Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Mathetican Society, 1854-1896
The Mathetican Society was created in 1854, and was the leading undergraduate literature and debate club for the first four decades after the opening of Tufts College.
Thomas H. Angell, A1858, led the effort to found the Mathetican Society, which became the first student society at Tufts College. It soon became a literary organization typical of those flourishing on almost every college campus in the nineteenth century. Mathetican Society meetings were serious affairs with formal programs that included debates, essays, orations, and poems on topics such as taxes, women's suffrage, and world peace.
The Mathetican Society had two annual traditions. Every October, the Society held a special exercise in recognition of its anniversary. Until 1875, the Mathetican Society also had the privilege of creating a formal program to follow the annual commencement ceremony for graduates and their families.
As the popularity of fraternities and other organizations began to grow on campus, the Mathetican Society began to falter. Membership waned, and in 1896, the Mathetican Society officially disbanded, transferring its entire treasury to the Tufts Debating Union.
Source: LOH1 381-383