THE STORY OF WELLESLEY
To Alma Mater, Wellesley's daughters, All together join and sing. Thro' all her wealth of woods and water Let your happy voices ring; In every changing mood we love her, Love her towers and woods and lake; Oh, changeful sky, bend blue above her, Wake, ye birds, your chorus wake!
We'll sing her praises now and ever, Blessed fount of truth and love. Our heart's devotion, may it never Faithless or unworthy prove, We'll give our lives and hopes to serve her, Humblest, highest, noblest—all; A stainless name we will preserve her, Answer to her every call.
Anne L. Barrett, '86
The day after the Wellesley fire, an eager young reporter on a Boston paper came out to the college by appointment to interview a group of Wellesley women, alumnae and teachers, grief-stricken by the catastrophe which had befallen them. He came impetuously, with that light-hearted breathlessness so characteristic of young reporters in the plays of Bernard Shaw and Arnold Bennett. He was charmingly in character, and he sent his voice out on the run to meet the smallest alumna in the group:
"Now tell me some pranks!" he cried, with pencil poised.
What she did tell him need not be recorded here. Neither was it set down in the courteous and sympathetic report which he afterwards wrote for his paper.
And readers who come to this story of Wellesley for pranks will be disappointed likewise. Not that the lighter side of the Wellesley life is omitted; play-days and pageants, all the bright revelry of the college year, belong to the story. Wellesley would not be Wellesley if they were left out. But her alumnae, her faculty, and her undergraduates all agree that the college was not founded primarily for the sake of Tree Day, and that the Senior Play is not the goal of the year's endeavor.
It is the story of the Wellesley her daughters and lovers know that I have tried to tell: the Wellesley of serious purpose, consecrated to the noble ideals of Christian Scholarship.
I am indebted for criticism, to President Pendleton who kindly read certain parts of the manuscript, to Professor Katharine Lee Bates, Professor Vida D. Scudder, and Mrs. Marian Pelton Guild; for historical material, to Miss Charlotte Howard Conant's "Address Delivered in Memory of Henry Fowle Durant in Wellesley College Chapel", February 18, 1906, to Mrs. Louise McCoy North's Historical Address, delivered at Wellesley's quarter centennial, in June 1900, to Professor George Herbert Palmer's "Life of Alice Freeman Palmer," published by the Houghton Mifflin Co., to Professor Margarethe Muller's "Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer," published by Ginn & Co.; to Dean Waite, Miss Edith Souther Tufts, Professor Sarah F. Whiting, Miss Louise Manning Hodgkins, Professor Emeritus Mary A. Willcox, Mrs. Mary Gilman Ahlers; to Miss Candace C. Stimson, Miss Mary B. Jenkins, the Secretary of the Alumnae Restoration and Endowment Committee, and to the many others among alumnae and faculty, whose letters and articles I quote. Last but not least in my grateful memory are all those painstaking and accurate chroniclers, the editors of the Wellesley Courant, Prelude, Magazine, News, and Legenda, whose labors went so far to lighten mine.
I. THE FOUNDER AND HIS IDEALS II. THE PRESIDENTS AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENT III. THE FACULTY AND THEIR METHODS IV. THE STUDENTS AT WORK AND PLAY V. THE FIRE: AN INTERLUDE VI. THE LOYAL ALUMNAE INDEX [not included]
THE FOUNDER AND HIS IDEALS
As the nineteenth century recedes into history and the essentially romantic quality of its great adventures is confirmed by the "beauty touched with strangeness" which illumines their true perspective, we are discovering, what the adventurers themselves always knew, that the movement for the higher education of women was not the least romantic of those Victorian quests and stirrings, and that its relation to the greatest adventure of all, Democracy, was peculiarly vital and close.
We know that the "man in the street", in the sixties and seventies, watching with perplexity and scornful amusement the endeavor of his sisters and his daughters—or more probably other men's daughters—to prove that the intellectual heritage must be a common heritage if Democracy was to be a working theory, missed the beauty of the picture. He saw the slim beginning of a procession of young women, whose obstinate, dreaming eyes beheld the visions hitherto relegated by scriptural prerogative and masculine commentary to their brothers; inevitably his outraged conservatism missed the beauty; and the strangeness he called queer. That he should have missed the democratic significance of the movement is less to his credit. But he did miss it, fifty years ago and for several years thereafter, even as he is still missing the democratic significance of other movements to-day. Processions still pass him by,—for peace, for universal suffrage, May Day, Labor Day, and those black days when the nations mobilize for war, they pass him by,—and the last thing he seems to discover about them is their democratic significance. But after a long while the meaning of it all has begun to penetrate. To-day, his daughters go to college as a matter of course, and he has forgotten that he ever grudged them the opportunity.
They remind him of it, sometimes, with filial indirection, by celebrating the benevolence, the intellectual acumen, the idealism of the few men, exceptional in their day, who saw eye to eye with Mary Lyon and her kind; the men who welcomed women to Oberlin and Michigan, who founded Vassar and Wellesley and Bryn Mawr, and so helped to organize the procession. Their reminders are even beginning to take form as records of achievement; annals very far from meager, for achievement piles up faster since Democracy set the gate of opportunity on the crack, and we pack more into a half century than we used to. And women, more obviously than men, perhaps, have "speeded up" in response to the democratic stimulus; their accomplishment along social, political, industrial, and above all, educational lines, since the first woman's college was founded, is not inconsiderable.
How much, or how little, would have been accomplished, industrially, socially, and politically, without that first woman's college, we shall never know, but the alumnae registers, with their statistics concerning the occupations of graduates, are suggestive reading. How little would have been accomplished educationally for women, it is not so difficult to imagine: Vassar, Wellesley, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Bryn Mawr,—with all the bright visions, the fullness of life that they connote to American women, middle-aged and young,—blotted out; coeducational institutions harassed by numbers and inventing drastic legislation to keep out the women; man still the almoner of education, and woman his dependent. From all these hampering probabilities the women's colleges save us to-day. This is what constitutes their negative value to education.
Their positive contribution cannot be summarized so briefly; its scattered chronicle must be sought in the minutes of trustees' meetings, where it modestly evades the public eye, in the academic formalities of presidents' reports and the journalistic naivete of college periodicals; in the diaries of early graduates; in newspaper clippings and magazine "write-ups"; in historical sketches to commemorate the decennial or the quarter-century; and from the lips of the pioneers,—teacher and student. For, in the words of the graduate thesis, "we are still in the period of the sources." The would-be historian of a woman's college to-day is in much the same relation to her material as the Venerable Bede was to his when he set out to write his Ecclesiastical History. The thought brings us its own inspiration. If we sift our miracles with as much discrimination as he sifted his, we shall be doing well. We shall discover, among other things, that in addition to the composite influence which these colleges all together exert, each one also brings to bear upon our educational problems her individual experience and ideals. Wellesley, for example, with her women-presidents, and the heads of her departments all women but three,—the professors of Music, Education, and French,—has her peculiar testimony to offer concerning the administrative and executive powers of women as educators, their capacity for initiative and organization.
This is why a general history of the movement for the higher education of women, although of value, cannot tell us all we need to know, since of necessity it approaches the subject from the outside. The women's colleges must speak as individuals; each one must tell her own story, and tell it soon. The bright, experimental days are definitely past—except in the sense in which all education, alike for men and women, is perennially an experiment—and if the romance of those days is to quicken the imaginations of college girls one hundred, two hundred, five hundred years hence, the women who were the experiment and who lived the romance must write it down.
For Wellesley in particular this consciousness of standing at the threshold of a new epoch is especially poignant. Inevitably those forty years before the fire of 1914 will go down in her history as a period apart. Already for her freshmen the old college hall is a mythical labyrinth of memory and custom to which they have no clue. New happiness will come to the hill above the lake, new beauty will crown it, new memories will hallow it, but—they will all be new. And if the coming generations of students are to realize that the new Wellesley is what she is because her ideals, though purged as by fire, are still the old ideals; if they are to understand the continuity of Wellesley's tradition, we who have come through the fire must tell them the story.
On Wednesday, November 25, 1914, the workmen who were digging among the fire-scarred ruins at the extreme northeast corner of old College Hall unearthed a buried treasure. To the ordinary treasure seeker it would have been a thing of little worth,—a rough bowlder of irregular shape and commonplace proportions,—but Wellesley eyes saw the symbol. It was the first stone laid in the foundations of Wellesley College. There was no ceremony when it was laid, and there were no guests. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fowle Durant came up the hill on a summer morning—Friday, August 18, 1871, was the day—and with the help of the workmen set the stone in place.
A month later, on the afternoon of Thursday, September 14, 1871, the corner stone was laid, by Mrs. Durant, at the northwest corner of the building, under the dining-room wing; it is significant that from the foundations up through the growth and expansion of all the years, women have had a hand in the making of Wellesley. In September, as in August, there were no guests invited, but at the laying of the corner stone there was a simple ceremony; each workman was given a Bible, by Mr. Durant, and a Bible was placed in the corner stone. On December 18, 1914, this stone was uncovered, and the Bible was found in a tin box in a hollow of the stone. As most of the members of the college had scattered for the Christmas vacation, only a little group of people gathered about the place where, forty-three years before, Mrs. Durant had laid the stone. Mrs. Durant was too ill to be present, but her cousin, Miss Fannie Massie, lifted the tin box out of its hollow and handed it to President Pendleton who opened the Bible and read aloud the inscription:
"This building is humbly dedicated to our Heavenly Father with the hope and prayer that He may always be first in everything in this institution; that His word may be faithfully taught here; and that He will use it as a means of leading precious souls to the Lord Jesus Christ."
