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Annual reports of the president and the treasurer online

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present-day movements in Theology.

Professor L. F. Miskovsky presents the following encour-
aging report for the Slavic Department:

The stimulating influence of Miss Walworth's gift to the Slavic
Department began at once to be felt in the increased attendance and
broadened curriculum with which the second semester of 1905-06
opened. Applications for admission continued to increase, giving the
Department opportunity to exercise increasingly its discretionary
l)Owers in admitting new students. The year closed with an attend-
ance of five men, and though two were sent out into the active minis-
try, the new year begins with an attendance of eight of whom two
remain from last year. This makes an increase of six new students,
carefully selected from a list of eleven applicants. The young men
are all of good promise and of approved Christian character. Five
of them are Ck)ngregationalists, two Methodists, and one Baptist
This fact also represents a new departure, for while hitherto the
Department confined itself to training men only for the Ck)ngrega-
tional ministry, it is now open to students of all denominations.

In enlarging the curriculum larger use will be made of the
opportunities afforded the Slavic students by the Academy and Col-
lege. The placing of the Department on an independent financial
basis, so that it can pay for all that it gets from the Academy or Col-
lege Departments, has made this very advantageous arrangement
possible. The Slavic students can take more work of a general char-
acter, and spend a longer time in preparation for their life work
than heretofore. Altogether, the outlook for the Department is very
bright, and I am convinced that it has entered upon a new era of
enlarged usefulness.



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FACULTY 85

The report of Professor Edward Dickinson, of the chair of
the Histary and Criticism of Music, may be appropriately
added to these reports from the teachers in the Theological
and College departments :

In September, 1905, the professor of the history and criticism
of music established a course of lectures for college students, and
this course has become a permanent feature of the college cur-
riculum. Three lectures per week are given throughout the year.
The puri)ose of this course is to furnish those who are not engaged
In the study of practical music a means of increasing their compre-
hension and appreciation of the art. The work of all the represen-
tative modem composers Is critically surveyed; the musical forms
and technical materials are explained ; account is given of the princi-
pal instruments and their resources, the constitution of the orchestra,
etc., the test of good performance, the nature and limits of musical
expression, in a word, all the lesthetic and scientific problems In-
volved in the intelligent appreciation of the art of music. It Is a
course in the art of listening to music in the broadest sense of the
term.

College students have always been admitted to the courses in
the history of music given in the Conservatory. College credits are
given for all these courses. The concerts of the Artist course and
those given by the Musical Union furnish helpful illustrations of the
subjects treated in the lectures.

The occupant of this chair is the only college professor in Amer-
ica who gives his entire time to history and criticism of music.

It is perhaps worth noting that, notwithstanding the high im-
portance assigned to music among the educational advantages of
Oberlin and the remarkable development of its concert system, fully
1,000 students cannot hear the concerts of the Artist course, and a
large number are necessarily shut out from the performances of the
Musical Union. This is due to the limited seating capacity of
Warner concert hall and the churches. This fact, which so restricts
the influence of our musical establishments, gives additional empha-
sis to the demand for a large audience hall. With such a building
used for the Musical Union and the orchestra concerts, musical works
of the highest order could be put within the reach of the whole In-
stitution. The number of orchestral concerts could be increased, by



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86 PRESIDENTS REPORT

reason of the larger income that would be derived from the sale of
seats.

The President has this year asked for reports from all the
teachers in all departments, in order that the College might have
the advantage of every suggestion which any teacher might
care to make. The President is grateful for the considerable
suggestions which have so come to him and which will be of
value in determining future lines of growth and expenditure.
Professor Shaw especially emphasizes the great desirability of
putting the Bible Study work in the Academy, like the similar
study in the College, upon the basis of a two or three hour
course instead of a one hour course. Other special sugges-
tions of various teachers will be borne in mind. It is hoped
that, through the proper agencies, many of them at least may
be followed out in the present and the following years.

