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WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. EGEND HAS IT that long before James A. Garfield became

EGEND HAS IT that long before James A. Garfield became
president of the United States, he uttered these words
about his former teacher at Williams College: "The ideal
college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on
the other."
The aphorism is known throughout higher education, but
here at Williams, it has almost mythic significance. The student
bar just off campus is called The Log. A current exhibit at the
college's art museum features a massive sculpture of Mark
Hopkins, the renowned 19th-century Williams president,
sitting on that famous log.
In the age of distance education and large lecture classes,
Garfield's words focus on the fundamental teacher-student
relationship. For the past 15 years, professors here thought they
were recreating a bit of that old-style log magic through their
tutorials program -- courses based loosely on the tutorials at
the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge that pair one
student and one professor. At Williams, the model is two
students with one professor.


Source: Aalberts, Daniel P. - Department of Physics, Williams College


Collections: Physics