Chapter 1 - In the Beginning
Brief History of the College | Developing the Total Person | Student Participation in a Variety of Activities |
Developing the Total Person
Most of the development of early sports at the college were student-motivated and financed. On top of this, sports were resisted by many in the church and by people in the early pioneer society. But in spite of this the college understood the importance of sports and exercise in the development of the total person. This was apparent in several articles that appeared in the early college publications and by the support and encouragement of the college.
The college for the most part encouraged physical activity for the student body. The Concordia College Record in 1905 stated that physical exercise, judiciously engaged in, is advantageous to the welfare and progress of the student. During the winter a course in physical culture provides systematic training for the pupils of all departments. The aim is to develop the body as a basis for health and beauty. The college has a spacious campus of which boys and girls each have parts especially suited to their respective sports. The commodious gymnasium is at the disposal of all students of the school for systematic indoor exercise.(2)
President Shurson in 1910 told the student body at chapel about how walking is a good exercise and how it was possible at the same time to save a few nickels which might be used for worthwhile purposes. The small self-sacrifice that we make will be enjoyed twofold by our fellow man who is in need.
The Crescent (the college news publication) encouraged the students to take to heart what President Shurson said. "After all it is the student who walks, who actually possesses health and vigor, who understands the real joy of living and not the coddled mortal that jumps into a car in order to go a few blocks thus losing the use of his legs."(3)
Mabel Hertsgaard, '14, wrote an essay in the Crescent asking the question, "Is physical culture necessary? She made some points about the value of exercise.
Instead of sitting down in an air-tight room to try to accomplish any studying with a continuous nibbling at a piece of cake, candy, or the like, destroying our true appetite, we should above all things live in fresh air, which is the most easily obtained, the cheapest and at the same time, the most necessary thing for our health. We must also have regular hours for our meals, as the digestive organs need rest as well as the body. At meal-time we should be extremely particular in selecting only good, substantial foods.
Besides fresh air and food our body needs a certain amount of exercise
in order to develop muscles, which according to physiology, assist in bodily
movements. Some of the best exercises are walking, running, swimming, rowing,
singing, and dozens of others. Of course these exercises would show best
results if taken in the open air. We have at the present time such a great
number of sports which are splendid forms of exercise. These do not only
develop the body but they are amusements as well.(4)
In a graduation oration delivered in 1898 Wilhelm Rognlie emphasized
that physical development as well as mental and moral development are important
for the whole man.
Man is eminently endowed with powers, physical, mental and moral, all capable of development. These powers were manifestly intended to be harmoniously developed to the end that man might be able to fulfill the purposes of his existence.
The training, development, or strengthening of man's powers, or the condition thus produced, we call culture.
According to the three-fold nature of man, culture is considered under three distinct phases or divisions: physical, mental, and moral.
Thus, culture of the physical nature is the basis for a full and harmonious development of the whole personality.
Mental culture takes up and carries forward what physical culture prepares for and begins. It is the developing and training of the powers of the intellect necessary for an intelligent fulfillment or execution of man's duties in the various capacities he may be serving.
Moral culture consists in the forming of habits of order, self-control, obedience, civility, love of truth, and reverence for what is good and great; in abstinence from the wrong, and in choosing whatever is recognized as right.
Therefore, culture to be complete, includes the entire man; the harmonious development of his physical, intellectual and moral natures. If the physical is neglected, man cannot accomplish the best results, no matter how brilliant his mind may be, or noble the impulses of his soul. He may be likened unto a monstrous cannon mounted on an inferior carriage that dismounts itself every time it is discharged.
Should he secure the best physical and moral training and neglect the intellectual, he would be equally useless.
Or should he carry the training of the physical and intellectual natures to the highest attainable degree of perfection and neglect the heart--the moral and spiritual nature, he would be a still greater failure.
But when we have a well disciplined mind supported by a strong, well
developed body, and these controlled by a pure heart, an incorruptible
moral purpose that recognizes man's true relation to God and to his fellowman,
we have the only well equipped and true noble man.(5)
An article in the Concordia Banner in 1901 by Peder Vistaunet
entitled "The Mission of the Church" also expressed the importance of developing
one's physical attributes:
No education is complete that does not include the entire man; the harmonious development of his physical, intellectual, and moral natures. If the physical in neglected, man cannot realize the best results, however brilliant his mind may be or noble the impulses of his soul. Should he secure the best physical and moral training and neglect the intellectual, he would be equally useless. Or if the physical and intellectual natures were carried to the highest possible degree of perfection, and the moral and the spiritual natures neglected, he would be a still greater failure. But when we have a well disciplined mind, supported by a strong, well developed body, and these controlled by a pure heart, an incorruptible moral purpose that recognizes man's true relation to God and man, we have the only well equipped and truly noble man.(6)
1. Concordia College Record, June 1919.
3. Crescent, December 1910.
4. Crescent, February 1913.
5. Concordia Banner, June 1898.
6. Concordia Banner, July 1901.
7. Crescent, November 1911.
8. Concordia Banner, December 1906.
9. Engelhardt, page 47.
10. Crescent, April 1913.
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