There followed, also in Mrs. Durant's handwriting, two passages from the Scriptures: II Chronicles, 29: 11-16, and the phrase from the one hundred twenty-seventh Psalm: "Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it."
This stone is now the corner stone of the new building which rises on College Hill, and another, the keystone of the arch above the north door of old College Hall, will be set above the doorway of the new administration building, where its deep-graven I.H.S. will daily remind those who pass beneath it of Wellesley's unbroken tradition of Christian scholarship and service.
But we must go back to the days before one stone was laid upon another, if we are to begin at the beginning of Wellesley's story. It was in 1855, the year after his marriage, that Mr. Durant bought land in Wellesley village, then a part of Needham, and planned to make the place his summer home. Every one who knew him speaks of his passion for beauty, and he gave that passion free play when he chose, all unwittingly, the future site for his college. There is no fairer region around Boston than this wooded, hilly country near Natick—"the place of hills"—with its little lakes, its tranquil, winding river, its hallowed memories of John Eliot and his Christian Indian chieftains, Waban and Pegan, its treasured literary associations with Harriet Beecher Stowe. Chief Waban gave his name, "Wind" or "Breath", to the college lake; on Pegan Hill, from which so many Wellesley girls have looked out over the blue distances of Massachusetts, Chief Pegan's efficient and time-saving squaw used to knit his stockings without heels, because "He handsome foot, and he shapes it hisself"; and Natick is the Old Town of Mrs. Stowe's "Old Town Folks."
In those first years after they began to spend their summers at Wellesley, the family lived in a brown house near what is now the college greenhouse, but Mr. Durant meant to build his new house on the hill above the lake, or on the site of Stone Hall, and to found a great estate for his little son. From time to time he bought more land; he laid out avenues and planted them with trees; and then, the little boy for whom all this joy and beauty were destined fell ill of diphtheria and died, July 3, 1863, after a short illness.
The effect upon the grief-stricken father was startling, and to many who knew him and more who did not, it was incomprehensible. In the quaint phraseology of one of his contemporaries, he had "avoided the snares of infidelity" hitherto, but his religion had been of a conventional type. During the child's illness he underwent an old-fashioned religious conversion. The miracle has happened before, to greater men, and the world has always looked askance. Boston in 1863, and later, was no exception.
Mr. Durant's career as a lawyer had been brilliant and worldly; he had rarely lost a case. In an article on "Anglo-American Memories" which appeared in the New York Tribune in 1909, he is described as having "a powerful head, chiseled features, black hair, which he wore rather long, an olive complexion, and eyes which flashed the lightnings of wrath and scorn and irony; then suddenly the soft rays of sweetness and persuasion for the jury. He could coax, intimidate, terrify; and his questions cut like knives." The author of "Bench and Bar in Massachusetts", who was in college with him, says of him: "During the five years of his practice at the Middlesex Bar he underwent such an initiation into the profession as no other county could furnish. Shrewdness, energy, resource, strong nerves and mental muscles were needed to ward off the blows which the trained gladiators of this bar were accustomed to inflict. With the lessons learned at the Middlesex Bar he removed to Boston in 1847, where he became associated with the Honorable Joseph Bell, the brother-in-law of Rufus Choate, and began a career almost phenomenal in its success. His management of cases in court was artistic. So well taken were the preliminary steps, so deeply laid was the foundation, so complete and comprehensive was the preparation of evidence and so adroitly was it brought out, so carefully studied and understood were the characters of jurors,—with their whims and fancies and prejudices,—that he won verdict after verdict in the face of the ablest opponents and placed himself by general consent at the head of the jury lawyers of the Suffolk Bar." Adjectives less ambiguous and more uncomplimentary than "shrewd" were also applied to him, and his manner of dominating his juries did not always call forth praise from his contemporaries. In one of the newspaper obituaries at the time of his death it is admitted that he had been "charged with resorting to tricks unbecoming the dignity of a lawyer," but the writer adds that it is an open question if some, or indeed all of them were not legitimate enough, and might not have been paralleled by the practices of some of the ablest of British and Irish barristers. Both in law and in business—for he had important commercial interests—he had prospered. He was rich and a man of the world. Boston, although critical, had not found it unnatural that he should make himself talked about in his conduct of jury trials; but the conspicuousness of his conversion was of another sort: it offended against good taste, and incurred for him the suspicion of hypocrisy.
For, with that ardor and impetuosity which seem always to have made half measures impossible to him, Mr. Durant declared that so far as he was concerned, the Law and the Gospel were irreconcilable, and gave up his legal practice. A case which he had already undertaken for Edward Everett, and from which Mr. Everett was unwilling to release him, is said to be the last one he conducted; and he pleaded in public for the last time in a hearing at the State House in Boston, some years later, when he won for the college the right to confer degrees, a privilege which had not been specifically included in the original charter.
His zeal in conducting religious meetings also offended conventional people. It was unusual, and therefore unsuitable, for a layman to preach sermons in public. St. Francis and his preaching friars had established no precedent in Boston of the 'sixties and 'seventies, and indeed Mr. Durant's evangelical protestantism might not have relished the parallel. Boston seems, for the most part, to have averted its eyes from the spectacle of the brilliant, possibly unscrupulous, some said tricky, lawyer bringing souls to Christ. But he did bring them. We are told that "The halls and churches where he spoke were crowded. The training and experience which had made him so successful a pleader before judge and jury, now, when he was fired with zeal for Christ's cause, made him almost irresistible as a preacher. Very many were led by him to confess the Christian faith. Henry Wilson, then senator, afterwards vice president, was among them. The influence of the meetings was wonderful and far-reaching." We are assured that he "would go nowhere unless the Evangelical Christians of the place united in an invitation and the ministers were ready to cooperate." But the whole affair was of course intensely distasteful to unemotional people; the very fact that a man could be converted argued his instability; and it is unquestionably true that Boston's attitude toward Mr. Durant was reflected for many years in her attitude toward the college which he founded.
But over against this picture we can set another, more intimate, more pleasing, although possibly not more discriminating. When the early graduates of Wellesley and the early teachers write of Mr. Durant, they dip their pens in honey and sunshine. The result is radiant, fiery even, but unconvincingly archangelic. We see him, "a slight, well-knit figure of medium height in a suit of gray, with a gray felt hat, the brim slightly turned down; beneath one could see the beautiful gray hair slightly curling at the ends; the fine, clear-cut features, the piercing dark eyes, the mouth that could smile or be stern as occasion might demand. He seemed to have the working power of half a dozen ordinary persons and everything received his attention. He took the greatest pride and delight in making things as beautiful as possible." Or he is described as "A slight man—with eyes keen as a lawyer's should be, but gentle and wise as a good man's are, and with a halo of wavy silver hair. His step was alert, his whole form illuminate with life." He is sketched for us addressing the college, in chapel, one September morning of 1876, on the supremacy of Greek literature, "urging in conclusion all who would venture upon Hadley's Grammar as the first thorny stretch toward that celestial mountain peak, to rise." It is Professor Katharine Lee Bates, writing in 1892, who gives us the picture: "My next neighbor, a valorous little mortal, now a member of the Smith faculty, was the first upon her feet, pulling me after her by a tug at my sleeve, coupled with a moral tug more efficacious still. Perhaps a dozen of us freshmen, all told, filed into Professor Horton's recitation room that morning." And again, "His prompt and vigorous method of introducing a fresh subject to college notice was the making it a required study for the senior class of the year. '79 grappled with biology, '80 had a senior diet of geology and astronomy." To these young women, as to his juries in earlier days, he could use words "that burned and cut like the lash of a scourge," and it is evident that they feared "the somber lightnings of his eyes."
But he won their affection by his sympathy and humor perhaps, quite as much as by his personal beauty, and his ideals of scholarship, and despite his imperious desire to bring their souls to Christ. They remember lovingly his little jokes. They tell of how he came into College Hall one evening, and said that a mother and daughter had just arrived, and he was perplexed to know where to put them, but he thought they might stay under the staircase leading up from the center. And students and teachers, puzzled by this inhospitality but suspecting a joke somewhere, came out into the center to find the great cast of Niobe and her daughter under the stairway at the left, where it stayed through all the years that followed, until College Hall burned down.
They tell also of the moral he pointed at the unveiling of "The Reading Girl", by John Adams Jackson, which stood for many years in the Browning Room. She was reading no light reading, said Mr. Durant, as the twelve men who brought her in could testify. "She is reading Greek, and observe—she doesn't wear bangs." They saw him ardent in friendship as in all else. His devoted friend, and Wellesley's, Professor Eben N. Horsford, has given us a picture of him which it would be a pity to miss. The two men are standing on the oak-crowned hill, overlooking the lake. "We wandered on," says Professor Horsford, "over the hill and future site of Norumbega, till we came where now stands the monument to the munificence of Valeria Stone. There in the shadow of the evergreens we lay down on the carpet of pine foliage and talked,—I remember it well,—talked long of the problems of life, of things worth living for; of the hidden ways of Providence as well as of the subtle ways of men; of the few who rule and are not always recognized; of the many who are led and are not always conscious of it; of the survival of the fittest in the battle of life, and of the constant presence of the Infinite Pity; of the difficulties, the resolution, the struggle, the conquest that make up the history of every worthy achievement. I arose with the feeling that I had been taken into the confidence of one of the most gifted of all the men it had been my privilege to know. We had not talked of friendship; we had been unconsciously sowing its seed. He loved to illustrate its strength and its steadfastness to me; I have lived to appreciate and reverence the grandeur of the work which he accomplished here."
