Light on the hill: A history of Tufts College, 1852-1952

Miller, Russell


College publications, whether newspapers, literary magazines, or yearbooks of some sort, have always been one of the strongest bridges that could be built to close the gap between one's relatively brief undergraduate days and one's relatively lengthy days as an alumnus. Attempts to build and maintain such a bridge were made before Tufts was five years old. The organization that became the Tufts Alumni Association was born at seven-thirty on the morning of July 2, 1860, in a third-floor room of the College Edifice. The idea of organizing the alumni originated with William A. Johnson (Class of 1860), one of the four graduates representing the four classes that had so far received degrees and who were given the responsibility of drafting a constitution and by-laws.[45]  When the second meeting was held a year later, the new association could boast of eighteen paid-up members. A brief frame of government was adopted for the "Association of the Alumni of Tufts College," and officers and directors were chosen who comprised an Executive Committee. In the preliminary draft of the constitution, those who had entered upon the second term of their senior year, as well as graduates, were to have been eligible for membership. The article finally adopted provided that anyone who had received the A.B., M.A., D.D., or LL.D. was eligible for membership upon payment of $1.00 and enrollment on the secretary's record book. In 1864 consideration was given to admitting the faculty into the Association, but the idea was abandoned at the next annual meeting.

The next proposal to enlarge potential membership was made in 1868, after the first graduates of the philosophical course had become alumni, but efforts to include them were unavailing. Repeated attempts for over a decade to have the constitution amended to include recipients of the B.Ph. degree were defeated. It was Professor Dearborn, whose classes in Latin were being bypassed by the


Philosophicals, who championed their eligibility as prospective Association members. After the philosophical course had been extended to four years, its graduates were finally made eligible for membership in 1879. Alumni of the civil engineering course were admitted unanimously at the same time. Membership in the Association was thrown open in 1887 to all holders of Tufts degrees.

The functions of the Association provided in the constitution combined the academic and the social: to arrange for suitable exercises at the annual meeting, and to arrange for a dinner "and make such other arrangements for its happy celebration, as shall seem . . . advisable." Among the early customs of the Association was listening on the afternoon of Commencement Day to a formal oration and a poem, both delivered by members of the Association selected a year in advance, with alternates provided. Between 1865 and 1880 the alumni exercises were held every other year, the program being presented in alternate years by the Mathetican Society, the campus literary and debating club. For several years after 1880 the alumni program came annually, and in 1891 it was merged with the alumni dinner, usually held in a Boston hotel. The poems and orations gave way at the same time to after-dinner speeches. The alumni were also represented for many years at the Commencement dinner held by the College for the graduating class, their families, and officers and friends of the College. It was President Capen who in 1882 concentrated all of the academic ceremonies of the various departments on one day, so that Commencement was made more impressive for the increasing number of graduates returning each year.[46]  Until the practice was abandoned in 1885, one alumnus was selected by either the president of the College or the Trustees from several candidates suggested by the Association to deliver a speech on behalf of the alumni. It was in this way that the alumni first participated in the affairs of the institution.

The alumni dinner authorized in the constitution of the Association was slow to become a reality. The first suggestion to have such a gathering was made in 1866, but it was considered "inadvisable" to carry out the idea "as so few members of the association could conveniently attend." For the next several years suggestions were made and planning committees were even appointed, but not


until 1875 was the first dinner authorized by the constitution actually held. It was preceded by the laconic announcement that it would be held in the Revere House "provided a sufficient number of the alumni express an intention to be present." A sufficient number did appear - forty-six - and the affair was a financial success, although not spectacularly so; receipts exceeded expenses by six cents.

The idea of an Alumni Field Day, to consist of athletic events and social festivities, was broached in 1909, to be held on a day preceding Commencement. By 1914 five Field Days had been held, and the whole matter was reviewed by the Association. There was great debate over the desirability of continuing the festivities on an annual basis and similar argument over what day of the week would be most convenient for the greatest number of people. These crises were somehow surmounted, and the annual Field Day was continued long after the First World War and became an occasion on which members of each year's graduating class were welcomed into membership in the Association. One of the means developed to bring the alumni into closer contact with the College was the plan inaugurated in 1906 to have the traditional Commencement dinner serve as the alumni dinner and to have the annual meeting of the Association on the campus. A much younger custom, and one that came to be associated with the football season in the fall, was started in 1925 as Homecoming Day. It began as an informal alumni reunion following the game with Middlebury that year, with a social program arranged by the Association of Tufts Alumnae. By 1926, Homecoming was on its way to becoming a tradition.