Instruction Units

The Secretary's report gives full details upon this point
and there is little need that more should be added here. It has
seemed wise, however, to the President that, instead of allowing
the growth in different departments to be determined so largely
by the election of students, the Faculty should determine, after
a careful survey of the ground, how much work might reason-
ably be offered by a department in comparison with other de-
partments, and then, that that much work and no more should
be so open to the students, the students being thus forced to
elect in other departments beyond this limit. It seems reason-
able, for example, that the work in the Departments of German
and French, in which election has been very large, should be
limited to classes that can be taught by three instructors in
each department, one professor, one associate professor, and
one instructor. This will allow the College to extend the
teaching in other departments where the need is more manifest.



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ALUMNI 87

V. ALUMNI

The report of the Assistant to the President, already given,
indicates, in part at least, the anxiety of the College to main-
tain the closest possible connection with its alumni. Certainly
those to whom the care of the College is especially committed
are most earnest in their desire that its natural first constit-
uency, that of the alumni, should be very free in suggesting any
possible improvement in the work of the College.

Necrology

The Obituary Record of the alumni of Oberlin College for
the year 1905-06 was once more carefully prepared by Mr.
Luther D. Harkness, and published as a bulletin of the College,
issued June 19, 1906. It contains concise sketches of forty
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 Commencement. The number of deaths is eight less
than that reported last year. The classes represented in the
list range from 1836 to 1904, and the ages at death from thirty
to ninety-five. Fifteen of those whose deaths are here recorded
reached the age of seventy years or over, and six the age of
eighty years or over. Nine of the list are under the age of forty
years. Reverend Elisha Barber Sherwood was, at the time of
his death, and had been for some years, the senior alumnus.
The oldest alumnus now living is Reverend Samuel Fuller
Porter, of Oberlin, who graduated in 1836. He is the only sur-
viving alumnus of any class graduating before 1839. The full
list of names follows :

CLASS AGE

1850 Bigelow, Jabez 83

1863 Bruce, Ellen Ix)venla 65

1892 Carter, Josephine Barnard Mitchell 35

1896 Cheney, Gertrude Ellen Stiles 30



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88 PRESIDENrS REPORT



CLASS




AGE


1898


Chittenden, Mary Ghamberliu


32


1865


Clark, Casslus Martin


58


1865


Clarke, James Wait


62


1866


Crocker, Delia Martha


70


1862


Cross, Clara Steele Norton


67


1852


Dawes, Emellne Warren


79


1893


Edgerton, Lucy lone


39


1874


Fischer, Frederick John Thomas


64


1865


Hall, Russell Thaddeus


61


1893


Hayson, Walter Bowie


36


1846


Helsell, Jesse L.


92


1863


Hutches, Elizabeth A.


71


1847


Ives, Mary Eastman


79


1876


Jclliffe, Orion John


54


1849


Jones, James Monroe


84


1860


Juchau, George


75


1861


Kenaston, Carlos Albert


68


1866


Kinney, Harriet Stanley


60


1847


Lathrop, Ebenezer


76


3904


Lemon, Guy Hugh


35


1887


Lewis, John


54


1846


McCrea, Colla


87


1898


Meacham, Margaret Goodwin


30


1895


Orncs, Susan Lord Currier


35


1864


Payne, Zeno Corydon


65


1871


Roberts, Lorin


60


1850


Robinson, Thomas Hastings


78


ia36


Sherwood, Elisha Barber


95


1893


Smith, Edwin Burritt


52


1861


Spoor, Orange Herbert


74


1884


Staley, Effle May Cliapman


43


1894


S warts, Li Hie May Lyons


33


1858


Teller, Willard


75


1884


Tenney, Flora Annie Calkins


45


1846


Van Wagner, James Mott


89


1888


Webster, Charles Linsley


43



It is impossible for one to run over this list, with any
knowledge of those whose names are here recorded, without



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ALUMNI 89

recognizing the large service that has been rendered through
these alumni to the work of the world.