If we set them over against each other, the hearsay that besmirches and the reminiscence that canonizes, we evoke a very human, living personality: a man of keen intellect, of ardent and emotional temperament, autocratic, fanatical, fastidious, and beauty-loving; a loyal friend; an unpleasant enemy. "He saw black black and white white, for him there was no gray." He was impatient of mediocrity. "He could not suffer fools gladly."
No archangel this, but unquestionably a man of genius, consecrated to the fulfillment of a great vision. It is no wonder that the early graduates living in the very presence of his high purpose, his pure intention, his spendthrift selflessness, remember these things best when they recall old days. After all, these are the things most worth remembering.
The best and most carefully balanced study of him which we have is by Miss Charlotte Howard Conant of the class of '84, in an address delivered by her in the College Chapel, February 18, 1906, to commemorate Mr. Durant's birthday. Miss Conant's use of the biographical material available, and her careful and restrained estimate of Mr. Durant's character cannot be bettered, and it is a temptation to incorporate her entire pamphlet in this chapter, but we shall have to content ourselves with cogent extracts.
Henry Fowle Durant, or Henry Welles Smith as he was called in his boyhood, was born February 20, 1822, in Hanover, New Hampshire. His father, William Smith, "was a lawyer of limited means, but versatile mind and genial disposition." His mother, Harriet Fowle Smith of Watertown, Massachusetts, was one of five sisters renowned for their beauty and amiability; she was, we are told, intelligent as well as beautiful, "a great reader, and a devoted Christian all her long life."
Young Henry went to school in Hanover, and in Peacham, Vermont, but in his early boyhood the family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, and from there he was sent to the private school of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ripley in Waltham, to complete his preparation for Harvard. Miss Conant writes: "Mr. Ripley was pastor of the Unitarian Church there (in Waltham) from 1809 to 1846, and during most of that time supplemented the small salary of a country minister by receiving twelve or fourteen boys into his family to fit for college. From time to time youths rusticated from Harvard were also sent there to keep up college work."
"Mrs. Ripley was one of the most remarkable women of her generation. Born in 1793, she very early began to show unusual intellectual ability, and before she was seventeen she had become a fine Latin scholar and had read also all the Odyssey in the original." Her life-long friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, writes in praise of her: "The rare accomplishments and singular loveliness of her character endeared her to all.... She became one of the best Greek scholars in the country, and continued in her latest years the habit of reading Homer, the tragedians, and Plato. But her studies took a wide range in mathematics, natural philosophy, psychology, theology, and ancient and modern literature. Her keen ear was open to whatever new facts astronomy, chemistry, or the theories of light and heat had to furnish. Absolutely without pedantry, she had no desire to shine. She was faithful to all the duties of wife and mother in a well-ordered and eminently hospitable household wherein she was dearly loved. She was without appetite for luxury or display or praise or influence, with entire indifference to triffles.... As she advanced in life her personal beauty, not remarked in youth, drew the notice of all."
There could have been no nobler, saner influence for an intellectual boy than the companionship of this unusual woman, and if we are to begin at the beginning of Wellesley's story, we must begin with Mrs. Ripley, for Mr. Durant often said that she had great influence in inclining his mind in later life to the higher education of women.
From Waltham the young man went in 1837 to Harvard, where we hear of him as "not specially studious, and possessing refined and luxurious tastes which interfered somewhat with his pursuit of the regular studies of the college." But evidently he was no ordinary idler, for he haunted the Harvard Library, and we know that all his life he was a lover of books. In 1841 he was graduated from Harvard, and went home to Lowell to read law in his father's office, where Benjamin F. Butler was at that time a partner. The dilettante attitude which characterized his college years is now no longer in evidence. He writes to a friend, "I shall study law for the present to oblige father; he is in some trouble, and I wish to make him as happy as possible. The future course of my life is undetermined, except that all shall yield to holy poetry. Indeed it is a sacred duty. I have begun studying law; don't be afraid, however, that I intend to give up poetry. I shall always be a worshiper of that divinity, and I hope in a few years to be able to give up everything and be a priest in her temple." After a year he writes, "I have not written any poetry this whole summer. Old Mrs. Themis says that I shall not visit any more at the Miss Muses. I'll see the old catamaran hanged, though, but what I will, and I'll write a sonnet to my old shoe directly, out of mere desperation. Pity and sympathize with me." And on March 28, 1843, we find him writing to a college friend:
"I have been attending courts of all kinds and assisting as junior counsel in trying cases and all the drudgery of a lawyer's life. One end of my labor has been happily attained, for about three weeks ago I arrived at the age of twenty-one, and last week I mustered courage to stand an examination of my qualifications for an attorney, and the result (unlike that of some examinations during my college life) was fortunate, with compliments from the judge. I feel a certain vanity (not unmixed, by the way, with self-contempt) at my success, for I well remember I and a dear friend of mine used to mourn over the impossibility of our ever becoming business men, and lo, I am a lawyer.— I have a right to bestow my tediousness on any court of the Commonwealth, and they are bound to hear me."
From 1843 to 1847 he practiced at the Middlesex Bar, and from 1847, when he went to live in Boston, until 1863, he was a member of the Suffolk Bar. On November 25, 1851, he had his name changed by act of the Legislature. There were eleven other lawyers by the name of Smith, practicing in Boston, and two of them were Henry Smiths. To avoid the inevitable confusion, Henry Welles Smith became Henry Fowle Durant, both Fowle and Durant being family names.
In 1852 Mr. Durant was a member of the Boston City Council, but did not again hold political office. On May 28, 1854, he married his cousin, Pauline Adeline Fowle, of Virginia, daughter of the late Lieutenant-colonel John Fowle of the United States Army and Paulina Cazenove. On March 2, 1855, the little boy, Henry Fowle Durant, Jr., was born, and on October 10, 1857, a little girl, Pauline Cazenove Durant, who lived less than two months. On June 21, 1862, we find the Boston Evening Courier saying of the prominent lawyer: "What the future has in store for Mr. Durant can of course be only predicted, but his past is secure, and if he never rises higher, he can rest in the consciousness that no man ever rose more rapidly at the Suffolk Bar than he has." And within a year he had put it all behind him,—a sinful and unworthy life,—and had set out to be a new man. That there was sin and unworthiness in the old life we, who look into our own hearts, need not doubt; but how much of sin, how much of unworthiness, happily we need not determine. Mr. Durant was probably his own severest critic.
Miss Conant's characterization of Mr. Durant, in his own words describing James Otis, is particularly illuminating in its revelation of his temperament. In February, 1860, he said of James Otis, in an address delivered in the Boston Mercantile Library Lecture course:
"One cannot study his writings and history and escape the conviction that there were two natures in this great man. There was the trained lawyer, man of action, prompt and brave in every emergency. But there was in him another nature higher than this. In all times men have entertained angels unawares, ministering spirits, whose missions are not wholly known to themselves even, men living beyond and in advance of their age.
"We call them prophets, inspired seers,—in the widest and largest sense poets, for they come to create new empires of thought, new realms in the history of the mind.... But more ample traditions remain of his powers as an orator and of the astonishing effects of his eloquence. He was eminently an orator of action in its finest sense; his contemporaries speak of him as a flame of fire and repeat the phrase as if it were the only one which could express the intense passion of his eloquence, the electric flames which his genius kindled, the magical power which swayed the great assemblies with the irresistible sweep of the whirlwind."
Mr. Durant's attitude toward education is also elucidated for us by Miss Conant in her apt quotations from his address on the American Scholar, delivered at Bowdoin College, August, 1862:
"The cause of God's poor is the sublime gospel of American freedom. It is our faith that national greatness has its only enduring foundation in the intelligence and integrity of the whole people. It is our faith that our institutions approach perfection only when every child can be educated and elevated to the station of a free and intelligent citizen, and we mourn for each one who goes astray as a loss to the country that cannot be repaired.... From this fundamental truth that the end of our Republic is to educate and elevate all our people, you can deduce the future of the American scholar.
"The great dangers in the future of America which we have to fear are from our own neglect of our duty. Foes from within are the most deadly enemies, and suicide is the great danger of our Republic. With the increase of wealth and commerce comes the growing power of gold, and it is a fearful truth for states as well as for individual men that 'gold rusts deeper than iron.' Wealth breeds sensuality, degradation, ignorance, and crime.
"The first object and duty of the true patriot should be to elevate and educate the poor. Ignorance is the modern devil, and the inkstand that Martin Luther hurled at his head in the Castle of Wartburg is the true weapon to fight him with."
This helps us to understand his desire that Wellesley should welcome poor girls and should give them every opportunity for study. Despite his aristocratic tastes he was a true son of democracy; the following, from an address on "The Influences of Rural Life", delivered by him before the Norfolk Agricultural Society, in September, 1859, might have been written in the twentieth century, so modern is its animus:
"The age of iron is passed and the age of gold is passing away; the age of labor is coming. Already we speak of the dignity of labor, and that phrase is anything but an idle and unmeaning one. It is a true gospel to the man who takes its full meaning; the nation that understands it is free and independent and great.