A less happy undertaking assumed by the alumni group was the recording of deaths among the graduates and in the College community. Before the Association had completed its second year of organized existence it was called upon to prepare resolutions to the memory of President Ballou, and to Thomas Harris Angell of the Class of 1858. The latter represented "the first instance where Death has entered the circle of the College students." Within the next three years the grim reports from battlefields indicated that the Civil War was taking its toll of Tufts alumni. The first such casualty among the alumni was Smith Goss Bailey, of the Class of 1859. The first undergraduate who had volunteered and lost his life was


Ezra Newhall Fuller, of the Class of 1863. It was the Association that in 1865 initated a move to erect a monument at College Hill to perpetuate the memory of those associated with the College who had lost their lives in the great conflict. At the same time, a move was made to provide a suitable bust or portrait of the late President Ballou to be located at an appropriate place on the campus. As for the first project, the Association found itself with too limited membership and means to provide a suitable memorial, but President Miner informed the group in 1866 that a plan was being discussed to build a hall "for chapel and literary purposes," to be known as Packard Hall. If this possibility materialized, the alumni were promised that the name could easily be changed to Packard Memorial Hall, and tablets could be installed in it that would honor the dead of the Civil War. Such a building was constructed in 1882-83 and became Goddard Chapel. It did serve as a repository for plaques, busts, and other tangible memorials of those associated in some way with Tufts.

The decision to obtain a bust or portrait of President Ballou resulted in 1866 in an assessment of $10 on each member of the Association, and the so-called "Ballou Fund" was started, with a five-year period provided to accumulate it. Contributions were so slow in coming in that insufficient money had been collected at the end of the five years. The treasurer offered to return the money so far sent in but requested that the various amounts be retained for one more year in hopes that the additional funds would be donated. Although a portrait was finally produced in 1874, it was considered unsuitable and was discarded. No further action to memorialize the late president was considered advisable until at least $500 had been collected. The Rev. Henry Blanchard, of the Class of 1859, was given what undoubtedly appeared to be the thankless task of raising that sum as a committee of one; two years later he was joined by President Capen and Professor H. A. Dearborn. The augmented fund-raising committee had obtained $800 by 1877, and if $200 more could be added, it was thought that a very acceptable bust of Ballou could be provided. After two more members had been added to the Ballou Memorial Committee, success seemed imminent. A bust was ordered and accepted from the sculptor W. W. Story, although some delay was encountered in its receipt because


it had been executed in Italy. It was destined to grace Goddard Chapel. An unexpended balance of $40 was left in the Ballou Fund to accumulate interest. In 1899 the augmented fund was turned over to the library for the purchase of books on history, as an appropriate remembrance of President Ballou's interest in that field. At the same time, the Association presented to Professor Shipman a purse of over $800 in behalf of his former students, to spend while on a year's leave of absence. Two years later President Capen received a similar gift from the alumni graduated since his accession to the presidency. The gift was to be used to help defray expenses for a proposed vacation trip to Europe.

It was the Alumni Association, with the prompting of Eugene B. Bowen, Class of 1876, that in 1908 provided a memorial to the late Professor Shipman in the form of a portrait hung in the new library that had just been opened. President Hamilton had suggested in 1909 that the College needed a Professorship of Psychology and Education and intimated that the endowment of such a chair would be a fitting memorial to Professor Shipman. The Association, however, elected to provide the portrait as first planned, and to divide equally whatever remained thereafter of the Shipman Fund between a sum for the purchase of books for the library and a loan fund for worthy students. The portrait, costing $1,000, was painted by Mrs. Marie Danforth Page of Boston and was hung in Eaton Library as planned.[47]  The Shipman Fund amounted to about $3,000 by 1912. A slight change was made in the original plan for the disposition of the money. The income of the first $3,000 was to be placed at the disposal of the Library Committee of the faculty; the Class of 1892 pledged an amount sufficient to bring the fund up to that amount.

