Excerpt from King's College: Now Columbia University, 1754-1897
On June 3, I75 5, was adopted the device for the seal of King's College, which continues to be that of Columbia University, with only the necessary alteration of name. The college is represented by a lady sitting on a throne of state, with several children at her knees to represent the pupils, and a reference to First Peter, indicating the spirit in which they should seek for true Wisdom. She holds open a book, the Living Oracles, and from her mouth proceed the words in Hebrew, God is my light. At her feet is the motto, IN lumine tuo' videbimus lumen.
In anticipation of the granting of the charter, the friends of the college had secured the services of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, of Stratford, as president. They were singularly fortunate in their choice, as he was aman of broad and sound scholarship and of remarkably liberal and advanced views. He had been much sought after by other institutions of learn ing, and had resisted the earnest solicitations of Ben jamin Franklin to assume the charge of the academy which afterwards developed into the University of Pennsylvania. The first prospectus, issued by Dr. Johnson, May 31, I7 54, shows that he aimed to make King's College something more than a training school for the church; he destined it to have a far wider scope than the ordinary college of that day, and the plan of education which he proposed seems almostto contemplate the modern university. After stating that the chief thing that is aimed at in this College is to teach and engage children to know God and Jesus Christ, and to love and serve him, he goes on to say: It is further the design of this College to in struct and perfect the Youth in the Learned Languages, and in the Arts of reasoning exactly, of writing cor rectly and speaking eloquently; and in the Arts of numbering and measuring; of Surveying and Navi gation, of Geography and History, of Husbandry, Commerce and Government, and in the Knowledge of all Nature in the Heavens above us, and in the Air, Water and Earth around us and the various kinds of Meteors, Stones, Mines and Minerals, Plants and Animals, and of everything useful for the Comfort, Convenience and Elegance of life, in the chief Manufactures relating to any of these things. The broad lines which Dr. Johnson laid down may be traced through a century and a half, and in the University of Columbia as now constituted, with its college preserving the classm traditions, and its schools of Political Science, or Government, of Mines and Minerals, and of Pure Science embracing the 'knowledge of all nature, the early prospectus has found a complete and literal ful filment.
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