The Living EndounnetU Union

The President rejoices greatly in the gains made in this
movement during the year just closed. The splendid achieve-
ments in this line made by the alumni of Yale University indi-
cate something of the possibilities for the College in this whole
plan, and the President wishes to express once more his earnest
conviction of the great value of the gifts received by the College
through the Living Endowment Union.

Closer Relations

The gains that have been made in bringing about closer
relations between the College and the alumni in recent years
must be clear to all. The most noticeable movement in this di-
rection of the past year is the work of the Bureau of Appoint-
ments, which is in charge of the Secretary to the President,
Mr. W. F. Bohn, under an advisory committee of which
Professor Miller is chairman. Mr. Bohn submits the following
report :

In submitting for the first time a report of the work done by
the Bureau of Appointments, the Secretary feels that the work en-
tailed by the Bureau and the limited amount of money expended
have l)een amply justified In the results accomplished.

An effort has been made, In the first place, to perfect the reg-
istration of alumni desiring emi)loyment or change of position and
especially to collect such data in regard to possible candidates for em-
ployment as will enable the college to answer inquiries from pros-
pective employers intelligently and to recommend Its graduates with
assurance. This should be more effectually and easily accomplished
in the future through the President's *Senior Record' — information
blanks filled out during the student's last year in college, containing
data in regard to specialties, scholarship, and personal opinions of
deans, teachers, and officers.



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90 PRESIDENTS REPORT

During the year circulars of information in regard to the
Bureau of Api)ointnient8 and letters of inquiry in regard to vacan-
cies were sent out to a selected list of schools and colleges to which
a gratifying number of responses were received. In addition to the
alumni who were aided in securing appointments a large proportion
of those graduates of last year who desired to teach were assisted
directly or indirectly by the Bureau or members of the faculty In
securing the positions they now occupy. Members of the class of
1906 are occupying responsible positions in Grammar and High
Schools and more Important places In Academies, Normal Schools,
and Colleges, and one received an appointment as fellow In Tulane
University, through information supplied by the Bureau.

Especial mention should be made of the marked success of
Director Morrison, and Drs. Hanna and Leonard in placing the
graduates of their respective departments. The Secretary feels that
a large gain would be made if It were possible in some way to central-
ize all the work done for the graduates by some method of reporting
information at least, to the Bureau whenever graduates are assisted
to positions and also perhaps by directing students to apply to the
Bureau of Appointments for recommendations from special depart-
ments of work Allowing the Bureau to make the request for recom-
mendations and keep a record of information gained In this way.

The Bureau has a legitimate place In the work of establishing
and maintaining cordial and helpful relations between the alumni of
the college and their alma mater. In first of all creating In the minds
of its graduates a strong Impression that the college Is looking after
their interests not only Immediately upon graduation but wherever
an opportunity of service offers. In the second place, the Bureau
feels that the college can scarcely find a better way for strengthening
its hold on its natural constituency in secondary schools than by
placing efficient graduates In teaching positions of responsibility.

In connection with the suggestion to be made from other sources
in regard to the work of an academy canvasser, permit me to add
that it would be of considerable indirect benefit to the work of the
Bureau of Appointments, if such a man were In the field, who In
connection with his particular work for the Academy could not only
secure Information In regard to the general situation in Ohio and ad-
joining States, but be of considerable direct assistance In placing
graduates In desirable positions.



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ADVISORY COMMITTEES 91

A graduate who has been helped to a remunerative position by
the Bureau of Appointments without the customary charge made by
an ordinary Teachers* Agency, will, in a large mapority of cases, feel
a direct obligation to make some return to his college, through the
Living Endowment Union, or other channel.

The possibilities of the Bureau are large if systematically de-
veloped, and it is the Judgment of the Secretary that this should be
done not only on account of the direct benefits accruing to the col-
lege, but to preclude the establishment of any other Teachers* Agency
in Oberlin, not under ofl!icial supervision.

