University of Alabama.

1831-1906 : University of Alabama bulletin commemoration number, containing the programs and addresses of the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the opening of the University, May 27, 28, online

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Online LibraryUniversity of Alabama1831-1906 : University of Alabama bulletin commemoration number, containing the programs and addresses of the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the opening of the University, May 27, 28, → online text (page 1 of 8)
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University of Alabama






MAY 27, 28, 29, 30, 1906



At a meeting of the Society of the Alumni of the Univer-
sity of Alabama on May 31, 1904, Mr. Walter Dudley Seed,
Mr. James Jefferson Mayfield, and Mr. Frank Sims Moody
were appointed a committee "to co-operate with the Faculty
and Trustees in arranging plans for the special celebration
of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary" in 1906.

On May 29th, 1905, the following were appointed as a cen-
tral committee to arrange the details of the celebration :

Mr. Walter Dudley Seed, to represent the Society of the
Alumni ;

Hon. Henry Bacon Foster, to represent the Board of Trus-
tees ;

Professor Thomas Waverly Palmer, to represent the Fac-
ulty of the University.

At the request of this committee, Dr. John William Aber-
crombie, President of the University, and Mr. William Plill
Ferguson, President of the Society of the Alumni, acted as
ex-officio members.

The establishment of the University occurred December
18th, 1820, by act of the General Assembly. The formal
opening, however, took place April 12th, 1831, with the in-
auguration of the Reverend Alva Woods, D. D., as the first
president. It was decided to place the commemoration exer-
cises at the time of the regular annual commencement in May,

-77. 7


The University of Alabama is an institution maintained by
the State of Alabama for the collegiate and professional educa-
tion of its youth. It was called into existence by the generosity
of the Congress of the United States, and fostered by the
founders of the state.

The Constitutional Convention, which met at Huntsville,
Alabama Territory, on July 5th, 1819, adopted the following
article :

"Schools and the means of education, shall forever be en-
couraged in this state. * * * The General Assembly shall
take like measures for the improvement of such lands as have
been or may be hereafter granted by the United States to this
state for the support of a seminary of learning, and the moneys
which may be raised from such lands by rent, lease, or sale, or
from any other quarter, for the purpose aforesaid, shall be
and remain a fund for the exclusive support of a State Univer-
sity, for the promotion of the arts, literature, and the sciences ;
and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as early as
may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and
permanent security of the funds and endowments of such in-

In 1819, the Congress of the United States donated seventy-
two sections, or 46,080 acres, of land within the state for the
endowment of a seminary of learning. At the second session
of the General Assembly, an act was passed, December 18th,
1820, establishing a seminary of learning "to be denominated
the University of Alabama."

"At the third session of the General Asseml)ly, on the 13th
day of December, 1821, an act was passed providing that 'His
Excellency, the Governor, ex-ofUcio, together with twelve trus-
tees, two from each judicial circuit, to be selected by joint bal-
lot of both houses of the General Assembly, to continue in of-
fice for the term of three years,' should constitute a body politic
and corporate in deed and in law, by the name of 'The Trus-
tees of the University of Alabama,' and that the Governor
should be cx-officio president of the board." The first meeting
of the Board of Trustees was held at the town of Tuscaloosa on

4 University Bulletin.

the 6th of April, 1823. On the 2yth of December, 1827, the
General Assembly, by joint ballot of both houses, selected Tus-
caloosa as the seat of the University. The site whereon to
erect the buildings, one mile and a quarter east of the court
house in Tuscaloosa, was selected by the Trustees on the 22nd
of March, 1828.

The Reverend Alva Woods, D. D., was publicly inaugurated
as president of the University on April I2th, 183 1, in Christ
Church, in the city of Tuscaloosa. Six days later the Uni-
versity was opened for the admission of students, fifty-two
students matriculating the first day.

On the 4th of April, 1865, a body of Federal cavalry, who
had been dispatched for the purpose, set fire to all the publ'c
buildings of the University, except the astronomical observa-
tory, which were completely destroyed. The erection of new
buildings was begun in January, 1867, and collegiate instruc-
tion was resumed in April, 1869.

