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

Miller, Russell


For over a year the Trustee committee, headed by Austin B. Fletcher and charged with nominating a new president, made no written report of any kind to the Board, and only an occasional verbal report, although they were hard at work. They remained officially silent for so long that the Boston papers began to become curious and to raise questions. The Executive Committee went on record in July 1914 that the "Trustees should elect a president of the College as soon as possible and that the Committee heretofore appointed for the purpose of nominating a President be notified of this vote." The nominating committee was prepared to report by September. Hermon Carey Bumpus, the unanimous choice of the committee, was in turn unanimously elected president of Tufts and simultaneously elected a Trustee.

The selection of Bumpus had been made only after suggestions had been solicited and received from alumni, faculty, and "friends of the College." Dozens of individuals expressed their views both orally and on paper. Some forty names were submitted and each was investigated.[28]  A goodly number of the alumni took the request for suggestions seriously, and page after page of the Tufts College Graduate in 1913 was given over to their responses. Very few possibilities were mentioned by name, and most of the correspondents confined their communications to statements about the requisites for the ideal president. Although individual opinions differed widely in particulars, certain refrains seem to have been recurrent: "He should not be a clergyman; he should be a business man. ... he should be the active business manager of the College. ... Should he be a clergyman? That should certainly not bar him. . . . Should he be a Universalist? This should not disqualify him. . . . The all-important thing is his intellectual and educational


size. . . . He should be a man of recognized executive ability and, in this particular instance, should not be chosen from the ministry. . . . Candidates should be confined neither to the list of our own graduates, nor to any sect nor profession. New blood is sometimes very helpful. . . . He must be a man who does things. . . . the need of the clergy in the collegiate education of youth is no longer apparent. ... we must have an educator." There were but few who insisted that the new president should be an alumnus, even among the alumni themselves. The consensus was that the best person available should be chosen, regardless of his affiliation.

There is little question that if Acting President Hooper had made himself available he would have received the enthusiastic backing of both colleagues and alumni, but he let it be known "for the sake of the record" through the Graduate that he would not be a candidate for permanent appointment. His great love was his teaching and his Electrical Engineering Department. There is no doubt at all that his devoted services to Tufts in a trying interim period were fully appreciated. The Trustees made clear their own


indebtedness to him on behalf of the College in frequent expressions both formal and informal. It was "in consideration of eminent qualifications and distinguished service" that the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him in 1915.

The faculty were given an opportunity to express their views on the presidency in a joint meeting with the Trustee nominating committee in March 1913. The faculty member most active in assisting in the selection of a new president was Professor John S. Kingsley, senior member of the Biology Department and at the time dean of the graduate school. In fact, he was apparently the person who initially suggested Bumpus for consideration.[29]  Kingsley not only served on the five-man faculty committee "to formulate the qualifications important for the office of President" but conducted an extensive correspondence soliciting estimates of Bumpus several months before the faculty were officially consulted by the Trustees. Kingsley had known Bumpus when the latter was an undergraduate at Brown University and had worked at various marine biological laboratories where Kingsley spent several summers. The Tufts professor was also influential in helping Bumpus work out his plans for graduate work and in securing a position of responsibility for him at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The report of the faculty committee on "prime essentials" for any candidate for the presidency dealt in principles rather than personalities. After referring to the "unusually critical juncture" at which the College had arrived, the report listed (in order, and among others) the following desired qualities: high moral ideals, wide educational experience, "a man of the world," scientific as well as classical training, "the ability to raise money," singleness of purpose, and optimism.[30]  A non-Tufts man was to be preferred to an alumnus. Because the College was decidedly undenominational in spirit and student population, it was "far from imperative" that the president should be even a Universalist. The faculty was most


emphatic that the Trustees realize that it was the teaching force above all who had to live with the president; therefore, his educational and administrative qualifications were fully as important as his assets "as a public man and a man of business."

The request of the faculty that they be allowed to express their opinions on "the several candidates" so that they "shall have had a hand in selecting" was not carried out to the letter, for the field was soon narrowed to two candidates - Bumpus and Chancellor Kirkland of Vanderbilt - and the latter eliminated himself on the ground of unavailability. There is no indication in the faculty or Trustee records that an opportunity was ever formally presented to the faculty to pass on specific candidates. However, it can be presumed that Professor Kingsley kept the faculty informed of the progress of negotiations, for in March 1913 they voted that he "be requested to name the candidate he favors." The faculty concluded their report with the remark that in the difficult work that would lie before him, the new president would "need all the support he can get from every quarter."