In co-operation with Mr. Williams, the Assistant to the President,
it ought to be possible to make the Bureau increasingly of real value
to all those leaving Oberlin for other employment or to continue their
education, by furnishing letters of introduction and reconunendatlon
based on the data on file with the Bureau so that it should more
and more be true that every student going away from Oberlin would
feel bound by the closest ties to the Institution from which he has
gone.

The alumni will be glad to know that it is the plan to bring
out, in connection with the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the
College in 1908, a general catalogue of all students who have
ever attended Oberlin College. In 1910 there will probably
be issued an alumni record, giving a completer account of the
facts concerning the graduates of the College than the ordinary
Quinquennial can give.

VI. ADVISORY COMMITTEES

The entire list of the Advisory Committees is again pub-
lished, with a list of the trustees and the trustee committees, as
an important part of the records of the year. The work of
these committees, as the name implies, is often best accom-
plished by personal suggestions to teachers in the departments
concerned, and the College recognizes gratefully all the help
that has been thus rendered. A number of these committees have
done important service in bringing valuable changes to pass,



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92 PRESIDENrS REPORT

and more work of the same kind is confidently to be looked for
in the future. There seems to be no reason why the member-
ship of the committees, considering the comparatively short
time of their active service, should not still remain unchanged,
and the President, therefore, recommends that the members of
the several committees whose term expires with January 1, 1907,
continue their service for another term of three years. The va-
cancy in the chairmanship of the Committee on Ancient Lan-
guages caused by the death of Dr. Judson Smith of the Board
of Trustees, should be filled at this meeting of the Board.

VII. STUDENTS

Attendance

The attendance of the students has been quite fully treated
in the Secretary's report and in the President's comments upon
that report. In spite of the very large present enrolment in the
institution as a whole, the students are so scattered among the
different departments and the different deans as not to make,
in general, the number assigned to any one officer abnormally
large. It seems entirely possible to have wise supervision even
with the present large numbers.

Breadth of Constituency

The Secretary's figures make it plain that the breadth
of constituency, for which Oberlin has always been so remark-
able, is fully maintained. In a sense true of very few col-
leges, it remains thoroughly national.

Health

The general health of the students during the year 1905-06
has been, on the whole, remarkably good. There have been
few cases of serious illness, though there have been four deaths
noted in the reports of the Dean of College Men and the Dean



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8TUDENT8 d3

of College Women. No one of the deaths was due in any de-
gree to conditions prevailing at Oberlin. At the same time
it should be remembered that the number of students suffer-
ing from minor contagious diseases, like measles and mumps,
is always larger than it ought to be, and larger than it would
need to be if there were even a very modest provision for a
college infirmary. The need of some such provision is very
great, and if the College cannot meet it alone it would seem
very desirable that the present movement for a town hospital
should be carried out.

Athletics

The following report from the Chairman of the Advisory
Board for Athletics, Dr. Charles E. St. John, may be submitted
in lieu of any further discussion of this point :

The past year was a fruitful one as far as united action by au-
thorities In control of athletics In colleges Is concerned. It was felt
on all sides that the game of football needed some radical reform, if
It was to remain a college sport. However much the rules of the
game of football needed reform, it was felt that the conditions that
obtained widely in intercollegiate athletics needed reform much more.
In Ohio this was accomplished under the guidance of the Ohio Ath-
letic Conference, of which Oberlin College is a member. At present
this conference includes six institutions. Upon its invitation a meet-
ing of the Faculty Committees on athletics of thirteen other colleges
was held In Columbus at the time of the Conference of Presidents
and Deans. By an arrangement between the two conferences, a large
part of the program of the meeting of Presidents and Deans was
given to the question of Intercollegiate Athletics. At their meetings
the revised eligibility rules of the Ohio Athletic Conference were
recommended to the Ohio Colleges. These have been formally adopt-
ed by the following Institutions: Case School of Applied Sciences,
Denlson University, Heidelberg University, Hiram College, Kenyon
College, Miami University, Oberlin College, Ohio State University,
Ohio Wesley an University, Western Reserve University, Wooster
University.