Through the efforts of the Honorable John T. Morgan,
United States Senator for Alabama, a second donation of pub-
lic lands, within the state, to the extent of seventy-two sec-
tions, or 46,080 acres, was made to the University by the Con-
gress of the United States by the Act of February 23rd, 1884,
in restitution of the loss in buildings, library, and scientific
apparatus incurred in 1865.

With the exception of the interruption of its activity from
1865 to 1869, the University has annually carried on its special
work since its organization.

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The following programs were observed, with the minor
exceptions noted in the record of the addresses :


11 A. M.

Celebration Sermon (Clark Hall) :

W. H. P. Faunce, D. D., President Brown University,

Providence, Rhode Island.

9:45 A. M.
Academic Procession (Campus Avenue).
10:00 A. M.

Addresses of Welcome (Clark Hall) :

For the University — John W. Abercrombie, Presi-

For the State Department of Education — Isaac W.
Hill, Superintendent.

For the State of Alabama — Wm. D. Jelks, Governor.

11 A. M.

Responses by Representatives of other Institutions

(Clark Hall) :

For the North Atlantic States — J. H. Penniman, Ph.
D., Dean Academic Faculty, University of Penn-

For the South Atlantic States— Charles W. Kent, Ph.
D., Professor English, University of Virginia.

For the South Central States^-Brown Ayers, Ph. D.,
LL. D., President University of Tennessee.

University Bulletin. 7

For the North Central States — Edmund J. James, Ph.

D., LL. D., President University of Illinois.
For the Western States— Thomas W. Page, Ph. D.,

Professor History and Economics, University

of California.
For Sister State Institutions— C. C. Thach, LL. D.,

President Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
For the Press of Alabama — Gen. Rufus N. Rhodes,

Editor Birmingham Daily News.

3-4 P. M.
Inspection of Library, Museum, and Laboratories.

4-6 p. M.
Baseball Game, Sewanee vs. Alabama. (Campus.)

8-11 p. M.
President's Reception (President's Mansion).


9-11 A. M.

Business Meeting Society of the Alumni (Clark Hall.)

11 A. M.

Oration to Society of Alumni (Clark Hall) :

Charles A. Towne, Member of Congress from Four-
teenth District of New York.

1:00 p. M.
Alumni Banquet (Woods Hall).

4:00 p. M.
Baseball Game, Sewanee vs. Alabama. (Campus).

University Bulletin.

8-10 p. M.

Alumni Debate (Clark Hall) : Subject— Resolved.That
the Old Times were Better than the New. Affirma-
tive—Charles E. McCall, 1885, and W. C. Richard-
son, 1843, for the Erosophic. Negative — Russell P.
Coleman, 1902, and Chappell Cory, 1878, for the

10:00 p. M.

Class Reunions (Places to be announced.)


9:00 A. M.

Annual Meeting Board of Trustees (Garland Hall).

10:00 A. M.

Orations by Selected Members of the Senior Class (Clark

11 A. M.

Celebration Oration : Francis P. Venable, Ph. D., LL.
D., President University of North Carolina.

12:00 M.

Conferring of Degrees by the President of the University.

4:00 p. M.
Baseball Game, Team of 1893 vs. Varsity (Campus).

9:00 p. M.
University Reception (Woods Hall.)


Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before Thee;
Which wert and art, and ever-more shall be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise Thy name in earth,

and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!


Rev. Lemuel Orah Dawson, D. D.
Pastor Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa.

Shout the Glad Tiding-s Was^ner-Baumbach

Come, thou almighty King,
Help us tny name to sing.

Help us to praise!
Father all glorious,
O'er all victorious,
Come and reign over us.

Ancient of days.

Come, thou incarnate Word,
Gird on thy mighty sword.

Our prayer attend;
Come, and thy people bless,
And give thy word success;
Spirit of holiness.

On us descend.

Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear

In this glad hour.
Thou Vv'ho almighty art,
New rule in every heart.
And ne'er from us depart.

Spirit of power!

To the great One and Three
Eternal praises be

Hence — evermore !
His sovereign majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity

Love and adore.

10 University Bulletin.

Reading of the Scriptures.