Dr. Bumpus, called to the Tufts presidency at the age of fiftytwo, was neither a clergyman nor a graduate of Tufts, although he had received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the institution in 1905. He was not even a Universalist, although he fully subscribed to the tenets of liberal religion. The new president, the ninth generation of French Huguenot ancestors who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 (the family name was originally Bon Passe), was born in Buckfield, Maine, in 1862. He had received a rather miscellaneous primary and secondary education in Boston, where his father was a self-ordained minister and social service worker and had Baptist connections. Bumpus was an alumnus of Brown University and held the first Ph.D. awarded by Clark University. It was through his father's acquaintance with influential Baptists that he selected Brown for his undergraduate education. Trained as a biologist, zoologist, and botanist, he had extensive teaching experience at several institutions between 1886 and 1901. After serving as Assistant Director and then as Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, he served for ten years (1902-11) as Director of the American Museum of Natural History. He was called to Tufts after three years as business


manager of the University of Wisconsin while holding membership or office in dozens of professional and scholarly organizations. Bumpus was also the author of numerous monographs and articles on biological subjects.[31] 

The nominating committee was actually indulging in understatement when they told their fellow Trustees that "the College will be fortunate in securing the services of Doctor Bumpus." Very few individuals connected with the College were probably aware of how difficult it had been to obtain the new president and how overwhelmingly impressive had been the dozens of testimonials received by the Trustees in his behalf from scientists, university presidents, and officers of such organizations as the Carnegie Foundation. President Bumpus had served with distinction at the University of Wisconsin as its first business manager at a most critical period in its history.[32]  Letters from members of the Board of Regents to the Tufts Trustees made it most evident that Wisconsin's loss was Tufts' gain. President Charles R. Van Hise of Wisconsin, in outlining the qualifications for the holder of the post of business manager, in effect listed what he considered to be the qualifications of a good president. G. Stanley Hall, prominent psychologist and president of Clark University, in an unsolicited letter to the Tufts Trustees in support of Bumpus, expressed the same view. He wrote that the office of business manager was "an entirely new position, which was really an understudy for the presidency, for which they required a business organizer, who should also be a professor and in touch with everything inside the university." Possibly the most extravagant praise of Bumpus came from E. Benjamin Andrews,


ex-president of Brown University, who informed Professor Kingsley that "there could not be a better man for the head of Tufts for the simple reason that God doesn't produce any better." [33] 

In his last annual report to the Trustees in 1914, Hooper was quite frank to express a great feeling of relief in turning the responsibility of his office over to another. The "long period of suspense, uncertainty, and anxiety" appeared to be over. The new president, "admirably fitted by nature and by long and varied training," assumed his official duties on November 16, 1914. It was Bumpus' unfortunate fate to have become among later generations one of Tufts' lesser-known presidents; he deserved far better. He was the victim of circumstances surrounding the First World War. It was due largely to his competency and untiring effort that Tufts College not only survived the critical war years but emerged "with its prestige enhanced and its foundations strengthened."[34] 

There were more urgent problems for Tufts in 1914 than war clouds and conflict in Europe. Bumpus was called -upon immediately to use the administrative talents and business ability for which he had been selected. The Boston Transcript reviewed the situation of the College and put its editorial finger on the key challenge to the new president.

Tufts in some respects is an overgrown college. From an educational standpoint it is really a university. To the original arts department have been added several professional schools, all of whichcontinue to impose such a severe strain on the institution's treasury that Tufts has on hand a financial problem of no mean proportions. It is not overstating the facts to say that the college at thisvery minute needs an expansion fund of $1,000,000 and as large a

sum for additional endowment. New buildings are urgently required, faculty salaries must be raised to a decent level, and someadditions to the teaching staff made. To effect all these improvements will undoubtedly be the first task to which the new presidentwill devote himself. And in this work he will have the undividedsupport of all friends of the college.... A two years' open searchfor a president has at least had the effect of acquainting the worldwith the full extent of the financial problem facing the college.

