A lenitive eclogue to a small upstate New York liberal arts college (Mrs. Case has been associated with several as teacher and trustee) and the humane, humanitarian tradition it has represented for a century and a half. Here, during the academic year from Homecoming to Torchlight, the wife of the president collaborates with a professor emeritus on the history of the college which he conceives in terms of its ""ethos"" or ""disposition, temper, character."" This is now threatened when a wealthy alumnus promises three million to construct a Tower of Trade housing a School of Commerce which will ""dwarf the tree, the College and our hearts."" A last minute reversal ensures the continuity of the old in a changing world.... Both an affirmation and a commemoration, but for whom?