"The dignity of labor is but another name for liberty. The chivalry of labor is now the battle cry of the old world and the new. Ask your cornfields to what mysterious power they do homage and pay tribute, and they will answer—to labor. In a thousand forms nature repeats the truth, that the laborer alone is what is called respectable, is alone worthy of praise and honor and reward."
In a letter accompanying his will, in 1867, Mr. Durant wrote: "The great object we both have in view is the appropriation and consecration of our country place and other property to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, by erecting a seminary on the plan (modified by circumstances) of South Hadley, and by having an Orphan Asylum, not only for orphans, but for those who are more forlorn than orphans in having wicked parents. Did our property suffice I would prefer both, as the care (Christian and charitable) of the children would be blessed work for the pupils of the seminary." The orphanage was, indeed, their first idea, and was, obviously, the more natural and conventional memorial for a little eight-year-old lad, but the idea of the seminary gradually superseded it as Mr. and Mrs. Durant came to take a greater and greater interest in educational problems as distinguished from mere philanthropy. Miss Conant wisely reminds us that, "Just at this time new conditions confronted the common schools of the country. The effects of the Civil War were felt in education as in everything else. During the war the business of teaching had fallen into women's hands, and the close of the war found a great multitude of new and often very incompetent women teachers filling positions previously held by men. The opportunities for the higher education of women were entirely inadequate. Mt. Holyoke was turning away hundreds of girls every year, and there were few or no other advanced schools for girls of limited means."
In 1867 Mr. Durant was elected a trustee of Mt. Holyoke. In 1868 Mrs. Durant gave to Mt. Holyoke ten thousand dollars, which enabled the seminary to build its first library building. We are told that Mr. and Mrs. Durant used to say that there could not be too many Mt. Holyokes. And in 1870, on March 17, the charter of Wellesley Female Seminary was signed by Governor William Claflin.
On April 16, 1870, the first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held, at Mr. Durant's Marlborough Street house in Boston, and the Reverend Edward N. Kirk, pastor of the Mt. Vernon Church in Boston, was elected president of the board. Mr. Durant arranged that both men and women should constitute the Board of Trustees, but that women should constitute the faculty; and by his choice the first and second presidents of the college were women. The continuance of this tradition by the trustees has in every respect justified the ideal and the vision of the founder. The trustees were to be members of Evangelical churches, but no denomination was to have a majority upon the board. On March 7, 1873, the name of the institution was changed by legislative act to Wellesley College. Possibly visits to Vassar had had something to do with the change, for Mr. and Mrs. Durant studied Vassar when they were making their own plans.
And meanwhile, since the summer of 1871, the great house on the hill above Lake Waban had been rising, story on story.
Miss Martha Hale Shackford, Wellesley, 1896, in her valuable little pamphlet, "College Hall", written immediately after the fire, to preserve for future generations of Wellesley women the traditions of the vanished building, tells us with what intentness Mr. Durant studied other colleges, and how, working with the architect, Mr. Hammatt Billings of Boston, "details of line and contour were determined before ground was broken, and the symmetry of the huge building was assured from the beginning."
"Reminiscences of those days are given by residents of Wellesley, who recall the intense interest of the whole countryside in this experiment. From Natick came many high-school girls, on Saturday afternoons, to watch the work and to make plans for attending the college. As the brick-work advanced and the scaffolding rose higher and higher, the building assumed gigantic proportions, impressive in the extreme. The bricks were brought from Cambridge in small cars, which ran as far as the north lodge and were then drawn, on a roughly laid switch track, to the side of the building by a team of eight mules. Other building materials were unloaded in the meadow and then transferred by cars. As eighteen loads of bricks arrived daily the pre-academic aspect of the campus was one of noise and excitement. At certain periods during the finishing of the interior, there were almost three hundred workmen." A pretty story has come down to us of one of these workmen who fell ill, and when he found that he could not complete his work, begged that he might lay one more brick before he was taken away, and was lifted up by his comrades that he might set the brick in its place.
Mr. Durant's eye was upon every detail. He was at hand every day and sometimes all day, for he often took his lunch up to the campus with him, and ate it with the workmen in their noon hour. In 1874 he writes: "The work is very hard and I get very tired. I do feel thankful for the privilege of trying to do something in the cause of Christ. I feel daily that I am not worthy of such a privilege, and I do wish to be a faithful servant to my Master. Yet this does not prevent me from being very weary and sorely discouraged at times. To-night I am so tired I can hardly sit up to write."
And from one who, as a young girl, was visiting at his country house when the house was building, we have this vivid reminiscence: "My first impression of Mr. Durant was, 'Here is the quickest thinker'—my next—'and the keenest wit I have ever met.' Then came the day when under the long walls that stood roofed but bare in the solitude above Lake Waban, I sat upon a pile of plank, now the flooring of Wellesley College, and listened to Mr. Durant. I could not repeat a word he said. I only knew as he spoke and I listened, the door between the seen and the unseen opened and I saw a great soul and its quest, God's glory. I came back to earth to find this seer, with his vision of the wonder that should be, a master of detail and the most tireless worker. The same day as this apocalypse, or soon after, I went with Mr. Durant up a skeleton stairway to see the view from an upper window. The workmen were all gone but one man, who stood resting a grimy hand on the fair newly finished wall. For one second I feared to see a blow follow the flash of Mr. Durant's eye, but he lowered rather than raised his voice, as after an impressive silence he showed the scared man the mark left on the wall and his enormity.... Life was keyed high in Mr. Durant's home, and the keynote was Wellesley College. While the walls were rising he kept workman's hours. Long before the family breakfast he was with the builders. At prayers I learned to listen night and morning for the prayer for Wellesley—sometimes simply an earnest 'Bless Thy college.' We sat on chairs wonderful in their variety, but all on trial for the ease and rest of Wellesley, and who can count the stairways Mrs. Durant went up, not that she might know how steep the stairs of another, but to find the least toilsome steps for Wellesley feet.
"Night did not bring rest, only a change of work. Letters came and went like the correspondence of a secretary of state. Devotion and consecration I had seen before, and sacrifice and self-forgetting, but never anything like the relentless toil of those two who toiled not for themselves. If genius and infinite patience met for the making of Wellesley, side by side with them went the angels of work and prayer; the twin angels were to have their shrine in the college."
On September 8, 1875, the college opened its doors to three hundred and fourteen students. More than two hundred other applicants for admission had been refused for lack of room. We can imagine the excitement of the fortunate three hundred and fourteen, driving up to the college in family groups,—for their fathers and mothers, and sometimes their grandparents or their aunts came with them. They went up Washington Street, "the long way", past the little Gothic Lodge, and up the avenue between the rows of young elms and purple beeches. There was a herd of Jersey cows grazing in the meadow that day, and there is a tradition that the first student entered the college by walking over a narrow plank, as the steps up to the front door were not yet in place; but the story, though pleasantly symbolical, does not square with the well-known energy and impatience of the founder.
The students were received on their arrival by the president, Miss Ada L. Howard, in the reception room. They were then shown to their rooms by teachers. The majority of the rooms were in suites, a study and bedroom or bedrooms for two, three, and in a few suites, four girls. There were almost no single rooms in those days, even for the teachers. With a few exceptions, every bedroom and every study had a large window opening outdoors. There were carpets on the floors, and bookshelves in the studies, and the black walnut furniture was simple in design. As one alumna writes: "The wooden bedsteads with their wooden slats, of vivid memory, the wardrobes, so much more hospitable than the two hooks on the door, which Matthew Vassar vouchsafed to his protegees, the high, commodious bureaus, with their 'scant' glass of fashion, are all endeared to us by long association, and by our straining endeavors to rearrange them in our rooms, without the help of man."
When the student had showed her room to her anxious relatives, on that first day, she came down to the room that was then the president's office, but later became the office of the registrar. There she found Miss Sarah P. Eastman, who, for the first six years of the college life, was teacher of history and director of domestic work. Later, with her sister, Miss Julia A. Eastman, she became one of the founders of Dana Hall, the preparatory school in Wellesley village. An alumna of the class of '80 who evidently had dreaded this much-heralded domestic work, writes that Miss Eastman's personality robbed it of its horrors and made it seem a noble and womanly thing. "When, in her sweet and gracious manner, she asked, 'How would you like to be on the circle to scrape dinner dishes?' you straightway felt that no occupation could be more noble than scraping those mussy plates."
"All that day," we are told, "confusion was inevitable. Mr. Durant hovered about, excited, anxious, yet reassured by the enthusiasm of the students, who entered with eagerness into the new world. He superintended feeding the hungry, answered questions, and studied with great keenness the faces of the girls who were entering Wellesley College. In the middle of the afternoon it had been discovered that no bell had been provided for waking the students, so a messenger went to the village to beg help of Mrs. Horton (the mother of the professor of Greek), who promptly provided a large brass dinnerbell. At six o'clock the next morning two students, side by side, walked through all the corridors, ringing the rising-bell,—an act, as Miss Eastman says, symbolic of the inner awakening to come to all those girls." Thirty-nine years later, at the sound of a bell in the early morning, the household were to awake to duty for the last time in the great building. The unquestioning obedience, the prompt intelligence, the unconscious selflessness with which they obeyed that summons in the dawn of March 17, 1914, witness to that "inner awakening."
The early days of that first term were given over to examinations, and it was presently discovered that only thirty of the three hundred and fourteen would-be college students were really of college grade. The others were relegated to a preparatory department, of which Mr. Durant was always intolerant, and which was finally discontinued in 1881, the year of his death.
