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Annual reports of the president and the treasurer online

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the Trustees have never assumed financial responsibility for it,
may properly find a place at the close of this review of reports of
heads of departments. Professor Miskovsky notes that the year
just closed was a critical one in the history of the department,
since through the death of Superintendent Schauffler the depart-
ment has lost its recnu'ting officer and chief financial agent. This
has thrown a heavy burden upon Professor Miskovsky, since he

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has been obliged to give considerable time to thd raising of funds,
in addition to his ordinary work of teaching and administration.
He spoke in twelve Congregational churches, and succeeded in
thus making a substantial contribution toward the expenditures of
the department. The most encouraging element, as Professor Mis-
kovsky notes, in the situation, is "the fact that the Congregational
Education Society has taken up the support of the department ten-
tatively, to the extent of voting it $i,6cx) for the current year."
This amount, however, will not provide for the real needs of the
department, but will rather inevitably cripple its efficiency. Thus,
for instance, as Profc;ssor Miskovsky remarks, "the Committee are
holding off three promising young men this year (a Pole, a Bo-
hemian, and a Bulgarian) merely because of the lack of funds to
support them. This is poor economy, as it costs just as much to
maintain the teaching force for the students now on the ground
as it would for the other additional three, and ten more, for that
matter. The great need of the department continues to be en-
dowment, or adequate financial support through other channels**
The importance of the work done by this department should make
this plea of Professor Miskovsky a strong one.

Another year the President will ask for reports from all the
teachers in all departments, not necessarily for publication, but to
make it sure that every teacher has the opportunity to make, di-
rectly to the President, any suggestions which he may care to
make. And it is quite possible that it may be wise to ask some
further chairmen of important committees to report on the main
elements in their work. There are so many sides to the college
life, that even the most careful effort to get a comprehensive state-
ment is attended with considerable difficulty. The report as now
presented, however, does include, in one form or another, reports
from the Prudential Committee, the Budget Committee, and the
Committees on Admission, Discipline, Honorary Degrees, Relig-
ious Work, Failure in Scholarship, and Beneficiary Aid.

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Instruction Units

The discussion of instruction units in the Secretary's report
shows that the size of classes is kept reasonably small in all cases
where the lecture method is not expressly adopted. It should be
borne in mind, as to the table of increases and decreases in certain
departments, that the figures are necessarily affected somewhat
from year to year by absences and changes of teachers; and where
the gain in percentage is greatest, it does not necessarily mean that
the classes in those cases are abnormally large, so much as that
there was a time when, for some reason or another, the attend-
ance was abnormally small. Astronomy, for example, leads the
list of subjects in the proportion of increase, but the figures do
not show that an abnormally large number of students are pursu-
ing that subject. It should also be borne in mind that — as these
tables plainly show — under the free working of the elective system,
it is not quite possible for the College to grow in different depart-
ments just as it would. It is obliged to meet the demand for in-
struction along certain lines. The Secretary points out, for ex-
ample, that the Department of German leads all the other de-
partments in the amount of instruction offered. This is not be-
cause the Faculty believe that this is necessarily the ideal arrange-
ment. They would probably distinctly prefer to push forward
instruction in some other department, rather than to so largely
increase instruction in the German. But they have not been able
to meet the actual demand of the students for work in German^
without increasing the teaching force in that department.

So far as instruction is concerned, the work of the Faculty
for the year past probably does not greatly differ from that for the
year immediately preceding. The adoption of a definite week for
examination at the close of the semesters, already referred to, is
perhaps the most notable change at this point, though it should be

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noted that every teacher is left free to make such use as he deems
^wisest of the period so set aside. In general, the methods that
mean most to the Faculty no doubt grow pretty directly out of our
unusually democratic policy, and the frequent meetings for confer-
ence, with the mutual stimulus and the constant bringing in of
fresh ideas, which these meetings imply. It is hardly possible for
the Faculty to get into mere routine methods under this plan.