President Bumpus was inaugurated on June 12, 1915, before more than 2,000 persons. It was an important occasion, highlighted by guests from over sixty American and European universities and scholarly and professional groups. Trustee Fletcher took a personal hand in selecting many of the notables, for "this inauguration will be the greatest opportunity that the College has ever had or is likely to have for some time, to properly bring itself before the public." Among those from outside the College who delivered addresses were President Abbott Lawrence Lowell of Harvard, Governor David I. Walsh, President Alexander Meiklejohn of Amherst, and President G. Stanley Hall of Clark. Samuel Paul Capen, son of the former president of Tufts, represented both the Alumni Association (of which he was president) and the United States Department of Education, in which he was serving as Specialist in Higher Education. Dean Painter, representing the medical and dental schools, expressed gratification that the new president was a biologist, who would be especially aware of the needs of medical and dental education. He took the opportunity to decry the overemphasis on specialization which seemed to be weakening the case for the general practitioner and to deplore the lack of preparatory education, particularly in the sciences, of would-be dentists. Professor Fay, representing the Hill faculties as their senior member, pointed to the precedent-shattering choice of Bumpus. Not only was he the first layman to be called to the presidency of Tufts; he was the first president selected because of his educational and administrative experience. "Our previous presidents had all come to their duties as amateurs in education. The measure of their success proves that they did not remain so. But the day of the expert is with us." Capen's remarks reinforced Professor Fay's comments. "College education is no longer a parochial affair. It has become a national enterprise. No college can live to itself alone, shut up within its


own traditions, limited for counsel to the wisdom of its own officers. To do so is to become mired in provincialism."

A new era seemed about to dawn for Tufts. The very theme selected for the symposium which followed the inauguration ceremonies reflected this: "The Obligations of the College to the State." This was no less true of Bumpus' Inaugural Address. Entitled "The Obligation of the Trustees, Faculty, and Alumni to the College," the bold and unmistakable theme was that a college is a public trust. Service "to community and commonwealth" should be Tufts' goal. An educational institution, even one privately endowed, was affected with a public interest. Tufts should be "a college for the people." Bumpus also had a piece of advice for each Trustee: His duty is "not discharged when he merely shows good stewardship so far as handling of funds is concerned." He must recognize a larger responsibility; and the only way to fulfill it was to create and maintain an active partnership with the faculty. Bumpus already sensed in his few months as president that too great a gap existed between the two bodies at Tufts, and called for Trustee initiative to close it.

President Bumpus' first annual report to the Trustees was crisp and businesslike. He had reviewed the establishment for which he had been given immediate responsibility and found it to his liking. Enrollment was going up steadily in most departments, there was "an awakening enthusiasm on the part of both students and faculty," and there had been an encouraging number of gifts. He cited ten "features that have characterized the period under report (January 1915 to January 1916)." The last one he listed must have been the most welcome of all: "We have paid our bills and closed the year without deficit." The president gave proper acknowledgment to the success of Professor Hooper's drive for the $100,000 "Deficit Fund"; he noted that receipts from tuition had increased by $30,000; he reported that the continuing sale of Boulevard land was slowly but steadily reducing the accumulated debt. He might have added that he was responsible for two economies small in themselves but indicative of his practical approach to problems. He introduced a system of "continual maintenance" and did away with the expensive system of "summer repairs," which had allowed small needs to be postponed until they had frequently grown into large ones. Just prior to his arrival at Tufts the


Trustees had become uncomfortably aware that laxness in collecting overdue student charges and loans had cost the College almost $25,000 by 1914. The greatest offenders were students on the Hill. Bumpus immediately investigated and issued instructions for more efficient collection of back bills; $9,000 was received in 1914-15. He inventoried the assets of the institution and found the total endowment (exclusive of educational buildings and grounds) to equal $2,000,000. If academic buildings and eighty acres of Medford campus were added, the total corporate property and investments aggregated $3,202,317. Here was a solid foundation on which a truly outstanding institution could be built.

The new president's penchant for statistical analyses and graphical representation was manifested in his first annual report. Charts were included showing the source and amount of every cent of special solicitation and a tabular view of the geographical distribution of the student body. In his second annual report (1915- 16) he bombarded the Trustees with similar materials. He used the five years preceding to compare enrollments, endowments, receipts, and expenditures of several New England colleges with those of Tufts. Even the distribution of students from eastern Massachusetts enrolled in Tufts was shown on an elaborate graph. His conclusions were "that there is a real and a growing demand in this neighborhood for the kind of instruction that Tufts College is giving, that the College is operating efficiently, and that it is worthy of support more nearly commensurate with its usefulness."