The practice of recording the demise of alumni that had been instituted in the dark days of the Civil War was systematized in 1871. The secretary of the Association was authorized to make a record of deaths, collect as much biographical data as possible, and report to the annual meeting. Arrangements were also made to have the necrology published as a part of the triennial catalogue which appeared during a good part of the nineteenth century. A


necrologist was made a permanent officer of the Association in 1885.[48] 

Almost half a century went by before the Association revised the sketchy but workable constitution that had been adopted in 1861 to govern the organization. The number of alumni had increased from a mere handful to over 1,500 by 1906, and graduating classes were numbering over 150 annually. The medical and dental schools had been added, and the College had become coeducational. Local groups of graduates had begun to organize, and the time had come to recognize these and many other changes. The result was the adoption of a new constitution in 1906 for what became officially the "Tufts College Alumni Association." The document provided for "an association of the women graduates, and such local associations as the Executive Committee may establish or accept." The suggestion made in 1905 to provide secretaries "in order to unite the interests of the classes" was incorporated into the new constitution. However, systematic reporting by class secretaries was not started until 1911.

In order to recognize the role of local groups, or constituent associations, the constitution provided that one member from each of the associations or clubs in Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, New York, Chicago, and two members from the association of women graduates were to serve on the Executive Committee for 1906-7. Representatives from all the associations except Chicago were present at the first meeting of the reconstituted committee in December, although a Chicago delegate was able to attend in 1907. Ruth Dame of the Class of 1902 represented the "T.C. Alumnae Association" at the first meeting. It was considered desirable to encourage the formation of local associations "as fast as it seemed possible for them to become permanent organizations." An organization of alumni in the Connecticut Valley was suggested specifically. Associations in Minneapolis and California were also thought probable, and in the fall of 1907 a group in Pittsburgh expressed a desire to organize and be represented. The Pittsburgh Association was accepted as a constituent organization in 1908 and was given representation on the Executive Committee.



The constituent associations recognized by 1912 were the Tufts College Clubs of Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Maine, Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Lawrence (Massachusetts), and Vermont.[49]  The Tufts Club of Western New York was recognized in 1914, and of Northern New York and Washington, D.C., in the following year. The ever-widening range of Tufts was illustrated by the recognition of the Tufts Club of Puget Sound in 1918 and the organization of many other alumni groups about the country.

The possibility of enlarging the scope of the Association by including the alumni of the medical and dental schools was discussed on numerous occasions, and they were invited in 1909 to apply for membership in the general alumni body of the College. Medical and dental graduates, however, tended to go their separate ways and to participate in their own organizations. The Boston Dental School Alumni Association had come into existence in 1872; in 1900, after the Boston Dental College had become part of Tufts, it was renamed the Boston and Tufts Dental Alumni Association. The Tufts College Medical Alumni Association was created in 1894 by the first class graduated from the medical school but was not active until 1902. In 1915 the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association invited "any reasonable proposition" that would result in closer affiliation with other degree holders from the institution. One of the difficulties was that many of the medical and dental alumni did not hold their first degrees from the College and hence encountered the problem of divided allegiance.

The women graduates of Tufts had already organized when the constitution of the Alumni Association was revised in 1906. Two years earlier, 104 undergraduates and alumnae had held their first annual luncheon on April 2 at a Boston hotel under the auspices of the All Around Club (the organization including all women undergraduates). It was then and there decided to organize a group with the somewhat redundant title of the "Tufts Girls' Alumnae Association." The mission was accomplished in May 1905


with the adoption of a constitution for the Association of Tufts Alumnae, and Ruth P. Capen, of the Class of 1902, became the first president. Any woman who had been a student at Tufts College for one year was eligible for membership. Annual meetings were held during the Christmas holidays. The women's group agreed in 1906 to appoint permanent class secretaries comparable to those for the men's classes, although this was not actually accomplished until 1911. The idea that women graduates should organize branch clubs and associations was rejected. The alumnae organization pursued a different course from that of its male equivalent by involving faculty wives and personnel of the medical and dental schools in its activities from the very start. Dr. Olga Cushing Leary and Dr. Ella G. Stone in medicine and Dr. Marion Woodward in dentistry were among the early participants.