Oberlin does not mean to forget that in a very real sense the
alumni, more truly than any other bo4y, constitute the College;
and it wishes to make constantly more and more of the closeness
and value of the relations in which the College stands to its grad-


The Obituary Record of the alumni of Oberlin College for
the year 1904-05 was carefully prepared by Mr. Luther D. Hark-
ness, and published, as last year, as an extra bulletin of the Col-
lege. It contains concise sketches of forty-eight alumni who have
died during the college year; that is, the list does not contain, it
should be noted, those who have died since the last Commence-
ment. The number of deaths is one more than that reported last
year. The classes represented in the list range from 1838 to 1900,
and the ages at death from thirty-one years to ninety-two years.
Fourteen of those whose deaths are here recorded reached the age
of seventy years or over, and ten the age of eighty years or over.
Only five of the list are under the age of forty years. Rev. Elisha
Sherwood, of St. Joseph, Missouri, of the Theological Class of
1836, remained, at* the time of the issuing of this report, as for
some years, the senior alumnus. Dr. Sherwood died, however, on
August 19, at the age of ninety-five years. The oldest afumnus
now living is probably Dr. Sherwood's classmate. Rev. Samuel
Fuller Porter, of Oberlin, who is the only surviving alumnus of

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any department graduating before 1839. The full list of names
follows :

Class Age

1878 Allen, Charles Whitfield 50
1845 Blackwood, Prudence Jane Everett 88
1883 Boyd, Willard Parsons 40

1847 Bryant, Lucy Dale Fuller 84
1867 Childs, Joshua J. 70
1839 Cochran, Samuel Davles 92
1850 Conklin, Charles 78
1877 Coon, Adelbert Benjamin 47
1 86a Cory, Emily Gates 68
1867 Crony n, Sarah ^ella Reid 62
1867 Daniels, Caroline Helen 65

1866 Dean, Charles Frederick 58
x88i Deane, Frances Melvin Clarke 44
1842 Fairfield, Edmund Burke 83
1896 Freece, Botilda Kathrina 31
1892 Gadsby, George 52
18S0 Graham, William Mc Lean 49
1855 Hall, Sarah Melinda 69
1838 Hodge, Nelson Wellington 91
1850 Holton^ Rebecca Bebout 8x

1867 Hulburt, Lovilla Eliza 66

1848 Jones, Martha Ann 83
1 86 1 Jordan, Emily Frances Hyde 69
1855 Judson, Sylvanus Mills 88
1848 Kellogg, George Martin 76
1864 Kelly, Celeste Cornelia 65
1863 Kent, Jerusha Pettibone 67
1900 Kilbon, Marshall Edwards 31
1890 Kimball, Homer Nash 37
1889 Laundon, I^nora 39
1882 Lyman, Horace Sumner . 49
i860 Mason, Ellen Jane 67
<862 Matson, Henrietta 66
1894 May, Edwin Melbourne 34

1879 Nash, George Kilbon 62
1845 Newberry, James 86

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1874 Patersottf Margaret Bingham Flack 51

1877 Potter, Ella Jane Gilchrist 54

1878 Pringle, Thomas JeflFersoq 65
1865 Randolph, Harriet Robinson 65
1862 Shipherd, Jacob Rudd 69

1875 Spring, Willis Parsons 52
1855 Stone, Louis Anson 79

1876 Strong, Deloss Adelbert 63
1880 Trtpp, Myra Cclia Fellows 49
1867 Winsor, Richard 67
1865 Wright, Albert Allen ' 59
1843 fV right, Susan Deane Allen 84

The list contains notable names, among which it may not be
invidious to mention Samuel D. Cochran, as an unusual thinker,
Edmund Burke Fairfield, a distinguished educator and publicist,
Ex-Governor George K. Nash, Professor Albert Allen Wright,
Rev. Richard Winsor, of India, who was gazetted by the Gov-
ernment of India January 2, 1905, for the distinguished honor of
a Kaiser-i-Hind medal, for "labors strenuously directed towards
raising the material welfare of the people around him in addition
to his spiritual functions" ; and among the younger men, Mr. Ho-
mer Nash Kimball, for the unusual extent of his public services.
As one reviews the list, many other names crowd forward as de-
serving mention, and the College has endeavored to do something
like justice to their memory in the careful, though brief, sketches
of the Necrology Bulletin.

