|Chapter 32 James Henry Morgan 1914-1928; 1931-1932; 1933|
MORGAN was born in Delaware in 1857, and graduated from Dickinson in 1878. He taught four years in Pennington and Philadelphia, and then came to Dickinson as Principal of the Preparatory School. In 1884 he became Adjunct Professor of Greek in the College, and in 1890 Professor of Greek. He served as Professor, 1890-1914, as Dean, 1896-1914, and as Acting President, 1914-1915. In 1915, on request of his faculty associates, the trustees chose him President. He served till 1928, and again 1931-1932; and yet again 1933-.
Many difficult problems confronted the new administration, especially student attendance and finances, both accentuated by the World War soon to come. The student enrolment had steadily fallen for three years, and those acquainted with the desperate financial condition of the College reasonably doubted whether it could be saved. One alumnus with a son ready for college frankly told the new President that he hesitated to send his son to a college which might cease to function, and was told that his first duty was to his son, not to the College. The son went elsewhere. However, in September, 1914, there was a student body of 292, an increase of 35 over the previous year. The students were taken into the confidence of the administration, and, in a loyal effort to render all help in their power, took drastic action to abolish hazing from the College. Thus, through the stress of the time, hazing came to an end at Dickinson.
Financial needs might have suggested easy-going methods in the treatment of even indifferent students, but high academic standards were at once enforced, and graduation was refused four members of the incoming Senior class.
Two of them left the College at once; another completed his courses with a later class. This was effective announcement that good academic standards would be maintained at any cost and, though it cost a few students at the time, was of great value. It showed that the College was yet worthy of its best traditions. The second year's enrolment of 351 was an increase of 59 over the previous year, and 94 for the two years. Confidence was restored, and September of the third year showed an enrolment of 384, the largest body of students the College had ever had.
The problem of student attendance, then, seemed to be satisfactorily solved, and it was, except for the hectic years of the World War. On the outbreak of the Civil War, in 1861, the students asked that the College be closed, and their successors of 1917 were equally restless. The Government, however, greatly strengthened the hands of all college authorities in their efforts to steady their young men. On the invitation of Secretary Baker, a memorable conference of college presidents was held in Washington. After full discussion he said in effect to the hundreds of college presidents who anxiously awaited his word, "Go home and tell your students to stay in college and do their college work. They will thus prepare for better work when the Government may really need them." This official word was of great value to the colleges. Soon after this, however, the Government invited picked students to go to officer training camps. A number of the Dickinson student body, largely members of the Senior class, went to Camp Niagara, took their training, and secured their commissions.
The two college years opening in September of 1917 and 1918 were uncertain ones. The number of students declined over 100 to 277 the first year, and the Students' Army Training Corps of the second year is yet as a horrid dream to all college authorities. At best it would have been a trying experience, but the man in command at Dickinson College, the "C.O.," knew nothing of colleges. His appearance was the beginning of many woes. Fortunately, the Corps was of
comparatively short duration; it dissolved and vanished away on the signing of the Armistice in November. The College then proceeded to gather up the broken threads and work back toward "normalcy." The momentum of the previous years made this comparatively easy, and the College was soon again on even keel.
The student body continued to grow, and in 1921, with an enrolment of 468, the trustees endorsed plans for a college body of 500, and thereafter there were enrolled somewhat more than 500 in September of each year, so that there might be about 500 at its close. This limitation of enrolment made possible higher standards of admission. Students were before admitted on high-school graduation, but now for a time from only the upper two-thirds of their preparatory school classes, and later from only the upper half thereof. During the last year of this administration every member of the Freshman class, save one, had been in the upper half of some preparatory school class, and that one entered by examination.
