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Page 17 text:
Page 18 text:
A LTHOUGH the first building was ready for the cornerstone several r— % months previous to the date selected, it was thought best to postpone the ceremonies until the late spring, when the weather conditions would probably be more favorable. Thursday, April 15, 1909, was chosen, and on this date the stone was laid under the happiest auspices. A parade nearly a mile long, composed of school children, military and civic organizations, and carriages with public officials and specially invited guests — among them many members of the state legislature — marched to the Normal school grounds, where impressive Masonic ritual was followed. To the left of the entrance to Maury Science Hall the cornerstone was duly laid by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Virginia assisted by local lodges. An immense throng of people witnessed the ceremonies, which were carried to completion without the occurrence of anything to mar the pleasure or success of the occasion. After the rites at the buildings, the parade was re-formed and marched to Assembly Hall, where addresses were made by Senators Keezell, King, and Halsey, and by Hon. Rosewell Page and Ben P. Owen. Governor Swan- son was expected as the orator of the day, but at the last moment was forced to remain at home on account of the illness of Mrs. Swanson. The Governor sent a telegram of regret for his enforced absence and expressed his interest in the school and its future. He was represented by his secretary, Hon. Ben P. Owen. Greetings were received from several state educational institutions. A large and enthusiastic audience heard the addresses.
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