The alumnae group was incorporated on March 30, 1910, and continued to be separate from the Alumni Association.[50]  An initiation fee of $1.00 and annual dues of the same amount were levied on those entering the organization after the date of incorporation. After 1910 the Association became more of a bona fide alumnae group; any woman who had been for at least a year "a former member of a class in Tufts College" was eligible for membership. Holders of any of the six major offices of the Association were required to be graduates. In keeping with the policy of "segregation of the sexes" of which Jackson College was the visible symbol, the Association of Tufts Alumnae refused to be told by the Alumni Association how to run its affairs. When the alumni suggested that the alumnae raise their dues to $1.50 to include a subscription to the Graduate, the latter not only refused to bring their by-laws into conformity with the proposal but voted on December 30, 1911, to withdraw from the Alumni Association altogether. Reaffiliation of the two groups was not completed until 1921. The alumnae published their own Bulletin for several years but abandoned the project after the editor of the Graduate urged that the alumnae use its columns, and after alumnae coverage was extended in the Weekly.



The meetings of the alumnae, like those of the alumni, were at first mainly social in nature and intent. The first project undertaken by the women graduates was the raising of a fund in 1908 to assist undergraduates. An annual prize of $20 was established the following year, to be awarded to an undergraduate woman who wrote "the best essay on some subject of general interest to the College community." The coincidence of the incorporating of the Association and the establishment of Jackson College in 1910 appeared at first glance to give the alumnae an opportunity to have a hand in the selection of the first dean, but before they had done more than initiate correspondence with the heads of several colleges and universities soliciting suggestions, they were informed that Mrs. Caroline S. Davies had already been selected by the Trustees.

The financial contributions of the Association of Tufts Alumnae to the College were small when the organization was established but were given with sincerity and good intent. When Acting President Hooper appeared before the Association in 1912 to make a plea for funds to help the College out of financial difficulties, 125 alumnae immediately made pledges of $5.00 a year for


five years.[51]  The Association also assisted Dean Davies in various ways, including the holding of receptions for prospective Jackson students. An alumnae representative served on the Athletic Committee of Jackson College commencing in 1914, and until regular infirmary facilities were provided by the College, the Association paid for the services of a nurse for the Jackson undergraduates. It was through the efforts of the alumnae in 1916 that Mrs. Cora Polk Dewick became the first woman appointed to the Board of Visitors to Jackson College and that she also became (in 1920) the first woman to be elected to the Board of Trustees. Preparation of rosters of alumnae periodically by the Association was another activity of great value to many offices in the College. During the First World War, the Association bought its share of Liberty Bonds and contributed to Red Cross projects of various kinds.

The failure of the alumni to have, qua alumni, a voice in the government of the College had become a matter of increasing concern in the 1890's. President Capen, always sensitive to the needs of the various components of the institution, called attention to this deficiency in his annual report for 1893-94. The time had come, he told his fellow Trustees, to give the alumni a more active role in Tufts affairs than encouraging class reunions and alumni dinners. Even though some of the Trustees were alumni, they were not selected by the graduates of the institution. He suggested the possibility of having two sets of governing boards: one, about one-third the size of the regular Board, could handle the financial affairs and general administration of the College; the other, made up of alumni, could supervise the academic work and have a voice in the selection of staff. The closest equivalent to this proposal that was actually carried out was the establishment in 1899 of a Board of Overseers, which lasted until 1907, when formal representation was provided on the Board of Trustees.[52]  There was also a measure of


dissatisfaction among the alumni with their own contribution to the College. As H. Austin Tuttle noted in 1903, only 490 out of more than 1,500 living alumni belonged to the Association, and the organization itself met but once a year and then largely for social purposes. The only communication with members was the annual balloting for Overseers and an invitation to the annual dinner.

