In publishing a series of historical studies such as this the University is undertaking a task entirely new in its history of something approaching a hundred and sixty-five years. Through this present pioneer effort, and later volumes to come, it is hoped to make a valuable contribution to the cultural life of the Province in general and to the cause of education in particular.
It may appear to some readers an ambitious project for a relatively small university to attempt to develop a school of graduate research. There are, however, many considerations to justify it. The standard of undergraduate study is raised and the whole intellectual life of the university quickened. Projects conducted with patience, ability and honesty of purpose, as this effort has been, will be of great value to the community at large. The post-graduate students engaged in the research derive special benefits from the undertaking. I believe that it is fitting and proper that the University should promote and encourage such work, even though its primary role must continue to be the education of our youth on the undergraduate level.
This book is the first concise survey of the background of education in this Province based upon a wide use of the data available. It should be an inspiration as well as a warning for the future. It makes clear that the ambitions and aspirations of the period were not always faithfully reproduced in the quality and character of the educational facilities that came into being.
While reading this book it is easy enough for us to pause and speculate upon what might have been. One can wonder what New Brunswick might be today if, in the early nineteenth century, a consistent and progressive policy of economic and educational development, no matter how modest, had been established and adapted to the changing scene down through the years. We can look back and say that the educational system should have been designed to prepare New Brunswick's young people to a greater degree for participation in the cultural and economic growth of the Province, thereby enriching it by the full expression of their spirit and enterprise. Instead the story tells of a constant need for greater financial support, of conflicting objectives, and of the frustration of many noble efforts. One result was the trend, often referred to as the “export of brains” , but which in reality was a continued drainage from the Province of its youth seeking opportunities for self-expression and livelihood elsewhere. All this we can think, and more, as we scan the pages that follow, but we must remember all the intricate difficulties which characterized the period covered and, so remembering, we should recognize and build upon the solid progress that was achieved. Speculation concerning what might have been is justified only if it causes us to work with vision, energy, and a buoyant faith for the future. I feel confident that Miss MacNaughton's excellent study of the past will be very helpful in this task.
I wish to acknowledge the devoted labour of Dr. A. G. Bailey, Head of
the Department of History of the University, whose conception of the University's obligations to the community has included an untiring search for source material and the production of a series of monographs on provincial subjects of which this is the first, and without whose able supervision, this work would never have been begun and could not have been produced.

President, University of New Brunswick.
Fredericton, Canada.
26 January, 1946.