Bumpus was particularly interested in strengthening secondary education and in maintaining close ties between the College and the community. He was the moving force behind the organization of the Tufts College Teachers Association, created in 1916 as a means for the many alumni engaged in educational work to meet, to exchange information, and in general "to bring about closer relations between Tufts College and those engaged in the profession of teaching." The Association, still active in the 1960's, continued largely to sustain the goals set for it by President Bumpus.

From all appearances, Tufts College was out of the financial woods by the fall of 1917. The Finance Committee reviewed the situation with satisfaction. They found "economy, large attendance, Prof. Hooper, kind friends, and the Good Lord responsible." The accumulated deficit, which had reached over a quarter of a


million dollars in 1912, was reduced by 1917 to less than $100,000. About $700,000 more came in between 1912 and 1917 from bequests and legacies. Perhaps the College could again indulge in the luxury of some long-range planning.

The president of the Trustees made crystal clear to the incoming president his plans and hopes for the College. In June 1915, less than two weeks after the inauguration took place, Fletcher sent Bumpus a long memorandum listing ten ideas that he expected to become "accomplished facts as soon as possible." Some, dealing with fund-raising, revision of the Trustee by-laws, and plans for future buildings and campus development, were of basic importance and needed serious consideration. One of Fletcher's proposals on which Bumpus remained silent illustrated the categorical attitude of the president of the Trustees that frequently brought him into disagreement with some of his colleagues on the Board as well as with officers on the Hill. "I wish to see a statement in our catalogue that the College will not receive any young man who uses spirituous liquors in any form or uses tobacco and that their use will not be permitted at the College or elsewhere by any young man who is a student at the College. This necessarily means that the professors should also desist from its use." However, the long-range planning for the College, including the future use of tobacco on the campus, had to be shelved when the First World War intruded. By 1918 the College had taken on the appearance of a military post and had to face problems it had never encountered before.

The first official act of the College recognizing the possibility that the United States might become involved in the war in Europe had occurred in May 1916 when over 1,000 students, faculty, and alumni had participated in a monster Preparedness Parade in downtown Boston. Early in 1917 the faculty created a special Committee on Preparedness; its first act was to take a census of the student body to see what special qualifications might be available for national service. Almost a month before President Woodrow Wilson delivered his war message to Congress, the Tufts faculty had voted unanimously to allow up to three term hours of credit for satisfactory completion of a military training course having one lecture, two hours of recitation, and five hours of drill a week.[35] 



On the very day that Wilson delivered his fateful message, the faculty on the Hill voted to recommend to the Trustees that seniors in good standing called into service were to be given their appropriate degree at the June Commencement. Full credit would be given for the half-year if undergraduates were called into service. With commendable foresight the faculty also provided that for students returning to the College after the war, arrangements would be made "as though no interruption had taken place and that the advanced subjects will be adjusted to meet these conditions." Tufts joined other Massachusetts colleges in liberalizing the entrance requirements for students whose secondary school preparation had been interrupted for military or agricultural service, and War Certificates were awarded, starting in 1918, to seniors who had accepted a "Call to the Colors." The faculty, looking to the immediate emergency, then created a Committee on National Service to arrange for cooperation with the national and state governments. They also voted to petition both the President of the United States and Congress to prohibit "the manufacture and sale of all intoxicating liquors during the period of the war, as a logical and necessary conservation measure." Trustee Fletcher's hopes that alcoholic beverages would disappear seemed to have received official support.