The hoped-for increase of alumni participation in the election of alumni Trustees did not occur. The alumni cast 374 ballots in their first election in 1907. The number of ballots cast in 1908 was 478, still considerably short of the number of alumni eligible to vote. One of the reasons for the relatively light vote was thought to be the lack of machinery whereby the alumni might register their choices for nominees before elections took place. To remedy this deficiency, the secretary of the Association was authorized to solicit from each local alumni organization the names of at least two and no more than four alumni eligible for Trustee membership. Such suggestions would be sent out with the request that nominations be made from the list. If the votes in 1909 were any indication, the plan was not notably successful. Only 463 ballots were cast for alumni Trustees that year, and the total hovered around that figure for some time. For several years the Association's Executive Committee struggled with the machinery of nominating and electing alumni Trustees, at various times recommending nominations by petition and the use of a preferential ballot.

The elaborate, cumbersome, and restrictive method of nominating alumni Trustees provided in the amendment to the Corporation charter in 1907 was replaced by a simpler procedure in 1919 which provided that the ten alumni-elected members were to "be nominated and elected in accordance with rules and regulations formulated by the alumni association . . . acting through its executive or other governing board or committee." It was further specified that the rules and regulations could "be altered or amended at any time in the same manner in which they were originally adopted."



Having an official voice in College policy-making and cooperating informally and keeping in touch with Tufts affairs were different matters. In the two latter areas, considerable progress was made. A registration bureau for alumni was opened on the Hill in 1900 "in order that all possible aid may be rendered graduates in securing positions." The following year, the first alumni directory was published under the co-supervision of the secretary of the faculty and the secretary of the AlumniAssociation, under authorization from the Trustees.[53]  The Tufts College Graduate (later the Alumni Bulletin and then the Alumni Review) served to keep graduates informed both of their own organization and activities and of events on the campus. The Association's annual dues were increased in 1911 to $1.50 to include a subscription.

One plan that failed of accomplishment was proposed in 1903. It was decided to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the College by raising funds to support an Alumni Professorship. A collector was secured for each class, but actual subscriptions never amounted to more than a trickle. A goal of $50,000 was set in 1904, with the intention of endowing the chair of physics, but the greatly reduced goal of $5,000 was still several hundred dollars short in 1914. The Finance Committee of the Trustees thereupon applied the interest to general faculty salaries. The Association was represented for many years before 1917 on the Athletic Advisory Board and took an active interest in organized sports. A Committee on Alumni Affairs was created by the Association in 1918 "to confer with the College officers, Trustees, and other interested parties and to recommend . . . such action as it deems for the best interest of the College and alumni."

The history of the Association from its founding in 1860 until 1920 was one of modest accomplishment in spite of some organizational difficulties. No decision had yet been made on a proposal in


1913 that life memberships be established (at a fee of $50), and no solution had been offered to the problem suggested in 1914 of whether to establish a permanent alumni secretaryship as a fulltime position. Some lines of communication had been established and maintained with the College, especially through official representation on the Board of Trustees; but the heart of the matter was the failure of the majority of the alumni to join the organization. When the secretary of the Association made his annual report in 1919, there were only 173 members of the General Association and only 401 members in ten clubs. A major step in strengthening its structure and providing more unified support for their Alma Mater was the incorporation of the Association on June 19, 1920, with permanent headquarters in Medford.

No significant changes were made in the newly constituted Association. Dues were raised from $1.50 to $2.00 to help make up the chronic deficit of the Graduate. The membership on the Executive Committee continued to provide a "constituent committee," on which each of the twelve local associations or clubs then in existence had one place. The secretary-treasurer was authorized to draw $25 a year "as compensation for the faithful performance of his duties." J. Porter Russell, of the Class of 1898, was the first president elected under the new by-laws. Professor Clarence P. Houston, of the Class of 1914, served as secretary-treasurer for the three-year term specified and was succeeded by Joseph W. Morton, of the Class of 1911. Professor Houston became the first custodian of the official seal adopted at the first meeting of the Executive Committee under the new by-laws. The first annual meeting in June 1920 under the new organization was notable because it was announced that Mrs. Cora Polk Dewick, of the Class of 1896, had been elected a Trustee. In the same year, the Association of Tufts Alumnae was accepted as a constituent organization. Changes in provisions in membership and dues for alumni were made in 1921. Membership for alumni became automatic, and a levy of $2.00 for a subscription to the Graduate was substituted for the conventional dues. Local clubs were free to make their own assessments.

