The year was 1927 and the future had hardly ever looked brighter for the City of Camden. Times were prosperous, business and industry were booming, and the city was full of recently constructed public buildings, civic improvements, schools, the new Delaware River bridge and its new highway to the suburbs. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Depression that followed were in the unimagined future.
It was in these times that Camden prepare for its 100th anniversary, and in this spirit of optimism that the city fathers under the direction of Mayor Winfield S. Price commissioned the booklet whose text you will find below.
Camden is proud of its public educational facilities entailing as they do all of the features which go to make up a modern system in keeping with those approved by leading educators of the Nation.
With compulsory education laws in effect and efficiently enforced, numbers of pupils in the schools mean but little when efficiency of the institutions is being considered.
The products of Camden’s public and high schools are lasting testimonials to the thoroughness and modernity of the instruction and study methods in use.
The percentage of Camden public school pupils who take their high school courses is above the average number for communities of Camden’s size, and, following along the same line as an evidence of educational consistency, we have an exceptionally large percentage of high school graduates who follow through on their college courses.
In competition with pupils from schools of other communities, Camden pupils are found among the leaders in various studies. From spelling to Greek contests, we produce headliners who reflect their braining when they go out to take their places at work or in continued study.
A speaker at a recent graduation exercise of Camden High School said:
“The educational system is in reality a great corporation with parents of pupils the stockholders. You parents have invested money in your school system and in return will receive dividends. Your return will come when your boy or girl makes good because of his or her schooling.”
Camden High School presented an outstanding example of the thoroughness of its instruction and the ambition of its pupils, when one of the graduates of the Class of ’27, won a scholarship at the University of New York in competition with numerous grads of Philadelphia High schools.
Edward Rourke was a member of the graduating class. He had attained high honors at his school, but he also ventured into a territory beyond his own institution. The son of a widowed mother, this young man was determined to earn dividends for his parent and honors for his school. He appeared before a committee of Philadelphia businessmen who provide the scholarship at the New York institution. Many Philadelphia youth came before the same committee. When the exhaustive study and quiz of applicants was ended, announcement was made that the Camden boy had won the honors.
In addition to his New York scholarship, this youthful product of the Camden educational system carried off the Camden High School Faculty prize of $250 to be used in furtherance of his education, and two other cash prizes awarded for high marks in chemistry, physics and mathematics.
Records show that the investment of parents in the Camden school system brings returns which cannot be computed in money terms.