Mr. Durant's ideals for the college were of the highest, and in many respects he was far in advance of his times in his attitude toward educational matters. He meant Wellesley to be a university some day. There is a pretty story, which cannot be told too often, of how he stood one morning with Miss Louise Manning Hodgkins, who was professor of English Literature from 1877 to 1891, and looked out over the beautiful campus.
"Do you see what I see?" he asked.
"No," was the quiet answer, for there were few who would venture to say they saw the visions in his eyes.
"Then I will tell you," he said. "On that hill an Art School, down there a Musical Conservatory, on the elevation yonder a Scientific School, and just beyond that an Observatory, at the farthest right a Medical College, and just there in the center a new stone chapel, built as the college outgrew the old one. Yes,—this will all be some time—but I shall not be here."
It is significant that the able lawyer did not number a law school among his university buildings, and that although he gave to Wellesley his personal library, the gift did not include his law library. Nevertheless, there are lawyers among the Wellesley graduates, and one or two of distinction.
Mr. Durant's desire that the college should do thorough, original, first-hand work, cannot be too strongly emphasized. Miss Conant tells us that, "For all scientific work he planned laboratories where students might make their own investigations, a very unusual step for those times." In 1878, when the Physics laboratory was started at Wellesley, under the direction of Professor Whiting, Harvard had no such laboratory for students. In chemistry also, the Wellesley students had unusual opportunities for conducting their own experimental work. Mr. Durant also began the collection of scientific and literary periodicals containing the original papers of the great investigators, now so valuable to the college. "This same idea of original work led him to purchase for the library books for the study of Icelandic and allied languages, so that the English department might also begin its work at the root of things. He wished students of Greek and Latin to illuminate their work by the light of archeology, topography, and epigraphy. Such books as then existed on these subjects were accordingly procured. In 1872 no handbooks of archeology had been prepared, and even in 1882 no university in America offered courses in that subject."
His emphasis on physical training for the students was also an advance upon the general attitude of the time. He realized that the Victorian young lady, with her chignon and her Grecian bend, could not hope to make a strong student. The girls were encouraged to row on the lake, to take long, brisk walks, to exercise in the gymnasium. Mr. Durant sent to England for a tennis set, as none could be procured in America, "but had some difficulty in persuading many of the students to take such very violent exercise."
But despite these far-seeing plans, he was often, during his lifetime, his own greatest obstacle to their achievement. He brought to his task a large inexperience of the genus girl, a despotic habit of mind, and a temperamental tendency to play Providence. Theoretically, he wished to give the teachers and students of Wellesley an opportunity to show what women, with the same educational facilities as their brothers and a free hand in directing their own academic life, could accomplish for civilization. Practically, they had to do as he said, as long as he lived. The records in the diaries, letters, and reminiscences which have come down to us from those early days, are full of Mr. Durant's commands and coercions.
On one historic occasion he decides that the entire freshman schedule shall be changed, for one day, from morning to afternoon, in order that a convention of Massachusetts school superintendents, meeting in Boston, may hear the Wellesley students recite their Greek, Latin, and Mathematics. In vain do the students protest at being treated like district school children; in vain do the teachers point out the injury to the college dignity; in vain do the superintendents evince an unflattering lack of interest in the scholarship of Wellesley. It must be done. It is done. The president of the freshman class is called upon to recite her Greek lesson. She begins. The superintendents chatter and laugh discourteously among themselves. But the president of the freshman class has her own ideas of classroom etiquette. She pauses. She waits, silent, until the room is hushed, then she resumes her recitation before the properly disciplined superintendents. In religious matters, Mr. Durant was, of course, especially active. Like the Christian converts of an earlier day, he would have harried and hurried souls to Christ. But Victorian girls were less docile than the medieval Franks and Goths. They seem, many of them, to have eluded or withstood this forceful shepherding with a vigilance as determined as Mr. Durant's own.
But some of the letters and diaries give us such a vivid picture of this early Wellesley that it would be a pity not to let them speak. The diary quoted is that of Florence Morse Kingsley, the novelist, who was a student at Wellesley from 1876 to 1879, but left before she was graduated because of trouble with her eyes. Already in the daily record of the sixteen-year-old girl we find the little turns and twinkles of phrase which make Mrs. Kingsley's books such good reading.
Wellesley College, September 18th., 1876. I haven't had time to write in this journal since I came. There is so much to do here all the time. Besides, I have changed rooms and room-mates. I am in No. 72 now and I have a funny little octagon-shaped bedroom all to myself, and two room-mates, I. W. and J.S. Both of these are in the preparatory department. But I am in the semi-collegiate class, because I passed all my mathematics. But I didn't have quite enough of the right Latin to be a full freshman. We get up at 6.30, have breakfast at 7, then a class at 7.55, after that comes silent hour, chapel, and section Bible class. Then hours again till dinner-time at one, and after dinner till 4.55. We can go outdoors all we want to and to the library, but we can't go in each other's rooms, which is a blessing. There are some girls here who would like to talk every minute, morning, noon and night.
I went out to walk this afternoon with B. We were walking very slow and talking very fast, when all of a sudden we met Mr. Durant. He was coming along like a steam engine, his white hair flying out in the wind. When he saw us he stopped; of course we stopped too, for we saw he wanted to speak to us.
"That isn't the way to walk, girls," he said, very briskly. "You need to make the blood bound through your veins; that will stimulate the mind and help to make you good students. Come now, I'll walk with you as far as the lodge, and show you what I mean."
B. and I just straightened up and walked! Mr. Durant talked to us some about our lessons. He seemed pleased when we told him we liked geometry. When we got back to the college we told the girls about meeting Mr. Durant. I guess nobody will want to dawdle along after this; I'm sure I shan't.
Oct. 5. I broke an oar to-day. I'm not used to rowing anyway, and the oar was long; two of us sit on one seat, each pulling an oar. There is room for eight in the boat, beside the captain. We went out to-day in a boat called the Ellida and after going all around the lake we thought it would be fun to go under a little stone bridge. The captain told us to ship our oars; I didn't ship mine enough, and it struck the side of the bridge and snapped right off. I was dreadfully frightened; especially as the captain said right away, "You'll have to tell Mr. Durant." The captain's name is ——. She was a first year girl, and on that account thinks a great deal of herself.
I wish I'd come last year. It must have been lots of fun. Well, anyway, I thought I might as well have the matter of the oar over with, so as soon as we landed I took the two pieces of the oar and marched straight into the office. Mr. Durant sat there at the desk. He appeared to be very busy and he didn't look at me at first. When he did my heart beat so fast I could hardly speak. I guess he saw I was frightened, for he laughed a little and said, "Oh ho, you've had an accident, I see."
I told him how it happened, and he said, "Well, you've learned that stone bridges are stronger than oars; and that bit of information will cost you seventy cents."
I was so relieved that I laughed right out. "I thought it would cost as much as five dollars," I said. I like Mr. Durant.
October 15. Mr. Durant talked to us in chapel this morning on the subject of being honest about our domestic work. Of course some girls are used to working and can hurry, while others... don't even know how to tie their shoestrings or braid their hair properly when they first come.... My work is to dust the center on the first floor. It's easy, and if I didn't take lots of time to look at the pictures and palms and things while I am doing it I couldn't possibly make it last an hour. But I'm thorough, so my conscience didn't prick me a bit. But some of the girls got as red as beets and... cried afterward; she hadn't swept her corridor for two whole days. Mr. Durant certainly does get down to the roots of things, and if you haven't a pretty decent conscience about your lessons and everything, you feel as though you had a clear little window right in the middle of your forehead through which he can look in and see the disorder. Some of the girls say they are just paralyzed when he looks at them; but I'm not. I feel like doing things just as well as I can.
Sunday, November 19. We had a missionary from South Africa to preach in the chapel this morning. He seemed to think we were all getting ready to be missionaries, because he said among other things that he hoped to welcome us to the field as soon as possible after we graduated. His complexion was very yellow. It reminded one of ivory, elephants' tusks and that sort of thing. We heard afterward that he wasn't married, and that he hoped to find a suitable helpmate here. But although Mr. Durant introduced him to all the '79 girls I didn't think he liked the looks of any of them. At least he didn't propose to any of them on the spot. They're only sophomores, anyway, when one comes to think of it, but they certainly act as if the dignity of the whole institution rested on their shoulders. Most of them wear trails every day. I wish I had a trail.
To complete this picture of the college woman in 1876 we need the description of the college president, by a member of the class of '80: "Miss Howard with her young face, pink cheeks, blue eyes, and puffs of snow-white hair, wearing always a long trailing gown of black silk, cut low at the throat and finished with folds of snowy tulle." None of these writers gives the date at which the trail disappeared from the classroom.
The following letters are from Mary Elizabeth Stilwell, a member of that same class of '79 which wore the trails. She, like Florence Morse, left college on account of her health. The letters are printed by the courtesy of her daughter, Ruth Eleanor McKibben, a graduate of Denison College and a graduate student at Wellesley during 1914 and 1915. Elizabeth Stilwell was older and more mature than Florence Morse, and her letters give us the old Wellesley from quite a different angle.
Oct. 16, '75.