The student problem was thus satisfactorily settled in a comparatively short time. The financial difficulties of the College yielded less readily. They were very serious. A rejuvenated student body and worth-while college life was probably necessary before they could yield. There was a debt of $136,000, and only $302,000 endowment. The facts were even worse than this. The debt was at 6 per cent, while the endowment yielded only about 5 per cent. It took $1.20 of endowment to cover $1 of debt; the debt thus offset $163,200 of endowment, leaving only $138,800 net effective endowment. This debt, however, after a year or two, was gradually lessened. The budget for each year was made on the basis of the income of the previous year, and with an increasing student body and correspondingly increased income, a small annual surplus resulted, available to lessen the debt. These payments on the debt improved the credit of the College. Creditors were soon willing to accept 5 ½ per cent., and as the income from the endowment had been
raised to 5 ½ per cent, a dollar of the endowment was carrying a like amount of debt. Small savings, perhaps, but it was the day of small things financially, and no advantage was small enough to be ignored.
Nothing succeeds like success, even though small; the friends of the College were heartened and the Central Pennsylvania Conference took steps to help the College. In 1917 it loyally sponsored a joint campaign for the College and its own special school, Williamsport Dickinson Seminary. This campaign resulted in subscriptions of $125,000 for the College, to be paid in five annual payments, and these were largely paid as they became due.
A trustee summary of conditions in 1919, after five years of Morgan's administration, records that $70,000 had been paid on debts and $100,000 added to endowment. Half of this addition to endowment was a single contribution of $50,000 by the widow of Asbury J. Clarke, of the Class of 1863, late of Wheeling, West Virginia, to establish the Asbury J. Clarke Professorship of Latin. This was the largest single subscription ever made to the endowment of the College by a living donor. The Bosler Library had cost more, and Melville Gambrill, a trustee, left an equal sum to the College on his death in 1926, with double that amount in addition to be available at a later date. Mrs. Clarke's gift, however, was made during her lifetime, and was all added to productive funds.
The student problem had been solved, and now the financial troubles, though even more stubborn, were finally yielding. By 1921 the debt had been paid. This made possible an approach to the General Education Board, more generally known as the Rockefeller Foundation, which never considered a college that was in debt. After careful examination of the College, its finances and standards, that Board promised $150,000 on condition that $300,000 additional be raised, and the entire $450,000 added to the permanent endowment of the College. The offer was accepted by the trustees of the College, and in a vigorous campaign in
1922 much more than the needed amount was pledged, to be paid in five years by semi-annual payments. Before the close of the five-year period, this additional $450,000 was added to the endowment and safely invested; and at the close of Morgan's administration, in 1928, there was no debt, and the endowment was $908,357. In addition to this endowment there were bequests from estates, not then settled, which have now, 1933, carried the endowment beyond the million-dollar mark.
In addition to the payment of debts and the increase of endowment, Dr. Morgan made large improvements and additions to the college property. The chapel of forty years ago, on the first floor of West College was transformed into a beautiful Memorial Hall, in memory of the Dickinsonians of the World War. This was done at a cost of about $20,000, the gift of Lemuel T. Appold, of the Class of 1882. The ground floor of the same building long neglected and abandoned as useless, was renewed and restored to college uses, and soon played an important part in the social and religious life of the College. It provides a room for the Christian associations, a room for commuting men, a sanctum for the college weekly paper, and a room fitted for colonial history reading and study. The last-named room resulted from the fertile planning and generous gifts of Mr. Appold to the College. It bears the name of his own college President the McCauley Room. In these two contributions to the College, Mr. Appold did much more than give two fine rooms; he established an artistic standard to which the college body began to aspire. Students and Faculty alike were doubtless more careful of the esthetic side of their lives after these mute artistic memorials began to speak their eloquent message. All alike have grown more careful to preserve the beauty of campus and buildings.
When Morgan's administration closed the property was all in good condition, and conservatively appraised at upwards of $1,500,000. Old West, originally valued at $20,000, had greatly appreciated, as also East of $9,500, Tome
Scientific of $25,000, and others. In addition to this property owned by the College, its nine fraternities held property of value approximating $350,000.