The summer of 1918 was an exceptionally busy one for the College. The institution went on an around-the-clock schedule, offering special "War Emergency Courses" for civilians in chemistry, industrial electricity, and civil engineering.[36]  Probably no one in the Tufts community lived a more hectic civilian life that summer than President Bumpus. On the importuning of officials in Washington, he became chief of the Organization Branch, Methods Control Division, of the Quartermaster Corps. In his work with the transportation division in particular he showed his unusual administrative abilities. He had already helped to organize and develop the War Department Committee on Education and Special Training, and as an ardent supporter of the Allied cause decided


that if he could "be of greater service by leaving the College and going to Washington to undertake a piece of constructive work, I propose to go." He found his duties at Tufts "very confining" and earnestly wanted to be of greater service to the war effort than he thought his tasks at the College provided.[37]  Keeping in touch with Tufts affairs and maintaining an office in the nation's capital simultaneously was a demanding assignment. As he wrote a friend at the Museum of Natural History, he was "spreading [his] time rather thin at Tufts and thick at Washington." When he returned to Tufts in the fall of 1918, he was called upon time after time to speak in the Greater Boston area on subjects "pertaining to our War situation," and he complied whenever time and energy permitted. Among his most widely reprinted speeches was "The Demand of the Government for Efficient Men."

When autumn came, there were already on the Hill, or in the planning stage, an Army Collegiate Section of 500 men, an Army Vocational Section of 230 men, a Naval Section of 100 men, and at the Boston branch of the College a War Training Section of 900 men, all under the command of a major and eleven lieutenants. The first actually to arrive on the Hill (May 1918) was a contingent of 100 men to receive special training as carpenters, machinists, and automotive maintenance men. This group, one of many assigned to numerous colleges across the country, was under the Army Vocational Section and was known as the Tufts Training Detachment. The group was allotted to Tufts in response to a request of the Committee on Education and Special Training which President Bumpus had helped to organize and one of whose members was Samuel P. Capen, of the Class of 1898. The trainees were to remain at the College for sixty days and to receive military as well as technical instruction.[38]  A second group (150 men) arrived in mid-June, and the campus hummed with activity.

In the meantime, a new project was undertaken by the federal government which involved Tufts directly, although briefly. A


Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) had been established under the authority of the National Defense Act of 1916. By mid-1917 it was operating at thirty-seven colleges (mostly land-grant) and nine military and other schools. The Tufts faculty recommended in June that President Bumpus and the Trustees "consider the advisability of establishing a Reserve Officers Training Corps at Tufts College." Instead, the College received units of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC), which was organized in the late summer of 1918 to take the place temporarily of the ROTC. The purpose of the SATC was to train enlisted men for special military assignments. After a twelve-weeks' term, men from each unit were to be sent to officers' training camps, non-commissioned officers' schools, or cantonments, or were assigned to assist in instructing others at SATC units.

When word was received that the War Department was organizing units of the SATC at selected colleges, Tufts immediately applied for a unit. By October the Hill was covered with marching men in military uniforms and draftees in fatigue clothing being trained under the Army Vocational program. West Hall, ordinarily housing about sixty-five men, became a bustling barracks for 320. Curtis Hall was remodeled as a mess hall in which 750 men could be served at one time. Jumbo, the College mascot, was boarded up in one corner of Barnum Museum, and his first-floor quarters became a post exchange. Part of the upper floor of the building became the distributing center for Quartermaster supplies. Goddard Gymnasium became a YMCA furnishing entertainment and social amenities for the 238 students in the SATC. Part of Eaton Library was set aside as barracks, and a reading and writing room was provided in it for the use of military personnel. The facilities of the Crane School were used by the SATC while theological classes met at Dean McCollester's residence.[39]  The housing and feeding of pre-medical, medical, and dental students in the War Training Program in downtown Boston were made possible by the lease and conversion of Mechanics Hall, which provided facilities for 900 men. Captain Milton S. Bowman, who had been assigned to the Tufts Training Detachment in May 1918, was promoted to the rank of major and was placed in charge of the whole military operation at Tufts. Dean Anthony of the engineering


school directed War Training Courses on the Hill, and Dean Wren of the school of liberal arts directed the equivalent for the departments in Boston.

The war crept into every nook and cranny of the Tufts campus. Soon after the United States entered the conflict, the College organized a course of weekly lectures required of all students. Academic credit could be earned if students presented within a week a written synopsis of each lecture and showed "some acquaintance with the subject and its literature." There were talks on such subjects as food conservation, the League to Enforce Peace, and relief work in Belgium and Poland. A special secretarial course was introduced for Jackson students, who could also receive college credit for Red Cross-sponsored courses in nursing and first aid. Many a Tufts student and faculty member shivered through the winter months as fuel conservation was rigidly enforced, and many a waistline was presumably trimmed by those who followed Herbert Hoover's "Gospel of the Clean Plate." Many students paid their College charges with United States Government bonds purchased by their patriotic parents.