Largo Handel.

Mr. John Caiman.

A Song of Great Joy /. Lewis Browne.

Mr. Hill Ferguson.

Celebration Sermon.

Rev. W. H. P. Faunce, D. D.

President Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Text : Isaiah 54 :2 — "Lengthen thy cords and Strengthen thy



Hallelujah Chorus Handel

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace,
Streams of mercy, never ceasing.

Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,

Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount — I'm fixed upon it!

Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I'll raise my Ebenezer,

Hither by Thy help I'll come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure.

Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wand'ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed his precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter.

Bind my wand'ring heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it —

Prone to leave the God I love —
Here's my heart, O take and seal it.

Seal it for Thy courts above.


Opi'Ning of the Celebration.

By President John William Abercromhie.

Ladies and Gentlemen :

In the selection of commencement preachers, it has been
our custom to choose from the protestant denominations rep-
resented by the church organizations at Tuscaloosa, taking
them in rotation. Under that custom, the selection for this
year falls to the Baptist Church, and the Trustees and Facul-
ties of the University consider themselves fortunate in hav-
ing secured from Dr. William Herbert Perry Faunce an ac-
ceptance of the invitation to deliver the commencement, or
celebration sermon.

As is well known to many of you, Dr. Faunce is, and has
been for a number of years, the able and distinguished presi-
dent of Brown University, at Providence, R. I. Before going
to the presidency of that University, he was for fifteen years
engaged in the work of the ministry, the last ten as pastor of
the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church of New York City.

All institutions of learning are connected by a bond of
interest, because all are striving for the same object, namely,
the establishment of truth, the dissemination of knowledge,
the inculcation of patriotism, and the promotion of true re-
ligion. In addition to the usual ties that bind such institutions,
the University of Alabama and Brown University are bound
by one of sentiment. The first president of the University,
Rev. Alva Woods, D. D., was a professor in that University
before coming to Alabama. It is highly fitting, therefore,
from every standpoint, that Brown University should lend
us her president on this occasion.

Dr. Faunce is a recognized leader in the educational and
religious life of the nation, and I am sure that you will hear
him with pleasure and profit. He will now preach the cele-
bration sermon.

12 University Bulletin.

Celebration Sermon. *

By President VVilliam Herbert Perry Faimce,
Brozvn University.

Isaiah 54:2 — "Lengthen thy cords, strengthen thy stakes."

The process of lengthening- and the process of strengthening
are so different as to appear sometimes in hopeless antagon-
ism. The duty of continually broadening out our life, of tak-
ing in new intellectual territory, of enlarging the bounds of
knowledge and experience is very clear; but no less clear
is the necessity of driving in deeper those great primary con-
victions which alone give our life stability and power. Here
is the two-fold need of every man, every church, every nation
— breadth of apprehension and intensity of conviction.

We all know the men of intense conviction only. We call
them the men of one idea. They see only one thing, but they
see it so vividly and intensely that the vision instantly passes
into action. Their very limitations give them a certain swift-
ness and energy. As some one has said: "We put blinders
on horses precisely because we don't want them to take broad
views of things, but to go straight forward."

Then we all know the men of breadth only — sometimes so
broad that they are vague and hesitant and helpless. They
are hospitable to all ideas, dominated by none ; playing with all
creeds, not coming under the power of any. They have no
capacity for leadership, but seem to move about in the fog.
God sometimes has to choose the narrow men, because the
broad men have become inert and insipid.

So certain periods in the world's story seem periods of in-
tense conviction only. We call them the "ages of faith."
When Luther threw his inkstand at the devil, when the King's
Evil was cured by the touch of the King's hand, when witches
were tortured in Massachusetts — then indeed was there tre-
mendous reality in the unseen. Faith was so strong as to
brook no contradiction, and doubt was crime.

But the age in which we live is very different. Freedom
of belief, freedom of speech is our heritage, men have reacted

*The sermon was delivered without manuscript, and was in
part put in writing later for the purpose of this record.