The period of the 1920's was one of decline for Tufts clubs. Membership in the general Association, as gauged by subscriptions to the Graduate, went up (to 550 in 1922) but the number of


paid-up subscriptions in the constituent organizations went down sharply. The Connecticut Club produced sixty-four subscriptions and the Washington Club but one. There was a total subscription list of 690 in 1922. On the other hand, the number of alumni voting for Trustees achieved a new high of over 1,200 in 1923.

The idea of creating a fund financed by the alumni to increase the resources of the College had had nineteenth-century origins but had not enjoyed an uninterrupted existence. The so-called Alumni Fund known to graduates in the 1960's came into being as a result of Executive Committee action on June 13, 1925, when it was voted "to appoint a temporary committee to organize a permanent Tufts College Alumni Fund Association to be organized immediately by the alumni." The Sustaining Fund, as it began to be called in 1927, was the source from which the Alumni Gate and several sections of fence were financed during the same year. Subscriptions to the fund had reached over $20,000 by Alumni Day in 1929. Among the projects undertaken that year was the provision of War Memorial Steps between Miner and Paige Halls to commemorate those associated with Tufts who had offered their lives in wars in which the United States had been involved. The idea of a Placement Bureau that had been established in 1900 and had ceased to function was also revived in 1929. However, its activities were limited, for most departments on the campus desired to handle their own placements and make recommendations in their respective fields. The Placement Bureau's main function was to serve as a clearinghouse and referral agency. At the same time a recruiting committee operating through the Bureau of Alumni, Service was appointed to interest prospective students and to provide for interviews conducted by alumni in various areas. The Association was also responsible in 1929 for taking under advisement a plan for a new physical education plant for men that less than four years later became Cousens Gymnasium.[54]  This became the most important project of the many sections into which the Alumni Fund had been divided by 1930. Contributions and pledges totaled over $17,000 in that year. In spite of the nationwide depression that had reached ominous proportions by 1933, almost $7,000 was contributed that year by Hill alumni for


scholarship aid. Meanwhile, the alumnae started their own fund to provide what, many years later, became Alumnae Hall.

An area of growing interest to the alumni in the 1930's was adult education. A committee was appointed in 1931 to survey the subject and to make recommendations concerning those phases that might be of special interest. They found considerable activity already under way, expressed through such interest groups as the Scribbler's Club, the Graduate Dramatic Society, the William Harvey Society lecture series at the medical school, and even an alumni gymnasium class. Further undertakings were encouraged, and discussions took place about the possibility of establishing courses in music appreciation, current events, modern languages, and so on.

By far the most lively topic engaging the attention of interested alumni in 1933 and 1934 was the structure of their own organization. For several years a feeling had been growing that the various groups of Tufts graduates were functioning in too uncoordinated a fashion; they should be welded into a closer union. There was also criticism of the way the Executive Committee had been organized under the by-laws of 1920.[55]  The total problem was discussed at length at the annual meeting of the Executive Committee in June 1933, under the leadership of President Robert W. Hill, of the Class of 1904. Judge Hill's many services to the College were recognized by an honorary degree awarded in 1964 by his Alma Mater on the sixtieth anniversary of his graduation. The deliberations centered around "the desirability of instituting what might be termed an Alumni Council to take the place of the present Executive Committee." The proposed change was no mere shuffling of terminology. It was intended to bring about "a complete reorganization of alumni activities (and powers)" of sufficient scope to necessitate an amendment to the College charter. The president of the Association, as the sponsor of the plan, outlined the need for it. "Our alumni body has never been welded


together or sufficiently organized to secure maximum results. A strong alumni body will mean a strong undergraduate body, and a well developed and enthusiastic student body will in turn help to produce a loyal and enthusiastic group of alumni in years to come."