Quinquennial Record
During the year just closed, the Quinquinnial Catalogue of
the College has also been issued, showing that the total number
of graduates of all departments and courses has amounted to
4,083. Of these, 3,179 are still living — 1,637 ^^^ and 1,542 wo-
men. 3,014 are resident in the United States — Ohio of course
leading in the number of resident alumni, followed by Illinois,
New York, and California in order.

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Living Endowment Union
The increase in the membership in the Living Endowment
Union, as brought out in the report of the Assistant to the Presi-
dent, already referred to, is very gratifying to the President. The
very best endowment that any institution can have is the living
endowment of its natural constituency — its graduates and close
friends; and it may be hoped that the number of those accepting
membership in the Union may still increase very considerably,
without adding a heavy burden to any. It is even more important
that the College should have a large number of interested friends,
than that it should have a few very large gifts. May the President
be allowed to call attention, also, once more, to the very large ser-
vice that it may be possible for the alumni to render the College,
through putting the Trustees or the Faculty in touch with others
who may be able to give much larger sums than the alumni who
have first won their interest? Just as the College has always de-
pended — and not in vain — upon its alumni and students for its
natural growth in numbers, so must it also mainly depend upon
them for its most hopeful growth even on the financial side.

Closer Relations

The President believes that the alumni will clearly recognize
that the past year has seen extended progress made in the direc-
tion of bringing about the closer relations between the College and
the alumni, to which reference was made in last year's report. The
very successful publication of the Alumni Magazine, which has
been sent quite broadly to very many of the alumni, and which
now numbers a fair proportion of them among its subscribers; the
definite launching, during the summer, of the Oberlin Alumni
Magazine Publishing Company; besides the sending out to the
alumni during the year of the Annual Report, Catalogue, and
Quinquennial Record, have all helped, it may be hoped, to this
end. And the President trusts that increasingly the literature

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sent to alumni may be at least glanced over and used, where that
IS wisely possible, to help the interest of some other.

The rather unusual extent to which the Presi-
dent and his Assistant have been able to meet with the
alumni in various ways during the year, should have done some-
thing to insure still further the interest of the College in its indi-
vidual alumni, as well as the interest of these individuals in the
College. And both these officers wish to recognize, with the most
hearty gratitude, the exceedingly kind and helpful reception that
has been given to them in their work by the alumni scattered all
over the country. It is hard for the President to believe that any
College can have a more loyal body of graduates than Oberlin.
One of the most impressive things which stands out, in running
over the summary list of professorships and buildings which is
prefixed to the Quinquennial Catalogue, is the very large amount
which, throughout the history of the College, has been contributed
by its alumni and former students. The College hopes not to
abuse the confidence. so shown. And a Committee has recently
been appointed to supervise a little more fully than has recently
been done, all appeals from any part of the College to the alumni,
to protect them from an unreasonable multiplicity of such demands.
It is certainly the desire of the Faculty and of the administrative
officers not to irritate our generous friends by a multitude of de-
mands, but to recognize, rather, their own generosity by asking
only what their own desire would gladly prompt. Let the Presi-
dent remind the alumni, also, that the College hopes to be able to be
of some assistance, especially to younger alumni, in finding their best
places of service, through the work of its Bureau of Appointments,
which will be in immediate charge of the Secretary to the Presi-
dent. The President hopes that wherever a word from a mem-
ber of the Faculty would be of help to an alumnus, he will not hes-
itate to ask for that word.

It has been a satisfaction to find that Alumni Day at Corn-

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mencement was becoming an occasion of increasing interest. The
general program of the last Commencement was certainly one of
unusual interest — the enthusiastic reunion of the Class of 1885
contributing not a little to this as to other occasions in connection
with Commencement.