University Bulletin. 13

from the old dogmas, and no father of today is able to im-
pose his own religious philosophy upon his growing boy. And
there are those who say that our age has become so tolerant,
so urbane, as to be spineless, nerveless, and unfitted for such
great deeds as our fathers wrought.

Must we, then, choose one horn or the other of this dire
dilemma? Must every age be one of fierce persecution or of
moral indifferentism ? Must each one of us be intensely nar-
row or on the other hand nebulous and uncertain? How can
we lengthen the cord of life, and yet strengthen the stakes?

The great benefit of a real vacation is in its broadening of
our sympathies. Few of us need actual and complete physi-
cal rest in the summer. A vacation three months long is a
damage to many teachers and to almost all students. If wc
can use the summer for travel, we are almost certain to re-
turn with broader outlook. To rejoice with them that do re-
joice may be harder than to weep v/ith them that weep. Poor
widow, etc., easy. But to enter into the joy of the scholar,
as he digs in the Roman Forum, or lays bare the site of an-
cient Troy, to enter into the joy of the mediaeval architects
and builders as they upreared their cathedrals, or the mediae-
val warriors as they went forth to rescue the Holy Sepul-
chre from the Turks, to understand the joy of the Japanese
soldier as he flings away his life for his ancestors and his
Mikado, — that is to become more truly human and so capable
of helping humanity. One who could sympathize with all
sorts and conditions of men, would he not be a true Son of

But actual physical transportation is surely not necessary to
mental advance. There are travels by the fireside. A man
can sit by his evening lamp, and through the book and pic-
ture he can penetrate Africa with Livingstone, or follow
Nanzen to the farthest north. The study of history is the
most emancipating of all studies. It makes us acquainted with
men of other times, other customs, opinions, habits, creeds,
and makes us see that God's world is vastly larger than our
door yard. The bible is the most liberalizing of all books,
if for no other reason than because it forces all those who read
it to go back two or three thousand years, to go out of Eu-
rope into Asia, to take the oriental point of view, and to come

14 University Bulletin.

to God throuj^h the fii^ures and forms of speech wrought out
by apostles, prophets, and martyrs, who ages ago fought and
sang and fell on sleep.

Therefore, every Christian is constantly broadening his in-
telligence and his sympathy. We want to know all that is
true, and experience all that is right. It is safe to know ! — and
to know everything that is knowable ! There are no secret
cupboards in the universe of God. There is no esoteric knowl-
edge intended for the theologians or the philosophers, while
the rest of us must be content with things that it is safe
to believe. Everything that is true is for every man of us to
know. Not, indeed, that we are to know all this at once.
There must be "line upon line, and precept upon precept."
But somewhere, and at some time, all truth is intended for
all God's children. As James Russell Lowell used to say:
"The universe of God is fire-proof, and it is quite safe to strike
a match." The only remedy for the dangers that spring from
little knowledge is to be found in deeper knowledge yet.
The church of God is held back today not by bad men, but
by good men who have stopped growing. Bad men cannot
permanently check the truth ; but good men whose goodness
has fossilized are the church's heaviest problem. The greatest
happiness of an astronomer is the discovery of a new star in
the sky. He is so sure of the stars already there that he does
not dream they can be thrown out of their orbits by any fresh
discovery. Should not the church be as eager to get a glimpse
of some new truth as is the astronomer to come in sight of
some new star?

But I hear some men say that, while this may be true in the
realm of physical science, yet in the realm of religion all
truth was given us definitely and finally by the apostles two
thousand years ago, so that our only duty is to accept these
formulas and hand them down unchanged to our descendants.
I can only answer that Jesus Christ did not think so. He
never compared his truth to jewels in a casket, to be trans-
mitted intact, but rather to seed that is to be bravely planted.
His conception of religion was that of something vital and
bound to grow. A professor some years ago in one of our
New England colleges had taught anatomy and physiology
for some forty years, using most of the time a text-book which
he himself had prepared at the beginning of this period. At