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94 PRESIDENTS REPORT

The Important changes in the regulations are the limitation of
participation in intercollegiate athletics to undergraduate students,
the debarring of Freshman and all other students during their first
year of residence. The effect of debarring Freshmen was seen at once
in the lessening of the efforts put forth to influence high school Sen-
iors in the selection of their college. This rule obtains west of Ohio
and in the extreme east also, but a group of institutions in the mid-
dle east has not yet put such a rule in force and the result has been
that some athletic graduates of western high schools chose these par-
ticular institutions. The undergraduate rule removes preparatory
students from the list of eligible candidates for Intercollegiate games
and, in great measure also, students in professional schools. At Ober-
lin this has brought about a separation of academy and college ath-
letics, which has long been a desirable result on account of the gain
to the Academy in allowing it to use its best men and in aiding in
the building of an esprit de corps among academy students and de-
veloping a life of its own. On the college side, it dignifies all its
athletic relations with other institutions.

United action was also had on the following more general reg-
ulations: the alK)lition of pre-season training and the limiting of
Freshman teams to contests with other teams of their own institu-
tions.

Four other recommendations are still under consideration; they
are the abolition of the training table, the limitation of the number
of football games, the closing of the football season on the Saturday
preceding Thanksgiving, and the vexing question of the professional
coach.

At Oberlin a marked advance has been made by the appointment
of C. W. Savage as Director of Athletics and Associate Professor of
Physical Training. This centralizes the responsibility for athletics in
the institution by giving to him the same control over athletic affairs
as the head of a department has over the work of his department,
and the same responsibility for the work of his assistants, I believe
we are on the way to a solution of this important but somewhat trj -
ing question — the management of athletics.

Discipline

The reports from the Deans of Men and of Women, and
from the Principal of the Academy, indicate once more that



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STUDENTS 95

little formal discipline has been required during the year, and
they imply as well, as noted last year, the steady formation of
closer personal relations between students and officers, and a
consequent diminishing amount of discipline at arm*s length.
A Student Senate for the men of the institution has already been
formed and gives promise of becoming a real help. The change
in the regulations requiring church attendance affects the
Theological and College Departments and the Conservatory of
Music, and the President may be allowed to transfer to this
report his statement of the reasons for this change as already
given in the Alumni Magazine.

The alumni may not be uninterested in a statement of the con-
siderations that moved the faculty to revolie the rule requiring church
attendance except in the case of Academy students. The Academy
faculty propose to deal with the matter in a way somewhat in line
with the old reporting system. For the rest of the departments
the faculty voted to revoke the rule. I am glad to say
to the alumni what I said to the students at the time the announce-
ment of the change was made. The action taken certainly does not
mean any change of conviction on the part of the faculty as to the
value of church attendance or as to the preeminent value of the
regular morning service. Oberlin College does not Intend to be mis-
taken as to its avowedly, aggressively. Christian attitude. The Col-
lege believes that the Christian ideals are the highest the world has
or can have, and, therefore, it can do no other than stand for them.
As its catalogue steadily states, the College stands for truth, for char-
acter, for Christ, for the church — for the church as the one great
world organization for ideal ends ; and the faculty hope that if the
setting aside of the rule makes any change at all it will make the
church service mean more rather than less. The reasons that have
weighed with the faculty in revoking the requirement are these:
Since the abolition of the self-reporting system — which was probably
inevitable, all things considered — the rule requiring church attend-
ance has been a regulation without any natural check upon its ob-
servance, unless the faculty were willing to monitor church attend-
ance or undertake a large amount of espionage of boarding houses.
Neither of these courses had ever been followed in the history of the



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Online LibraryOberlin CollegeAnnual reports of the president and the treasurer → online text (page 52 of 67)