My Dear Mother:—
If you are at all discouraged or feel the need of something to cheer you up you had better lay this letter aside and read it some other time, for I expect it will be exceedingly doleful. But really, Mother, I am exceedingly in earnest in what I am going to write and have thought the whole matter over carefully before I have ventured a word on the subject. Wellesley is not a college. The buildings are beautiful, perfect almost; the rooms and their appointments delightful, most of the professors are all that could be desired, some of them are very fine indeed in their several departments, but all these delightful things are not the things that make a college.... And, Oh! the experiments! It is enough to try the patience of a Job. I came here to take a college course, and not to dabble in a little of every insignificant thing that comes up. More than half of my time is taken up in writing essays, practicing elocution, trotting to chapel, and reading poetry with the teacher of English literature, and it seems to make no difference to Miss Howard and Mr. Durant whether the Latin, Greek and Mathematics are well learned or not. The result is that I do not have time to half learn my lessons. My real college work is unsatisfactory, poorly done, and so of course amounts to about nothing. I am not the only one that feels it, but every member of the freshman class has the same feeling, and not only the students but even the professors. You can have no idea of how these very professors have worked to have things different and have expostulated and expostulated with Mr. Durant, but all to no avail. He is as hard as a flint and his mind is made up of the most beautiful theories, but he is perfectly blind to facts. He rules the college, from the amount of Latin we shall read to the kind of meat we shall have for dinner; he even went out into the kitchen the other day and told the cook not to waste so much butter in making the hash, for I heard him myself.
We must remember that the writer is a young girl, intolerant, as youth is always intolerant, and that she was writing only one month after the college had opened. It is not to be expected that she could understand the creative excitement under which the founder was laboring in those first years. We, who look back, can appreciate what it must have meant to a man of his imagination and intensity, to see his ideal coming true; naturally, he could not keep his hands off. And we must remember also that until his death Mr. Durant met the yearly deficit of the college. This gave him a peculiar claim to have his wishes carried out, whether in the classroom or in the kitchen.
Miss Stilwell continues:
I know there are a great many things to be taken into consideration. I know that the college is new and that all sorts of discouragements are to be expected, and that the best way is to bear them patiently and hope that all will come out right in the end. At the same time I am DETERMINED to have a certain sort of an education, and I must go where I can get it.... Oh! if I could only make you see it as we all feel it! It is such a bitter disappointment when I had looked forward for so long to going to college, to find the same narrowness and cramped feeling.—There is one other thing that Mrs. S. (the mother of one of the students) spoke of yesterday, which is very true I am sorry to say, and that is in regard to the religious influence. She said that she thought that Mr. Durant by driving the girls so, and continually harping on the subject, was losing all his influence and was doing just the opposite of what he intended. I know that with my room-mate and her set he is a constant source of ridicule and his exhortations and prayers are retailed in the most terrible way. I have set my foot down on it and I will not allow anything of the sort done in my room, but I know that it is done elsewhere, and that every spark of religious interest is killed by the process. I have firmly made up my mind that it shall not affect me and I have succeeded in controlling myself this far.
On December 31, we find her writing: "My Greek is the only pleasant thing to which I can look forward, and I am quite sure good instruction awaits me there."
In 1876 she cheers up a bit, and on September 17, writes: "I am going to like Miss Lord (professor of Latin) very much indeed and shall derive a great deal of profit from her teaching." And on October 8,
"Having already had so much Greek, I think I could take the classical course for Honors right through, even though I did not begin German until another year, and as I am quite anxious to study Chemistry and have the laboratory practice perhaps I had best take Chemistry now and leave German for another year. It is indeed a problem and a profound one as to what I am to do with my education and I am very anxious to hear from father in answer to my letter and get his thoughts on the matter. I have the utmost confidence in Miss Horton's judgment (professor of Greek) and I think I shall talk the matter over with her in a day or two."
Evidently the "experiments" which had taken so much of her time in 1875 had now been eliminated, and she was able to respect the work which she was doing. Her Sunday schedule, which she sends her mother on October 15, 1876, will be of interest to the modern college girl.
Rising Bell 7 Breakfast 7.45 Silent Hour 9.30 Bible Class 9.45 Church 11 Dinner 1 Prayer Meeting 5 Supper 5.30 Section Prayer Meeting 7.30 Once a Month Missionary Prayer Meeting 8 Silent Hour 9 Bed 9.30
And in addition to her required work, this ambitious young student has arranged a course of reading for herself:
During the last week I have been in the library a great deal and have been browsing for two or three hours at a time among those delightful books. I have arranged a course of reading upon Art, which I hope to have time to pursue, and then I have made selections from some such authors as Kingsley, Ruskin, De Quincey, Hawthorne,—and Mrs. Jameson, for which I hope to find time. Besides all this you can't imagine what domestic work has been given me. It is in the library where I am to spend 3/4 of an hour a day in arranging "studies" in Shakespeare. The work will be like this:—Mr. Durant has sent for five hundred volumes to form a "Shakespeare library." I will read some fully detailed life of Shakespeare and note down as I go along such topics as I think are interesting and which will come up next year when the Juniors study Shakespeare. For instance, each one of his plays will form a separate topic, also his early home, his education, his friendships, the different characteristics of his genius, &c. Then all there is in the library upon this author must be read enough to know under what topic or topics it belongs and then noted under these topics. So that when the literature class come to study Shakespeare next year, each one will know just where to go for any information she may want. Mr. Durant came to me himself about it and explained to me what it would be and asked me if I would be willing to take it. He said I could do just as I wanted to about it and if I felt that it would be tiresome and too much like a study and so a strain upon me, he did not want me to take it. I have been thinking of it now for a day or two and have come to the conclusion to undertake it. For it seems to me that it will be an unusual advantage and of great benefit to me.—Another reason why I am pleased and which I could tell to no one but you and father is that I think it shows that Mr. Durant has some confidence in me and what I can do. But—"tell it not in Gath"—that I ever said anything of the kind.
Thus do we trace Literature 9 (the Shakespeare Course) to its modest fountainhead.
Elizabeth Stilwell left her Alma Mater in 1877, but so cherished were the memories of the life which she had criticized as a girl, and so thoroughly did she come to respect its academic standards, that her own daughters grew up thinking that the goal of happy girlhood was Wellesley College.
From such naive beginnings, amateur in the best sense of the word, the Wellesley of to-day has arisen. Details of the founder's plan have been changed and modified to meet conditions which he could not foresee. But his "five great essentials for education at Wellesley College" are still the touchstones of Wellesley scholarship. In the founder's own words they are:
FIRST. God with us; no plan can prosper without Him.
SECOND. Health; no system of education can be in accordance with God's laws which injures health.
THIRD. Usefulness; all beauty is the flower of use.
FIFTH. The one great truth of higher education which the noblest womanhood demands; viz. the supreme development and unfolding of every power and faculty, of the Kingly reason, the beautiful imagination, the sensitive emotional nature, and the religious aspirations. The ideal is of the highest learning in full harmony with the noblest soul, grand by every charm of culture, useful and beautiful because useful; feminine purity and delicacy and refinement giving their luster and their power to the most absolute science—woman learned without infidelity and wise without conceit, the crowned queen of the world by right of that Knowledge which is Power and that Beauty which is Truth."
THE PRESIDENTS AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENT
Wellesley's career differs in at least one obvious and important particular from the careers of her sister colleges, Smith, Vassar, and Bryn Mawr,—in the swift succession of her presidents during her formative years. Smith College, opening in the same year as Wellesley, 1875, remained under President Seelye's wise guidance for thirty-five years. Vassar, between 1886 and 1914, had but one president. Bryn Mawr, in 1914, still followed the lead of Miss Thomas, first dean and then president. In 1911, Wellesley's sixth president was inaugurated. Of the five who preceded President Pendleton, only Miss Hazard served more than six years, and even Miss Hazard's term of eleven years was broken by more than one long absence because of illness.
It is useless to deny that this lack of administrative continuity had its disadvantages, yet no one who watched the growth and development of Wellesley during her first forty years could fail to mark the genuine progression of her scholarly ideal. Despite an increasingly hampering lack of funds—poverty is not too strong a word—and the disconcerting breaks and changes in her presidential policy, she never took a backward step, and she never stood still. The Wellesley that Miss Freeman inherited was already straining at its leading strings and impatient of its boarding-school horizons; the Wellesley that Miss Shafer left was a college in every modern acceptation of the term, and its academic prestige has been confirmed and enhanced by each successive president.
Of these six women who were called to direct the affairs of Wellesley in her first half century, Miss Ada L. Howard seems to have been the least forceful; but her position was one of peculiar difficulty, and she apparently took pains to adjust herself with tact and dignity to conditions which her more spirited successors would have found unbearably galling. Professor George Herbert Palmer, in his biography of his wife, epitomizes the early situation when he says that Mr. Durant "had, it is true, appointed Miss Ada L. Howard president; but her duties as an executive officer were nominal rather than real; neither his disposition, her health, nor her previous training allowing her much power."
Miss Howard was a New Hampshire woman, the daughter of William Hawkins Howard and Adaline Cowden Howard. Three of her great grandfathers were officers in the War of the Revolution. Her father is said to have been a good scholar and an able teacher as well as a scientific agriculturist, and her mother was "a gentlewoman of sweetness, strength and high womanhood." When their daughter was born, the father and mother were living in Temple, a village of Southern New Hampshire not very far from Jaffrey. The little girl was taught by her father, and was later sent to the academy at New Ipswich, New Hampshire, to the high school at Lowell, and to Mt. Holyoke Seminary, where she was graduated. After leaving Mt. Holyoke, she taught at Oxford, Ohio, and she was at one time the principal of the Woman's Department of Knox College, Illinois. In the early '70's this was a career of some distinction, for a woman, and Mr. Durant was justified in thinking that he had found the suitable executive head for his college. We hear of his saying, "I have been four years looking for a president. She will be a target to be shot at, and for the present the position will be one of severe trials."