University Bulletin. 15

last both students and faculty felt that a change was desirable,
and that some more modern text-book should be secured. One
of his colleagues finally ventured to suggest to him that a new
book was desirable. To this he calmly replied : "Sir, there are
no more bones in the human body than when my text-book
was written." Truly there are no new bones in the body, no
new books in the Bible, no new Lord of Life ; but our under-
standing of the body, our insight into the Bible, our apprecia-
tion of the meaning and purpose of Christ are changing from
year to year, or else we have become fossils rather than Chris-
tians. One of the worst enemies of the Kingdom is the man
who says "Everything in religion was settled long ago." Such
a man has parted from the Bible. That "is a lamp to my feet,"
not a philosophy of the universe ; a "light to my path," not a
theodicy. It is to tell us how to go to heaven, not how the
heavens go. The Bible cries with Job: "Behold these are but
parts of his ways, and how little is known of him !" and with
Paul: "How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways
past finding out."

But is this all? That we should become, as the years pass,
less narrow, more hospitable, more tolerant than before? Sure-
ly the men of our time need something more than to keep open
house to new ideas, to welcome all the vagrant train of modern
fact and fancy. Our country profoundly needs a deeper con-
viction than ever that the things which are seen are not made
of things which do appear, — that the essential faith which
came to most of us in our childhood, the faith of the men who
landed on Plymouth Rock, the men who sat in the Continental
Congress, the faith of Washington and Lincoln and McKinley
and Roosevelt, — the faith in "God the Father Almighty, and
in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord" — is the only faith
which makes life worth living, the great underlying reaHty of
our existence. When traveling through the warm lands of
Southern Euroi^e. I have noticed that the Greeks and Romans
everywhere made ample provision for two great needs of hu-
manity : for water and for religion. Whenever the Greeks
founded a city, they carefully conducted springs of water to
the central squares, and turned them into living fountains.
Then close beside they built their temples. Wherever the Ro-
mans built their homes, they built huge aqueducts, some of
which are still bringing lini])id water from the hills to the

Ifi University Bulletin.

city. Then not far away they erected their place of worship.
When you find a people that can live without water, you will
find a people that possibly can do without religion.

America greatly needs to emphasize the ideal and spiritual
ends of life today. We may be losing here, for we are grow-
ing older, and cynicism sometimes creeps in with the years.
That is a most pathetic description of old age which wc find
in the book of Ecclesiastes : "They shall be afraid of that
which is high !" Whenever a man becomes afraid in the pres-
ence of the things that are high, he is decrepit, whether his
age is seventy or seventeen. But whoever loves the high,
believes in the ideal, and works for what men call the im-
possible, is a man who has found the secret of immortal
youth. But what do we mean by the ideal or spiritual aim?
We are almost afraid of that word spiritual ; it has become
almost a sort of cant term with many people. I think we
really mean by spiritual the power to see within every object,
event, or movement, the spirit which informs it and gives it
significance. The materialist sees in the flag only a poor
piece of bunting six feet by four. The man of spiritual per-
ception sees in it the principles of his country's history, the
institutions for which the fathers fought and died. The ma-
terialist sees in the cross only two sticks set at right angles.
The man of spiritual insight sees in the cross the sign by
which faith has conquered unbelief from the first century
until now.

How wonderful was the power of Jesus, thus to look behind
the sign to the thing signified. When the people brought him
a poor i- liver drachma, they thought to puzzle him by tlieir
problem: "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or no?" But,
looking behind the silver coin, he answered : "Render to
Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and to God the things
which are God's," — in one sen.tence separating forever church
and state. When the woman of Samaria put to him her favor-
ite problem, — "Shall we worship in this mountain or in that?"
■ — he, looking behind all the disputes of Jews and Samaritans,
answered: "Neither in this mountain nor in that, but in
spirit and in truth."

Just in proportion, then, as we are men of spiritual in-
sight and power, the antagonism between depth and breadth
will vanish in us as it did in Jesus. Just because Jesus was

University Bulletin. 17

so sure of the spiritual essence of things, he could afford to
be patient with the varying manifestations of that essence in
the human life. Uncertainty is the mother of intolerance. The
men who are sure of the central reality are not greatly con-

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Online LibraryUniversity of Alabama1831-1906 : University of Alabama bulletin commemoration number, containing the programs and addresses of the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the opening of the University, May 27, 28, → online text (page 1 of 8)