Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA)

 - Class of 1909

Page 10 of 186

 

Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 10 of 186
Page 10 of 186



Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 9
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Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 11
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Page 10 text:

fr rr' X' 4 avr rgrwlf SEAL OF THE FREE SCHOOL. Hare impressed from the orig- inal dne cast in I790. 4.1 , Q, 0 ,If W-Fl ,Q Q16 si I pf . 'f'f"mXf44 ' in I f "I ,V ,X ig. A ,f 1, V X XX WILLIAMS COLLEGE ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO RESIDENT FITCH of Williams college, about one hun- dred years ago this Commencement, Wrote to a friend a letter which shows how little the ideals of this institution have changed to this date. It reads in part, "Our ambition is to make good scholars rather than add to our number, and in this we mean not to be outdone by any college in New England." A glance at the entrance requirements and at the courses offered by the college in view of this is most interesting. In a certain sense VVilliams has been the originator of the present elective system. The student seeking admission in the very earliest days of the college had an option. The rule read, "Each student who applies for admission must be able to accurately construe, read and parse to the satisfaction of the president and tutors, Virgil's 7Eneid, Tully's Orations, and the Evangelists in Greekg or, if he prefers to become acquainted with French, he must be able to read and pronounce with a tolerable degree of accuracy and fluency I-Iudson's French Scholar's Guide, Telemachus, or some other approved French author." The curriculum, which aimed "to see Massachusetts become the Athens of America," intro-

Page 9 text:

CLASS SONG Nineteen Nine, our voices free W e'll raise to-day in praise of thee. Class thou art without a peer, ' Evermore we'll hold thee dear. You bring back fond memories old, Our hearts never will grow cold. Ye men all along the line, Cheer for Williams and Nineteen Nine



Page 11 text:

IO WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK duced the freshman to the study of the languages-English, Latin, Greek and French, although the latter was omitted for some time after 1799. This course of study was continued for the four years, and sophomore year the student indulged in geography, algebra, mensurations, arithmetic, conic sections and geometry. The following year he commenced the study of rhetoric and logic, as an introduction to the work of senior year-history, national law, ethics, civil polity, theology and metaphysics. In 1806 the grammar school was discontinued and there are many records of graduates of this institution refusing to enter the college and transferring to some "sounder school of learning." One hundred years before the class of nineteen nine were seniors 117 students were registered at Williams college. There were seventeen freshmen, thirty-one sophomores, forty juniors and twenty-nine seniors. Eight states of the Union were 'repre- sented. The catalogue published in November, 1809, gives the list of the teaching force, consisting of the president, vice presi- dent and three tutors. On September 6, 1809, the Commence- ment procession marched through the archway in the middle of West college and proceeded up to the meetinghouse, standing in the Field Memorial park and constructed at the close of the last century as a result of the threat of the trustees of the college to hold the exercises in Pittsfield, if no suitable edifice were built in the town. There were thirteen orations, three dialogues and two disputations to be listened to. The people fiocked in from the surrounding villages for the events ofthe day. Venders of gingerbread were present with booths and we read that "cider was not wanting, and it was not difficult to procure a stronger drink, so as the day wore on there was often a ludicrous mixture of the literary and what had little affiliation with it," The Valedictorian of the college, directly before appearing on the platform, had been dipped into the Green river by several of his classmates in an attempt to restore l1im to a presentable condition. In the year 1809, West and East were the only college build- ings. West, built in 1790, contained the library, studies, and on the south side of the second and third stories the chapel. A bell in the belfry was tolled for all meetings and the bclfryman, usually a student, dared leave his room at the foot of the tower

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