East College had been renovated by McCauley in 1882, but after forty years of student use it was in sorry plight. In 1924 it was thoroughly renewed and modernized at a cost of over $50,000. Additional properties were bought west of the Athletic Field and east of old South College, the latter to secure a proper site for a new gymnasium. This new gymnasium was authorized by the Board in 1927, and work was promptly begun, over $90,000 being spent on it during Morgan's last year. These various college betterments, great and small, cost over $200,000, and no debt was incurred in making any of them. His final year closed with a surplus of $25,555.53.
Improved financial conditions made possible the increase of faculty salaries, and this probably gave the President his greatest personal satisfaction. The maximum salary promised in 1914 was $1,700, and so continued through the high-cost years of the World War. This was supplemented a trifle only from year to year by a bonus of $50 to $100, as the outcome of each year seemed to warrant. After a time, however, salaries were gradually increased, and in 1927 the trustees voted, on the President's recommendation, that $3,500 should be the minimum salary for a Professor of some years of service, with a possible maximum of $4,500 under certain conditions. This was a living salary in Carlisle.
Morgan was the first man for fifty years to become President after devoting his entire previous life to education, and his purposes were always educational. Some things of a financial and material character were accomplished in his time for the College, but to him they were merely means to the end of greater educational efficiency. Even the students came to recognize this, and whether they really believed it or not, began to claim that they were members of a harder working College than some of their acquaintances elsewhere. Likewise, in seeking additions to the Faculty, Morgan always
sought sympathetic teachers, and the office of teacher was magnified in all the life of the College. In the main, the selections of his administration are still efficiently serving the College.
His greatest personal pleasure may have come from his ability to pay his associates a living wage, but his greatest pride in his work was doubtless in the academic standards steadily maintained under all circumstances. No academic advancement was granted any student as a favor, but only for work and achievement. His slogan was to make students industrious and keep them decent; and the character of the college standards was uniformly recognized by all academic standardizing agencies, by all associations of colleges and universities. Other institutions might need to seek recognition, but Dickinson, never; it came unsought. This came by no accident, however, but by careful planning and steadfast administration. Things were being done to make the College deserve it.
The old Grammar School was founded in 1773, and had been continued under college management since 1783 with but short intermissions. This seemed to Morgan poor college policy, and in 1916 he suggested to the Board that it should be discontinued at an early date. He was planning to close it in 1918, but the entrance of the United States into the World War in 1917 hurried this closing, and the old Grammar School, later known as Dickinson Preparatory School, was finally closed in 1917.
For the first century of the college life, one hundred was a large enrolment of students, and the Faculty was proportionately small, three to six in number. Such a small number of teachers could offer little or no elective work, and all students had to take practically all that was offered by the College. In McCauley's time this was slightly changed, and in Reed's time very much changed by the enlargement of both Faculty and the offerings of elective subjects. A separate Department of Latin was established in 1879; and one for Modern Languages in 1884, which latter be-
came two in 1899-Romance Languages and German. In 1886 the Department of Natural Sciences was divided into two, Chemistry and Physics, and a Department of Biology followed in 1900. The greatly increased student body of Morgan's time required a greatly enlarged Faculty, and the opportunity was improved to add to the offerings of the college course. Several new Departments resulted.
These new Departments and the elective courses growing out of them enriched the college course, but students were not always able or willing to elect wisely. Some students, possibly many, were getting no consistent course of study, taking only an unrelated number of subjects to satisfy college requirements. Accordingly a system of majors and minors was adopted under Morgan, requiring a student to concentrate on kindred subjects for a considerable part of the course. Such liberty of election remained as to prove generally satisfactory, and the system is yet in operation.
Standards of admission to College were raised, and more exacting conditions for continuance in College were established. A student falling below a given standard for any year was required to withdraw, and one falling below a somewhat higher standard was placed on probation for the next year. If only the probationary standard was reached a second year, he was required to withdraw, as falling below college requirements. A minimum grade for all work or the course was established for graduation; and some, who under less stringent regulations might have graduated, were advised to go to institutions that were less exacting. Many did so.