The President desires to call attention again to the great de-
sirabih'ty of issuing an Alumni Record (that should contain a
completer record of the facts concerning the graduates of the Col-
lege than the Quinquennial can give), in connection with the sev-
enty-fifth anniversary of the College, succeeding and supplanting
in this way the Semi-Centennial Register, prepared in connection
with the fiftieth anniversary of the College. If at the same time
a complete catalogue of all the students who have ever matricu-
lated in connection with the College Department could be pub-
lished, I believe it would not only be of interest to many, but in
the end would prove to have been an enterprise profiting the Col-
lege in more ways than one.


The entire list of the Advisory Committees is again published,
with the list of Trustees and Trustee Committees, at the beginning;
of the annual reports, as an important part of the record of the
year. Plans are on foot that it is hoped will enable these com-
mittees to render, without undue irksomeness, still larger service
than they have already rendered. The main recommendation of
the Committee on Economics, Political Science, and Sociology, has
already been given in connection with Professor Bogart's report
for that department. The committee on biological science makes
some important suggestions that will be placed before the heads
of the departments concerned. The committees on the Academy
and on the Library have already made extended suggestions that
are now working out. Some of the other committees will have defi-
nite recommendations to make a little later. It will not be for-

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gotten that the whole idea in the formation of these committees is
to make it possible for the alumni of the College to come into
counsel with Trustees and Faculty in improving, in any possible
way, the work of the College, and occasionally, perhaps, in helping
to the resources by which such improvements may be carried out.
The committees have been for so short a time, comparatively, in
existence, that it seems wise to continue their membership for the
present unchanged ; and the President therefore recommends that
the members of the several committees whose terms regularly ex-
pire January i, 1906, be continued for another term of three years.
The vacancy in the chairmanship of the Committee on History,
caused by the resignation of Mr. Paul D. Cravath of the Board
of Trustees, should be filled at this meeting of the Board.


The Secretary's report shows general* gains in all depart-
ments except the Academy, where the attendance has nearly held
its own, gains in the number of graduates, and gains in the num-
ber of students coming from other colleges to Oberlin to complete
their course. The last year's report showed an increase of al-
most exactly one hundred over the year before — reaching for
the year a total of 1^715. The attendance of the preceding year
was the largest so far in the history of the College, so that last
year's attendance registered a very notable advance. The re-
ports for the beginning of the current year show a still further in-
crease. The College Department has already, for the Fall term,
reached an enrolment of nearly seven hundred (696), all of full
college rank. This steady gain in attendance naturally raises the
question whether the time has come when we should call a halt?
The fact, of course, that this total of 1,715 is not in a single de-
partment, but scattered among four departments, makes a differ-
ence, as does, of course, the fact that both men and women are in-

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volved, and that they are under separate supervision. It would
not seem impossible for three or four hundred men or women to be
personally known and wisely supervised by a single official. We
perhaps need not, therefore, be disturbed about the increase that
has already occurred.

Breadth of Constituency

The proportion of students coming from outside Ohio, it
will be noted from the Secretary's report, has remained
steadily almost exactly one-half, and the attendance from
outside the State of Ohio is as hitherto, from almost all the states
and territories of the Union, and from a considerable number of
foreign countries. It is interesting, also, to see the number of col-
leges that are sending students to Oberlin for advanced standing.
The Secretary's comparison of Oberlin with the five other col-
leges constituting the athletic so-called "Big Six" of Ohio, shows
that Oberlin brings into Ohio from outside the State considerably
more than the other five colleges put together.