Scarcely had the College made the abrupt transition from an academic institution to a quasi-military establishment in six weeks


than it had to change gears again. The SATC began training in mid-October, after the opening of the College had been delayed by an influenza epidemic. The armistice was signed less than a month later. The immediate post-armistice status of the SATC unit gave as much trouble as any single activity.
No one seemed to know from day to day (either in Washington or at Tufts) when the program would be liquidated, except that the financial obligations to the College would eventually be met by the government. There was a "strong probability" in November 1918 that students enrolled in the SATC program would "be given the privilege of returning to civil life if they so elect." This seemed to Treasurer Mason to make Tufts' difficulties in formulating any plans all the greater, for he assumed that most of the men released from the SATC would "simply go" and would not transfer to other courses in the College. On November 27, orders were received to demobilize the SATC as soon as possible. The College had the opportunity in the winter of 1918 to consider the establishment of an ROTC unit following the disbanding of the SATC but the Executive Committee "deemed it not advisable."[40]  In December, demobilization had


been completed and the College found itself in the unenviable position of trying to resume a peacetime stance almost literally overnight. Somehow, in little more than two weeks, it managed to reconvert itself into an academic institution in time to open for the second semester in January 1919. The Trustees and administrative officers must have aged visibly as they lived through the weeks of uncertainty as to the very future of the College.

The disarrangements resulting from a nation at war and from demobilization, reconversion, and a general return to the status quo ante bellum after November 11, 1918, had innumerable repercussions on the campus, some involving serious financial problems. The fraternities, whose houses had been closed or taken over by the College and who wanted a home on the campus again, had to renegotiate their property arrangements.[41]  The student body, although it did not disintegrate, did shrink noticeably in the fall of 1918, and with it went precious revenue. Faculty by the dozens (especially the medical and dental school staffs) became involved in military obligations and were given leaves of absence without pay; at the same time the question arose of how to occupy the remaining faculty. The expenses involved in adapting the buildings on the campus to military use were complicated by the fact that the cash balance in the College coffers toward the end of 1918 was "almost zero," according to a report of Arthur E. Mason, the harried treasurer. Government compensation to the College ($1.6481 per day for each SATC student on the Hill and $1.5555 for those quartered in Boston) came in long after services had been rendered. Treasurer Mason, in September 1918, predicted that the College would have to have a loan of nearly $200,000 to meet its immediate obligations; he had already been forced to borrow $25,000 to meet current expenses. The most crucial period in the wartime history of the College came when the demobilization of the SATC was ordered and before any estimate could be made of how many students would register after the military contingents withdrew.

The enrollment in midyear of 1918-19, when the College


suddenly returned to peacetime status, exceeded all expectations. Jackson College, whose enrollment had increased during the war, set a new record with 174 enrolled, and created an acute housing problem which was alleviated by converting the president's house into a dormitory.[42]  The most astounding statistics were for the school of liberal arts and for the engineering school. There were 521 students in all in the two schools by January 1919, including approximately fifty who had already returned from military service to resume their interrupted studies. Over 900 students registered in the pre-medical, medical, and dental schools. The author of a feature article in the Tufts College Graduate gave the lion's share of the credit for the prosperous condition of the institution to President Bumpus. He cited enrollment and financial figures to support his enthusiastic statement that the president had "made good," and said that if it had not been for his leadership and executive ability, the College might have foundered. Bumpus had apparently set it on the road to new heights and had fully vindicated his promise to make Tufts of maximum service "to the community and mankind."

Over 1,000 Tufts men served in the armed forces during the First World War. Twenty-one lost their lives in the nation's service, of whom fifteen were commissioned officers. Many received citations for bravery, including the Distinguished Service Cross.[43]  If the members of the SATC who received their training at Tufts are counted, the total manpower contributions of the College were most impressive. Over two-thirds of the regular Tufts students, faculty, and alumni, ranging from the Class of 1878 through the Class of 1921, served in the Army; there were over 200 in the Navy; and a few served in the Marines. More than half the Tufts


men who served in some capacity were from the medical and dental schools. In addition to those in the regular armed forces, over 100 individuals were in various branches of auxiliary services such as the American Ambulance Field Service, the Red Cross, and the YMCA.