The coöperation of fraternities and other college groups was sought to secure better scholarship conditions. To foster this coöperation, lists of the average scholarship for all such groups were made public at the end of each semester of college work. These groups finally became allies in the effort to secure better work of their members. At this time, when this coöperation was manifest in the College, it seemed safe to put the definite college seal of approval upon the good student in a rather unusual way. At the close of the
first semester of each year all "A" grade students of the semester were invited to be the guests of the Faculty and their wives at a dinner at the best hotel in Carlisle, in honor of those Seniors elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the mid-year. This has now become a college tradition, and the privilege of sharing in the "A" dinner is highly prized, the honor being somewhat akin to that of the athletic "D." The college scholar thus came to some sort of equality to the athlete in the eyes of the college community.
Morgan also provided Honor Courses as a practical outlet for the ability of a comparatively small body of students to do much more work than can be required of the average college body. Dickinson was among the first colleges to employ Honor Courses. These courses were opened to students of "B" grade for all their work, with an "A" grade in the major subject in which they proposed to take Honor Courses. In this major group there were required eight semester hours of extra work under the general direction of the head of the Department. As a result of these various stimuli to high-grade work, and this initial approach to graduate study in Honor Courses, it came to pass that a largely increased proportion of the graduates of the College sought additional opportunities in graduate schools to satisfy the intellectual interest aroused.
John Price Durbin, on his retirement from the College in 1845, said there had never been an unpleasant occurrence during his administration in his association with the members of his Faculty. Morgan was probably the second of those who had served any considerable period in the presidency who could say the same. In all his work of redeeming the College financially and improving academic standards, he frequently said that he had enjoyed such uniform and hearty support from all members of the academic staff as made even hard work easy.
President Morgan had not had a vacation of more than a few days for over fourteen years. On his return to Carlisle, in January, 1928, from a business trip for the College, he
suffered a breakdown, and spent a month in the local hospital. He was much improved by his enforced vacation, and carried on his work in the College to the close of the year. Having, however, passed his seventy-first birthday, he thought it wise to retire, and so notified the Board in June, 1928. On request of the Board for time to find a successor, he reluctantly consented to remain one year more, but as the committee appointed to seek this successor soon agreed to recommend Dean Mervin G. Filler of the College, a special meeting of the Board was called at Morgan's request, and Dean Filler was chosen, to assume the duties of the office on August 1, 1928. Morgan's official connection with the College then ceased for the time, a connection which was longer than that of any other man in its history 1882-1928 forty-six years. During his incumbency, he was honored with the degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Pittsburgh, by Franklin and Marshall College, and by Gettysburg College.
Some of the faculty changes of the administration of Morgan follow. Ruter W. Springer, A.M., LL.M., had charge of the Department of English Bible, 1914-1919, and rendered the College large service in various ways at a trying time. He was succeeded in the Department in 1919 by Henry M. Battenhouse, Ph.D., 1919-1921. William M. Baumgartner, A.M., B.D., followed Battenhouse, 1921-1926, when Chester W. Quimby, A.M., B.D., became Associate Professor, and yet remains in charge of the Department.
On Professor Blakey's withdrawal in 1914, John Scott Cleland, Ph.D., had charge of the Department of Economics and Sociology for one year, and in 1915 came Gaylord H. Patterson, Ph.D. Under Patterson's management the Department has grown so as to require the services of a second man, added in 1929.
The Department of Greek, surrendered by Morgan on becoming President, was conducted largely by Professor Craver, 1914-1915, but in 1915 Herbert Wing, Jr., Ph.D., a graduate of Harvard University and Ph.D. of Wisconsin,
was chosen for the Department. He has conducted it with efficiency and has rendered other valuable services of varied character to the general life of the College.
In 1916 Professor Gooding died suddenly, just before the opening of the college year. The services of Wilbur H. Norcross, Ph.D., of the Class of 1907, then finishing his graduate work at Johns Hopkins University, were secured. The Department at the time embraced Philosophy, Psychology and Education. It has since so grown, and such additions have been made to the offerings under the old Department, as to require the full time of four well-trained men. Of these additional men, Prof. Clarence J. Carver, Ph.D., of the Class of 1909, since 1920 has conducted the Department of Education. In 1921, Lewis G. Rohrbaugh, Ph.D., of the Class of 1907, came as Professor of Philosophy and Religious Education, and has a large Department. The third addition to the old and now much-divided Department is Russell I. Thompson, Ph.D., of the Class of 1920. He has served since 1928 as Associate Professor of Psychology and Education.