After numerous meetings, investigations, and consultations in 1933 and early 1934, the plan was unanimously ratified by the Executive Committee and enthusiastically endorsed by President Cousens. By an amendment to the Tufts charter the newly created Alumni Council was given the right, as a representative body of the alumni, to elect alumni Trustees. The new system went into effect immediately, for those alumni Trustees whose terms commenced on July 1, 1935, were elected by the Council. The new alumni agency, organized as a continuing body that was scheduled to meet regularly, was intended "to take active control of alumni affairs and to organize the Tufts alumni of all departments into a more closely welded and more aggressive body."[56]  The twenty-one-member Council, representing all divisions of the College, became the first really integrated and truly coordinated body to administer alumni affairs. Judge Hill had recognized that the success of Tufts -and indeed of any college--depended on three elements: "the maintenance of an efficient and capable teaching body; the maintenance of a high class, intelligent, and loyal student body; and the maintenance of a well organized and efficiently operating alumni body." There was every indication that in their new Council the alumni had one of the important elements of success listed by Judge Hill.


[45] Unless otherwise indicated, the material on the early history of the Association was derived from the minutes and other record books of the organization which are in the Tufts Archives.

[46] Until 1882 the divinity school had held their own exercises, and candidates for the degree of Master of Arts were not included at all.

[47] The wall on which the portrait was placed was retinted at the request of the artist so that it would harmonize with the portrait. This expense, it might be added, was borne by the Association and not by the College.

[48] Samuel W. Mendum was elected to that post in 1892, just as he was entering the door where the Association was meeting. In spite of his protest that he did "not feel competent to do the work satisfactorily," his resignation was not accepted for twenty-two years.

[49] Like other alumni clubs, the Vermont group lived an unstable existence. It became inactive shortly after it was recognized, and had to be reaffiliated in 1916. The Connecticut and Maine clubs were also dormant for several years; the former was recognized in 1916 after new boundaries were drawn for it. The problem of geographical coverage recurred in the case of the New York Club.

[50] Among the advantages of incorporation and of the appointment of a dean of women for Jackson College was eligibility for membership in various College clubs through the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. The Tufts group was admitted to the latter in 1917.

[51] This was a remarkably good response in view of the fact that even a year later there were only 131 paid-up members, of 456 eligible for membership. Within a year the pledges amounted to over $1,000 and the effort was designated the "Alumna Fund."

[52] The history of the Overseers is related in Chapter 5. The strictly alumni character of the Overseers was illustrated by the fact that when the constitution of the Alumni Association was revised in 1906 it provided that the election of its officers be in the hands of the Overseers. However, because of the imminent dissolution of the latter body, the Association elected its own officers that year.

[53] Similar directories were prepared in 1905, 1911, 1917, and 1923 by the secretary of the College and were published as College Bulletins. The editions of 1942 and 1950 were prepared under the auspices of the Alumni Council. Cost was the major factor in determining that the 1950 edition would be the last one printed. However, a locator index was established in the Office of Records and Administrative Services, and current files were maintained in the Alumni Office, which was moved from Ballou Hall in 1962 to the home donated by Professor Emeritus Houston.

[54] It was Charles R. Marvin, of the Class of 1899, who suggested that the new facility bear the name of President Cousens.

[55] Only minor changes were made between 1920 and 1934. The most important was the transfer of the office of secretary-treasurer to the jurisdiction of the College in 1927. Thereafter, the financial reports of the Association became a part of the report of the treasurer of the College, and the office was known as "Alumni Secretary of the College." This arrangement was confirmed as part of a slight rewording of the Association's constitution in 1933.

[56] Arthur B. Newhall, of the Class of 1908, president of the Hood Rubber Company, and Stanley C. Wilson, Class of 1901, governor of Vermont, served as the first chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. The secretary- treasurer continued to be Joseph W. Morton, and an Executive Committee of eight was created, together with nine standing committees (Alumni Education, Alumni Fund, Alumni Room, Nominating, Placement Service, Prospective Students, Publicity, Trustee Election, and Alumni Activities). The committees were authorized to add alumni who were not members of the Council if they so desired.

  • Light on the Hill, the history of Tufts College, was published to coincide with the centennial of the institution in 1952. A second volume was published in 1986. This edition was created from the 1966 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume I.
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