Several arrangements growing out of the war continued into peacetime. The YMCA remained on the Hill for another year, financed by a joint appropriation from the College and from the funds of the Crane School. David Cheney, the general secretary of the YMCA at the College, became Tufts' first Director of Publicity in 1920. The dental school provided instruction in dental mechanics to disabled veterans by arrangement with the Federal Board for Vocational Education.


[28] There is no need to detail all of the candidates considered. They ranged from the most obscure to the most prominent. One person supported by Trustee Fletcher who was offered the presidency was James Hampton Kirkland, second chancellor of Vanderbilt University, who in 1913 "intimated that he might be in a position to consider the presidency of Tufts College at a later date." He was still being considered a possibility in the summer of 1914.

[29] This material has been drawn largely from the correspondence between Kingsley and Fletcher in the Tufts Archives.

[30] The "ability to raise money" was at the top of the list in the original draft of the report. The reference to scientific training was justified by the fact that over three-fourths of the Tufts student body at the time was interested in "the scientific and professional" rather than "the humanistic side."

[31] The most complete biography has been written by his son, Hermon Carey Bumpus, Jr. (Hermon Carey Bumpus, Yankee Naturalist, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1947). Biographical data and tributes to his numerous services are plentiful. After his death, memorials and resolutions were prepared (among others) by the National Park Service, Brown University, the American Association of Museums (which he was instrumental in founding), and the American Museum of Natural History. An appreciation was prepared by Alice Hall Walter following his death in 1943 and was published by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, of which Bumpus was the first president (1897-1901) and honorary president (1941-43).

[32] A full treatment is to be found in Merle Curti and Vernon Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin, A History, 1848-1925 (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1949), Vol. II, especially Chapters 1 and 5.

[33] This letter and others cited here were quoted in the biography written by Bumpus' son. The originals are in the Tufts Archives. Professor Kingsley had followed a rather unorthodox policy. After collecting the letters of recommendation and turning them over to Acting President Hooper so that copies could be made for the Trustees, Kingsley sent them all to Bumpus at the University of Wisconsin. When Trustee Fletcher requested the originals for filing with the College records, Hooper had to retrieve them. Kingsley had apparently become convinced that the prospects for the selection of Bumpus were not hopeful and that Chancellor Kirkland was going to be the choice of the Trustees.

[34] A. D. Mead, "Hermon Carey Bumpus," Science, Vol. 99 (January 14, 1944), p. 29.

[35] Major James C. D. Clark was appointed Instructor in Military Tactics at $25 per week to provide a ten-week course.

[36] The faculty received extra compensation for their services. A special summer school was continued in 1919 in which mathematics, chemistry, and engineering courses were offered. The stipend for faculty of professorial rank was $200 for one six-week course and a maximum total compensation of $300 for more than one course.

[37] "Memorandum to Thorkelson and Steeb," June 29, 1918, Tufts Archives. Halsten J. Thorkelson was Bumpus' successor as business manager at the University of Wisconsin; C. E. Steeb, a close friend, was at Ohio State University.

[38] It was this group that built an extension to the Howe Memorial Laboratory (the Power House) and constructed a separate building used for automotive training.

[39] He was reimbursed $150 by the Trustees for this service.

[40] The ROTC did appear on the Tufts campus, but not until the period of the Second World War.

[41] Typical were the problems faced by Zeta Psi when the Trustees at first decided in the fall of 1918 to terminate the fraternity occupancy of the house located at the corner of Professors Row and Packard Avenue, but later changed their minds. The Delta Tau Delta house had been taken over by the SATC as an infirmary, and the Delta Upsilon house had served as a Jackson dormitory.

[42] The home built by Capen in 1876 had been occupied by Presidents Hamilton and Bumpus until the latter's departure in 1919. Capen House was still a Jackson dormitory in the 1960's. Paige Hall and Curtis Hall were proposed in 1919 as girls' dormitories but were not so used at the time because the Trustees thought it "highly inadvisable on account of the relation of the buildings to that part of the campus occupied by the men's dormitories." No such doubts assailed the officers of the College in later years, for Paige Hall was used as a Jackson dormitory in 1926-27, the first half of 1927-28, and again between 1946-47 and 1953-54.

[43] One was Professor Houston, of the Class of 1914, who served for many years on the Tufts faculty.

  • 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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