HASTINGS COLLEGE: A HISTORY
EXCERPTS FROM P. L. JOHNSONíS
A HISTORY OF HASTINGS COLLEGE
[A Work Commissioned by the College Board of Trustees,
but Never Before Published]
The writer has been asked by the Board of Trustees and also by the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to write a history of Hastings College. The history should be written. The pioneer record is of peculiar interest to a great number of participants who are still living. It should be preserved, also, because of the value of the record to the ever-growing company of students, faculty, and friends. Indeed, any reader of these annals cannot but be interested if he catches the significance of the events. The writer covets a reading of the story.
The writer does not presume to know all the facts, nor is he able to lend to the story the charm of literary style. It was a good providence, however, to have had personal acquaintance with all the early actors in the drama and to have been closely associated with the students, faculty, and trustees involved. He confesses that the buildings going up on Hansen Field in the early 1880s, in a large measure determined his choice of a western town in which to live.
To become the Historian of the College is a joy, but the work is undertaken with misgivings. This history will be conspicuous for what it does not say. Incidents of importance and great interest will be left untold. Those here related are only such as, in the judgment of the author, serve to set the events in perspective, to indicate the spirit and genius of the institution, and to pay a tribute of love to the builders of Hastings College. It is his hope, also, that the facts narrated may serve to inspire new courage and devotion in public service and bring to the institution here, and to the cause of Christian education everywhere, greater fulfillment.
"The first fifty years are the hardest," they say in golf. Fifty-one difficult years have passed over Hastings College; every club in the bag has been used; the ball has been dubbed and sliced into the rough many, many times; but now it is coming straight down the course. It looks like a champion behind the drives!
Born of the will of the people to render a public service, the College has grown up with the country. It is not a one-man college. No great gift has ever been made to this work. A multitude of contributions founded and maintained it.
I acknowledge my debt to many reviewers and helpers. Without them this narrative would be poor indeed.
Laudator Temporis Acti,
P. L. Johnson
January 24, 1925