Mind, Body, Spirit: The Legacy of Augustus Schultze, cont.
But Schultze’s pride and joy was the new program in physical education. Similar developments were taking place on many other American college campuses. In the words of a historian of the American university: “The American college student was not content with liberating the mind. He also discovered muscle and created organizations for its development.” Harking back to his student days in Germany and to the development of the famous Turnverein movement of gymnastic clubs, Schultze believed firmly that a sound mind and spirit could grow best in a sound body.
Schulze was an inveterate hiker (also a legacy of his German youth) and soon had students and staff join him in walks around Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley. His diary is replete with references to hikes along the canal towpath to Allentown, to the hills near Freemansburg, to the Bethlehem Iron Works Rolling Mill in South Bethlehem, or to Hexenkopf Hill near Easton. He also introduced the annual fall rite in which students and staff hiked from the Bethlehem campus to Bower’s Rock, south of Allentown, where they joined in singing (“Gaudeamus Igitur,” the student hymn, of course!), conversation and good food.
To these efforts to bond the college community, Schultze added a gymnastics program. In addition to his academic courses, he taught gymnastics in the 1870s and 1880s. Working with his colleague Professor Edwin G. Klose, he had a gymnasium built in 1875 at the old Nisky Hill College building (replaced in 1892 by the modern north Main Street campus). Each fall, he and his colleagues made careful measurements of the weight, height, and gymnastic skills of all the students. Then, with Schultze “the leader and inspiring example,” students were required to learn to vault, march, and use parallel bars. Each spring, the gymnastics program concluded with a great exhibition before an audience of parents, trustees, church leaders, and young ladies from the nearby female seminary.
Schultze’s interest in competition went beyond the gymnasium. His diary also records his attendance (often with his young children and faculty colleagues) at student baseball games, playing against teams from a certain nearby university, and he was not above attending the trotting races over at Rittersville! Schultze went on to introduce intercollegiate football at Moravian—no mean feat considering that the College and Seminary had a combined enrollment of fewer than 35 students.
Ever the student of classics and theology, Schultze taught a variety of courses at the College and Seminary and supervised many of the annual student examinations. He regularly wrote the text of the College catalog and, careful of his limited budget, drew maps of Greece, Asia Minor, the Roman Empire, and the United States for use in the classroom. One diary entry records his purchase of a sheep’s lungs, heart, and liver for dissection in an anatomy course.
He was a key figure in the debate during the 1880s and 1890s over the future location of the College (Watertown, Wisconsin, was the principal alternative) and a guiding force in the construction of Comenius Hall and the north Main Street campus. In the summer of 1893, he found time to catalog the College library, and it was during his tenure that Harvey Memorial Library opened in 1907. He frequently hosted visiting scholars and upon occasion led students up to Lehigh University to hear other lectures. He helped broaden the College curriculum by introducing, in 1896, a new Latin-Scientific curriculum (which added the study of science to the old course of classical studies) and in 1909 appointed Albert G. Rau, a graduate of Lehigh University, to strengthen this program. For many years, Schultze also sought to provide students with instruction in elocution and voice culture . He even found time to assist in the creation of a College Alumni Association. Modest to a fault, he made only passing reference in his diary to being appointed president of the College and Seminary in 1885.
Schultze also was a devoted family man, and his diary is filled with his delight in his five children, with family outings to the circus, trips to New York and Philadelphia, Niagara Falls and the Connecticut shore, walks along the canal, picnics on the island in the Lehigh River, attendance at balloon ascensions, campaign rallies, July 4 fireworks (observed from the Broad Street bridge), boating, and ice-skating. Many of these family jaunts included a stop for ice cream at Rauch’s Drugstore in Bethlehem!
His 48 years as professor and president were not without controversy. He had his disagreements with faculty colleagues, and some took exception to activities such as intercollegiate football. Others, including the chairman of the Board of Trustees, thought Schultze too slow in broadening the College’s programs and thereby increasing undergraduate enrollment. Yet Schultze was to receive honorary degrees from other colleges and to be recognized by former students after his retirement, for the quality of his scholarship, his teaching, and his tireless labors to improve the quality of campus life. He left a legacy of academic excellence as well as a sense of a college community. In doing so, he created a tradition we still build upon today.
Daniel R. Gilbert is professor emeritus of history and former archivist of Moravian College.
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