Hoever, O. Cist., together with four outstanding laymen, Professors Yves Simon, Paul Vignaux, Francis McMahon and John FitzGerald, composed the graduate faculty. Justly, it acquired a splendid reputation as one of the important centers for the study of Catholic philosophy in the United States.
Associated with the work of the Department of Philosophy must be noted the Publications in Medieval Studies under the editorship of Father Moore. In 1936 Father Moore published a critical study, Peter of Poitiers. In 1937 appeared Artur Landgraf's first study of the Cambridge commentaries on the epistles of St. Paul according to the school of Peter Abelard, dealing with the epistle to the Romans; in 1939 came the second portion of his study covering the epistles to the Corinthians, the Galatians, and the Ephesians. Father Moore and Professor James Corbett collaborated on the volume put out in 1938, Peter of Poitiers' Allegoriae super tabernaculum Moysi. Brother Edmund Hunt brought out his Johannis Dominici Lucula Noctis in 1940. Sachsenspiegel and Bible is the title of the 1941 work by Guido Kisch. In 1942 Dr. Francis Tschan published his biography of Bernwald of Hildescheim, and Father Moore's edition of Sentences of Peter of Poitiers also appeared. The favorable reviews given to these publications in America and Europe indicate the high quality of the Publications in Medieval Studies.
To the President of the University, all the graduate faculties appealed for financial assistance. There was not enough money -- there never will be -- to satisfy the wishes of all. Father O'Hara found himself in the unpleasant position of an umpire who would like to favor all contestants. When it was necessary to refuse a request for funds, such refusal was taken in good part, the heads of the various departments realizing that Father O'Hara's object was to keep the University solvent. Often enough, the men who asked for new equipment went to work and built it.
A group of young physicists, headed by George Collins and Edward Coomes, persuaded Father Steiner, Dean of the College of Engineering, that they should have a 1,800,000 volt generator for research in atom-smashing. Having won Father Steiner to their side, there was still need of Father O'Hara's consent. When Father O'Hara learned what would be the cost of such equipment, he reluctantly refused to approve the expenditure. After reflection, Collins and Coomes laid another proposal before the President. They asked him if he would be willing to buy the materials for such a generator if they and their students would build it? Father O'Hara approved the plan. During the summer of 1935, these men and their students devoted their vacation to the construction of the generator, and during the next two years, between classes, the work was carried on. Experiments were successful enough to encourage the department to build another generator in 1940, of the same type, capable of producing 5,000,000 volts.
Father Henry Bolger had a great deal to do with the continued development of the Department of Physics. Father Burns, the Provincial, had confidence in Bolger's powers as a research scholar and sent him to the California Institute of Technology where he studied for four years. When Father Bolger returned to Notre Dame, the fruits of his study were immediately apparent.
With such contagious enthusiasm, graduate work leading to the doctorate has been offered in the Department of Physics since 1938. Research has been confined to the fields of nuclear physics, electronics, the physics of plastics, particularly the physical properties of rubber and rubber-like substances, and to theoretical physics. Notre Dame physicists had a good name throughout the country, as was evidenced, after war was declared, by the government's request that several members of the faculty be granted leaves of absence to help solve pressing problems presented by the war.
In the same year, 1938, the Department of Mathematics offered courses leading to the doctorate. The development of this department has been the work of one of the world's foremost mathematicians, Dr. Karl Menger, former professor of mathematics at the University of Vienna. Aided in his work by Professors Arthur Milgram, Paul Pepper, John Kelly, and Emil Artin, Dr. Menger made a brilliant record. Students for graduate work specialize in the foundations of geometry, the theory of point sets, topology, metric geometry, and the particular applications of metric geometry to analysis. At Vienna, an annual colloquium in mathematics was held during the pre-war years, and a report of its proceedings published. In 1938 Dr. Menger instituted a similar colloquium at Notre Dame. Each year since 1939, an annual report of the proceedings has been published. These reports contain the fruit of the research carried on by the Department of Mathematics as well as related studies contributed by outside scholars to the Notre Dame colloquium.
Since 1939 courses leading to the doctorate have been offered by the Department of Politics. Headed by Father Francis J. Boland, and ably supported by Dr. Waldemar Gurian, internationally known authority in the field of international relations and the philosophy of politics, and Professor Ferdinand Hermens, specialist in electoral systems and proportional representation, this department is gaining considerable renown.
In 1939, the University began the publication of The Review of Politics under the editorship of Professor Gurian. Since its inception, this quarterly has won a unique reputation among the learned periodicals devoted to the fields of political science and political philosophy. It has also undertaken to publish more extensive studies of special interest to students of politics. So far, two volumes have appeared: Dr. Hermens' Democracy and A Dialectic of Morals by Doctor Mortimer Adler of the University of Chicago.
While graduate work leading to the doctorate is confined to these seven departments, the University confers Master's degrees for graduate work in thirteen. These include, besides the seven granting doctor's degrees, the departments of English, History, Economics, Sociology, Education and Music. Plans to develop several of these departments to the point where they may offer work for the doctorate have already been made. These plans will be put into execution only when, in the opinion of the Committee on Graduate Study, the University possesses adequate staff and facilities. The growth of the graduate school at Notre Dame during the past eleven years has been one of the most impressive features in the progress of the University, and much of its growth is the fruit of Father O'Hara's administration.
Under Father O'Hara's administration, the Laetare Medal was awarded five times. In 1935, Frank Spearman, novelist, won the award. Richard Reid, Catholic crusader in the South, lawyer and editor, received the award in 1936. To a distinguished Harvard educator, Jeremiah D. M. Ford, professor of Romance Languages, went the award in 1937. An outstanding physician, then president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Irvin Abell, was the recipient in 1938. Josephine Brownson, daughter of Henry Brownson, well known in Catholic circles for her work in the Catholic Instruction League, won the medal in 1939.
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