Proportion of Women

It is probably not necessary to add here anything to what has
already been said in commenting on the report of the Trustee
Committee on this question. I may simply summarize the various
suggestions that have been made from different quarters of means
that might help to increase the proportionate number of men : — the
introduction of at least the more important part of the shop work
of the first two years of the technical course; courses in higher com-
mercial education; the introduction of the Teachers' Course in
Physical Training for Men; pre-professional courses; the virtual
establishment of a technical school ; increasing the electives offered
along the lines of economics, sociology, political science and his-
tory; some changes in the Conservatory that would tend to draw
more men into it; gradual increase in the enrolment in the Sem-

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inary; the completion of the Men's Gymnasium, and further em-
phasis on outdoor sports; and the erection of a large and many-
sided men's building, in which all the men's interests might be
centered under the Y. M. C. A. Changes in some of these direc-
tions are already hopefully under way, and others will doubtless
follow in good time. The persistent natural causes for the larger
number of women, to which the President referred in his last re-
port, continue, and it is somewhat doubtful whether they can be
altogether overcome. Quite aside from the question of the pro-
portion of women, the report of the Dean of College and Grad-
uate Women seems to make it clear that we shall be practically
forced to make some restriction in the number of women received,
from simple lack of proper accommodations.

Age of Graduates

The Secretary has made an interesting study of this ques-
tion, as concerns the Class of 1905, taken as a typical class. This
class numbered one hundred and thirteen — fifty-three men and
sixty women. The Secretary's figures as given to me show that, set-
ling aside nine students — four men and five women, who are far
above the normal age — the average of the men remaining is 23.62
years; the average age of the women, 23.08 years. The average,
that is, of one hundred and four men and women in 1905 was
23.33 years. The average of the whole one hundred and thirteen
was 24.05 years. There is no reason to suppose that 1905 was an
exceptional class in either direction. These figures may therefore
be taken, probably, as about the average now from year to year.
They will mean different things to different people. The Presi-
dent happens to have at hand the figures for the class that gradu-
ated twenty-six years before the Class of 1905. The average age
of the graduates of the Classical Course of that year was, 24.42
years. Since that time the preparation for College has been ex-
tended virtually a year; so that so far as the comparison of these

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two classes is concerned, it would not indicate that the age at grad-
uation was especially increasing. So far as this comparison goes,
it confirms similar much more extensive figures taken at Amherst


The general health of the students during the year 1904-05
has been, on the whole, notably good. There have been few
cases of serious illness, and no deaths. This is a really remark-
able record, in view of the large number of students in attendance.
But it should not shut our eyes to the pressing need, neverthe-
less, of some provision fqr a college hospital. Even in compara-
tively slight illnesses, the help of such a building, not only in the
comfort of the patient, but also in the comfort of a number of oth-
ers involved, and in the gain in promptness with which the student
could get back to assured health and to the best quality of work,
would be very great.


For a definite report upon athletics from the point of view
of the Graduate Manager, reference may be made at once to the
Secretary's report. No special changes have taken place in our
situation in athletics since last year. But the reports of the Di-
rectors of the Men's and Women's Gymnasiums show that a larger
and very encouraging number are engaged in outdoor sports,
and they give evidence, too, that there will be still further atten-
tion paid to this point. So far as reasonable sanity on this subject
is concerned, it may be rather favorable than otherwise that Obcr-
lin has not had a strongly winning football team in the last two
years. In any case, I think we are all here agreed that it is far
more important that we should have a deserved reputation for ab- ^
solutely clean playing, than that we should continuously win. I
think the Athletic Committee are one with the President in their

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intention to have only the highest standards prevail. There is to
be no buying up of men by either alumni or students, and no
coaching either in the direction of brutality or of unfair playing.
No doubt it is difficult for any institution to maintain the best
standards without cooperation. But we have reason to believe
that there is in Ohio increasing cooperation in this direction ; and
there is some reason to hope for still greater gains in the elimina-
tion of unnecessary dangers and violence from the game from
President Roosevelt's action in the matter, and from many other
influences acting in the same direction. In the long run, it ought
to be manifest, to even those most enthusiastic over athletics, that
no gain can finally come to a college that makes athletics the dom-
inant interest and concern in the college.


The reports from the Deans of Men and Women, and from
the Principal of the Academy, indicate that little formal disci-
pline has been required during the year, and they imply, as well,
the steady formation of closer personal relations between students

Online LibraryOberlin CollegeAnnual reports of the president and the treasurer → online text (page 33 of 67)