Miss Howard came to Wellesley in 1875, giving up a private school of her own, Ivy Hall, in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in order to become a college president. No far-seeing policies can be traced to her, however; she seems to have been content to press her somewhat narrow and rigid conception of discipline upon a more or less restive student body, and to follow Mr. Durant's lead in all matters pertaining to scholarship and academic expansion.
We can trace that expansion from year to year through this first administration. In 1877 the Board of Visitors was established, and eminent educators and clergymen were invited to visit the college at stated intervals and stimulate by their criticism the college routine. In 1878 the Students' Aid Society was founded to help the many young women who were in need of a college training, but who could not afford to pay their own way. Through the wise generosity of Mrs. Durant and a group of Boston women, the society was set upon its feet, and its long career of blessed usefulness was begun. This is only one of the many gifts which Wellesley owes to Mrs. Durant. As Professor Katharine Lee Bates has said in her charming sketch of Mrs. Durant in the Wellesley Legenda for 1894: "Her specific gifts to Wellesley it is impossible to completely enumerate. She has forgotten, and no one else ever knew. So long as Mr. Durant was living, husband and wife were one and inseparable in service and donation. But since his death, while it has been obvious that she spends herself unsparingly in college cares, adding many of his functions to her own, a continuous flow of benefits, almost unperceived, has come to Wellesley from her open hand." As long as her health permitted, she lavished "her very life in labor of hand and brain for Wellesley, even as her husband lavished his."
In 1878 the Teachers' Registry was also established, a method of registration by which those students who expected to teach might bring their names and qualifications before the schools of the country. But the most important academic events of this year, and those which reacted directly upon the intellectual life of the college, were the establishment of the Physics laboratory, under the careful supervision of Professor Whiting, and the endowment of the Library by Professor Eben N. Horsford of Cambridge. This endowment provided a fund for the purchase of new books and for various expenses of maintenance, and was only one of the many gifts which Wellesley was to receive from this generous benefactor. Another gift, of this year, was the pipe organ, presented by Mr. William H. Groves, for the College Hall Chapel. Later, when the new Memorial Chapel was built, this organ was removed to Billings Hall, the concert room of the Department of Music.
On June 24, 1879, Wellesley held her first Commencement exercises, with a graduating class of eighteen and an address by the Reverend Richard S. Storrs, D.D., on the "Influence of Woman in the Future."
In 1880, on May 27, the corner stone of Stone Hall was laid, the second building on the college campus. It was the gift of Mrs. Valeria G. Stone, and was intended, in the beginning, as a dormitory for the "teacher specials." Doctor William A. Willcox of Malden, a devoted trustee of Wellesley from 1878 to 1904, and a relative of Mrs. Stone, was influential in securing this gift for the college, and it was he who first turned the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Durant to the needs of the women who had already been engaged in teaching, but who wished to fit themselves for higher positions by advanced work in one or more particular directions. At first, there were a good many of them, and even as late as 1889 and 1890 there were a few still in evidence; but gradually, as the number of regular students increased, and accommodations became more limited, and as opportunities for college training multiplied, these "T. Specs." as they were irreverently dubbed by the undergraduates, disappeared, and Stone Hall has for many years been filled with students in regular standing.
On June 10, 1880, the corner stone of Music Hall was laid; the inscription in the stone reads: "The College of Music is dedicated to Almighty God with the hope that it will be used in his service." There are added the following passages from the Bible:
"Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Isaiah, 26: 4.
"Sing praises to God, sing praises: Sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth." Psalms, 47: 6-7.
The building was given by the founders.
The year 1881 is marked by the closing, in June, of Wellesley's preparatory department, another intellectual advance. In June also, on the tenth, the corner stone of Simpson Cottage was laid. The building was the gift of Mr. Michael Simpson, and has been used since 1908 as the college hospital. In the autumn of 1881, Stone Hall and Waban Cottage—the latter another gift from the founders were opened for students.
On October 3, 1881, Mr. Durant died, and shortly afterwards Miss Howard resigned. After leaving Wellesley, she lived in Methuen, Massachusetts, and in Brooklyn, New York, where she died, March 3, 1907. Mrs. Marion Pelton Guild, of the class of '80, says of Miss Howard, in an article on Wellesley written for the New England Magazine, October, 1914, that "she was in the difficult position of the nominal captain, who is in fact only a lieutenant. Yet she held it with a true self-respect, honoring the fiery genius of her leader, if she could not always follow its more startling fights; and not hesitating to withstand him in his most positive plans, if her long practical experience suggested that it was necessary." From Mt. Holyoke, her Alma Mater, Miss Howard received, in the latter part of her life, the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.
Wellesley's second president, Alice E. Freeman, is, of all the six, the one most widely known. Her magnetic personality, her continued and successful efforts during her administration to bring Wellesley out of its obscurity and into the public eye, her extended activity in educational matters after her marriage, gave her a prominence throughout the country which was surpassed by very few women of her generation. And her husband's reverent and poetical interpretation of her character has secured for her reputation a literary permanence unusual to the woman of affairs who "wrote no books and published only half a dozen articles", and whose many public addresses were never written.
It is from Professor Palmer's "Life of Alice Freeman Palmer", published by the Houghton Mifflin Co., that the biographical material for the brief sketch following is derived.
Alice Elvira Freeman was born at Colesville, Broome County, New York, on February 21, 1855. She was a country child, a farmer's daughter as her mother was before her. James Warren Freeman, the father, was of Scottish blood. His mother was a Knox, and his maternal grandfather was James Knox of Washington's Life Guard. James Freeman was, as we should expect, an elder of the Presbyterian church. The mother, Elizabeth Josephine Higley, "had unusual executive ability and a strong disposition to improve social conditions around her. She interested herself in temperance, and in legislation for the better protection of women and children." Their little daughter Alice, the eldest of four children, taught herself to read when she was three years old, and we find her going to school at the age of four. When she was seven, her father, urged by his wife, decided to be a physician, and during his two years' absence at the Albany medical school, Mrs. Freeman supported him and the four little children. The incident helps us to understand the ambition and determination of the seventeen-year-old daughter when she declared in the face of her parents' opposition, "that she meant to have a college degree if it took her till she was fifty to get it. If her parents could help her, even partially, she would promise never to marry until she had herself put her brother through college and given to each of her sisters whatever education they might wish—a promise subsequently performed."
And the girl had her own ideas about the kind of college she meant to attend. It must be a real college. Mt. Holyoke she rejected because it was a young ladies' seminary, and Elmira and Vassar fell under the same suspicion, in her mind, although they were nominally colleges. She chose Michigan, the strongest of the coeducational colleges, and she entered only two years after its doors were opened to women.
She did not enter in triumph, however; the academy at Windsor, New York, where she had gone to school after her father became a physician, was good at supplying "general knowledge" but "poorly equipped for preparing pupils for college", and Doctor Freeman's daughter failed to pass her entrance examinations for Michigan University. President Angell tells the story sympathetically in "The Life", as follows:
"In 1872, when Alice Freeman presented herself at my office, accompanied by her father, to apply for admission to the university, she was a simple, modest girl of seventeen. She had pursued her studies in the little academy at Windsor. Her teacher regarded her as a child of much promise, precocious, possessed of a bright, alert mind, of great industry, of quick sympathies, and of an instinctive desire to be helpful to others. Her preparation for college had been meager, and both she and her father were doubtful of her ability to pass the required examinations. The doubts were not without foundation. The examiners, on inspecting her work, were inclined to decide that she ought to do more preparatory work before they could accept her. Meantime I had had not a little conversation with her and her father, and had been impressed with her high intelligence. At my request the examiners decided to allow her to enter on a trial of six weeks. I was confident she would demonstrate her capacity to go on with her class. I need hardly add that it was soon apparent to her instructors that my confidence was fully justified. She speedily gained and constantly held an excellent position as a scholar."
President Angell is of course using the term "scholar" in its undergraduate connotation for, as Professor Palmer has been careful to state, "In no field of scholarship was she eminent." Despite her eagerness for knowledge, her bent was for people rather than for books; for what we call the active and objective life, rather than for the life of thought. Wellesley has had her scholar presidents, but Miss Freeman was not one of them. This friendly, human temper showed itself early in her college days. To quote again from President Angell: "One of her most striking characteristics in college was her warm and demonstrative sympathy with her circle of friends.... Without assuming or striving for leadership, she could not but be to a certain degree a leader among these, some of whom have since attained positions only less conspicuous for usefulness than her own.... No girl of her time on withdrawing from college would have been more missed than she."
It is for this eagerness in friendship, this sympathetic and helpful interest in the lives of others that Mrs. Palmer is especially remembered at Wellesley. Her own college days made her quick to understand the struggles and ambitions of other girls who were hampered by inadequate preparation, or by poverty. Her husband tells us that, "When a girl had once been spoken to, however briefly, her face and name were fixed on a memory where each incident of her subsequent career found its place beside the original record." And he gives the following incident as told by a superintendent of education.
"Once after she had been speaking in my city, she asked me to stand beside her at a reception. As the Wellesley graduates came forward to greet her—there were about eighty of them—she said something to each which showed that she knew her. Some she called by their first names; others she asked about their work, their families, or whether they had succeeded in plans about which they had evidently consulted her. The looks of pleased surprise which flashed over the faces of those girls I cannot forget. They revealed to me something of Miss Freeman's rich and radiant life. For though she seemed unconscious of doing anything unusual, and for her I suppose it was usual, her own face reflected the happiness of the girls and showed a serene joy in creating that happiness."
Her husband, in his analysis of her character, has a remarkable passage concerning this very quality of disinterestedness. He says:
"Her moral nature was grounded in sympathy. Beginning early, the identification of herself with others grew into a constant habit, of unusual range and delicacy.... Most persons will agree that sympathy is the predominantly feminine virtue, and that she who lacks it cannot make its absence good by any collection of other worthy qualities. In a true woman sympathy directs all else. To find a virtue equally central in a man we must turn to truthfulness or courage. These also a woman should possess, as a man too should be sympathetic; but in her they take a subordinate place, subservient to omnipresent sympathy. Within these limits the ampler they are, the nobler the woman.
"I believe Mrs. Palmer had a full share of both these manly excellences, and practiced them in thoroughly feminine fashion. She was essentially true, hating humbug in all its disguises.... Her love of plainness and distaste for affectation were forms of veracity. But in narrative of hers one got much besides plain realities. These had their significance heightened by her eager emotion, and their picturesqueness by her happy artistry.... Of course the warmth of her sympathy cut off all inclination to falsehood for its usual selfish purpose. But against generous untruth she was not so well guarded. Kindness was the first thing.... Tact too, once become a habit, made adaptation to the mind addressed a constant concern. She had extraordinary skill in stuffing kindness with truth; and into a resisting mind could without irritation convey a larger bulk of unwelcome fact than any one I have known. But that insistence on colorless statement which in our time the needs of trade and science have made current among men, she did not feel. Lapses from exactitude which do not separate person from person she easily condoned."
Surely the manly virtues of truthfulness and courage could be no better exemplified than in the writing of this passage. Whether his readers, especially the women, will agree with Professor Palmer that, in woman, truthfulness and courage "take a subordinate place, subservient to omnipresent sympathy", is a question.
Between 1876 when she was graduated from Michigan, and 1879 when she went to Wellesley, Miss Freeman taught with marked success, first at a seminary in the town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she had charge of the Greek and Latin; and later as assistant principal of the high school at Saginaw in Northern Michigan. Here she was especially successful in keeping order among unruly pupils. The summer of 1877 she spent in Ann Arbor, studying for a higher degree, and although she never completed the thesis for this work, the university conferred upon her the degree of Ph.D. in 1882, the first year of her presidency at Wellesley.
In this same summer of 1877, when she was studying at Ann Arbor, she received her first invitation to teach at Wellesley. Mr. Durant offered her an instructorship in Mathematics, which she declined. In 1878 she was again invited, this time to teach Greek, but her sister Stella was dying, and Miss Freeman, who had now settled her entire family at Saginaw, would not leave them. In June, 1879, the sister died, and in July Miss Freeman became the head of the Department of History at Wellesley, at the age of twenty-four.
Mr. Durant's attention had first been drawn to her by her good friend President Angell, and he had evidently followed her career as a teacher with interest. There seems to have been no abatement in his approval after she went to Wellesley. We are told that they did not always agree, but this does not seem to have affected their mutual esteem. In her first year, Mr. Durant is said to have remarked to one of the trustees, "You see that little dark-eyed girl? She will be the next president of Wellesley." And before he died, he made his wishes definitely known to the board.
At a meeting of the trustees, on November 15, 1881, Miss Freeman was appointed vice president of the college and acting president for the year. She was then twenty-six years of age and the youngest professor in the college. In 1882 she became president.
During the next six years, Wellesley's growth was as normal as it was rapid. This is a period of internal organization which achieved its most important result in the evolution of the Academic Council. "In earlier days," we are told by Professor Palmer, "teachers of every rank met in the not very important faculty meetings, to discuss such details of government or instruction as were not already settled by Mr. Durant." But even then the faculty was built up out of departmental groups, that is, "all teachers dealing with a common subject were banded together under a head professor and constituted a single unit," and, as Mrs. Guild tells us, Miss Freeman "naturally fell to consulting the heads of departments as the abler and more responsible members of the faculty," instead of laying her plans before the whole faculty at its more or less cumbersome weekly meetings. From this inner circle of heads of departments the Academic Council was gradually evolved. It now includes the president, the dean, professors, associate professors (unless exempted by a special tenure of office), and such other officers of instruction and administration as may be given this responsibility by vote of the trustees.
Miss Freeman also "began the formation of standing committees of the faculty on important subjects, such as entrance examinations, graduate work, preparatory schools, etc."
This faculty, over which Miss Freeman presided, was a notable one, a body of women exhibiting in marked degree those qualities and virtues of the true pioneer: courage, patience, originality, resourcefulness, and vision. There were strong groups from Ann Arbor and Oberlin and Mt. Holyoke, and there was a fourth group of "pioneer scholars, not wholly college bred, but enriched with whatever amount of academic training they could wring or charm from a reluctant world, whom Wellesley will long honor and revere."
With the organization of the faculty came also the organization of the college work. Entrance examinations were made more severe. Greek had been first required for entrance in 1881. A certificate of admission was drawn up, stating exactly what the candidate had accomplished in preparation for college. Courses of study were standardized and simplified. In 1882, the methods of Bible study were reorganized, and instead of the daily classes, to which no serious study had been given, two hours a week of "examinable instruction" were substituted. In this year also the gymnasium was refitted under the supervision of Doctor D. A. Sargent of Harvard.
Miss Freeman's policy of establishing preparatory schools which should be "feeders" for Wellesley was of the greatest importance to the college at this time, as "in only a few high schools were the girls allowed to join classes which fitted boys for college." When Miss Freeman became president, Dana Hall was the only Wellesley preparatory school in existence; but in 1884, through her efforts, an important school was opened in Philadelphia, and before the end of her presidency, she had been instrumental in furthering the organization of fifteen other schools in different parts of the country, officered for the most part by Wellesley graduates.
In this same year the Christian Association was organized. Its history, bound up as it is with the student life, will be given more fully in a later chapter, but we must not forget that Miss Freeman gave the association its initial impulse and established its broad type.
In 1884 also, we find Wellesley petitioning before the committee on education at the State House in Boston, to extend its holdings from six hundred thousand dollars to five million dollars, and gaining the petition.
On June 22, 1885, the corner stone of the Decennial Cottage, afterwards called Norumbega, was laid. The building was given by the alumnae, aided by Professor Horsford, Mr. E. A. Goodenow and Mr. Elisha S. Converse of the Board of Trustees. Norumbega was for many years known as the President's House, for here Miss Freeman, Miss Shafer, and Mrs. Irvine lived. In the academic year 1901-02, when Miss Hazard built the house for herself and her successors, the president's modest suite in Norumbega was set free for other purposes.
In 1886, Norumbega was opened, and in June of that year, the Library Festival was held to celebrate Professor Horsford's many benefactions to the college. These included the endowment of the Library, an appropriation for scientific apparatus, and a system of pensions.
In a letter to the trustees, dated January 1, 1886, the donor explains that the annual appropriation for the library shall be for the salaries of the librarian and assistants, for books for the library, and for binding and repairs. That the appropriation for scientific apparatus shall go toward meeting the needs of the departments of Physics, Chemistry, Botany, and Biology. And that the System of Pensions shall include a Sabbatical Grant, and a "Salary Augment and Pension." By the Sabbatical Grant, the heads of certain departments are able to take a year of travel and residence abroad every seventh year on half salary. The donor stipulated, however, that "the offices contemplated in the grants and pensions must be held by ladies."
In his memorable address on this occasion, Professor Horsford outlines his ideal for the library which he generously endowed:
"But the uses of books at a seat of learning reach beyond the wants of the undergraduates. The faculty need supplies from the daily widening field of literature. They should have access to the periodical issues of contemporary research and criticism in the various branches of knowledge pertaining to their individual departments. In addition to these, the progressive culture of an established college demands a share in whatever adorns and ennobles scholarly life, and principally the opportunity to know something of the best of all the past,—the writers of choice and rare books. To meet this demand there will continue to grow the collections in specialties for bibliographical research, which starting like the suite of periodicals with the founder, have been nursed, as they will continue to be cherished, under the wise direction of the Library Council. Some of these will be gathered in concert, it may be hoped, with neighboring and venerable and hospitable institutions, that costly duplicates may be avoided; some will be exclusively our own.
"To these collections of specialties may come, as to a joint estate in the republic of letters, not alone the faculty of the college, but such other persons of culture engaged in literary labor as may not have found facilities for conducting their researches elsewhere, and to whom the trustees may extend invitation to avail themselves of the resources of our library."
These ideals of scholarship and hospitality the Wellesley College Library never forgets. Her Plimpton collection of Italian manuscripts is a treasure-house for students of the Italy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance; and her alumnae, as well as scholars from other colleges and other lands, are given every facility for study.
In 1887, two dormitories were added to the college: Freeman Cottage, the gift of Mrs. Durant, and the Eliot, the joint gift of Mrs. Durant and Mr. H. H. Hunnewell. Originally the Eliot had been used as a boarding-house for the young women working in a shoe factory at that time running in Wellesley village, but after Mrs. Durant had enlarged and refurnished it, students who wished to pay a part of their expenses by working their way through college were boarded there. Some years later it was again enlarged, and used as a village-house for freshmen.