In 1919, on Miss Ege's retirement, Josephine Brunyate Meredith, A.M., of the Class of 1901, came to the College as Dean of Women, and has since acted in that capacity and as Associate Professor of English. As Dean of Women she has done much to secure good standards for the social life of the College and to avoid the excesses so greatly deplored where such standards are absent. Students have so heartily cooperated with Dean Meredith that it is doubtful whether better social conduct can be found in any college community.
In 1920, Professor Shadinger resigned as Professor of Chemistry, after ten years' service. He was followed by Ernest A. Vuilleumier, Ph.D., first as Associate Professor, later as Professor Dr. Vuilleumier is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctorate at the University of Berne. Another well-trained man now assists in his enlarged Department. Herbert L. Davis was Instructor in Chemistry 1921-1925, followed by Horace E. Rogers, 1925-1927, while Davis was on leave of absence to complete
his graduate work. Davis returned in 1927 for one year as Associate Professor in Chemistry. At the close of this year he went to Cornell for research work. For one year, 1928-1929, C. C. Bowman was Chemistry Assistant.
In 1921, Professor Stephens died, after twenty-nine years of college service. Milton W. Eddy, Ph.D., has since been in charge of the Department of Biology, which now requires the service of a trained assistant. Jerry D. Hardy was that assistant 1928-1929.
The Department of Romance Languages had teaching additions from time to time: Melvin H. Kelly, 1915-1920; C. Lafayette Crain, 1916-1917; S. Louise de Vilaine, 1918-1925; Hazel J. Bullock, 1919-1928; Karl E. Shedd, 1921-1922; John C. Grimm, Ph.D., 1922; Edgar Milton Bowman, Ph.D., as head of the Department, 1925-1930; and Mary B. Taintor, 1928. Of these, Professors Grimm and Taintor continue in the Faculty of 1933.
The Department of German, in the temporary absence of Professor Prettyman, 1922-1923, was in charge of Bertha Globisch Gates, A.M. C. Walther Thomas, Ph.D., was added to the Department in 1928.
The following additions were made to the Department of English: William O. Robinson, 1915-1917; Ralph Schechter, and Paul H. Doney, Ph.D., 1928. Schecter remains not only as an approved teacher of English, but he has greatly enriched the musical life of the whole College, and Professor Doney was advanced by President Filler in 1929 to succeed Professor McIntire, as Professor of English Literature, on the latter's retirement.
Professor Landis, of the Department of Mathematics, gave war service in Italy, 1918-1919, and his work was conducted by Walter R. Warne. Other Instructors have been in the Department Noah R. Bryan, Ph.D., Charles H. Thomas, 1921-1922, and Frank Ayres, A.M., 1928. Ayres remains with the College in 1933.
Guy C. Brosius, A.B., gave instruction in Public Speaking, 1922-1923, and Benjamin J. Folsom, 1928-1929.
Charles E. Ely came to the College as a detail from the Home Mission Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, 1920-1924, gave class instruction in Religious Education and did seminar work in Rural Leadership. Since 1925, Mulford Stough, A.M., has been Associate Professor of History.
A full-time Director of the Physical Education of Women was added in 1923, and Ruth A. Walker served 1923-1926, Jeanette R. Packard, 1926-1927, and Frances A. Janney, 1927-1929.
A trained Librarian was first appointed in 1916 Sara Helen Burns of the Class of 1912. Lydia Gooding of the Class of 1910 succeeded her as Librarian and served for eight years. Dorothy Hammond was Librarian 1926-1927. May Morris of the Class of 1909 succeeded her in 1927 and now has two full-time assistants.
On the close of the Preparatory School in 1917, Richard H. MacAndrews, who had served its athletic teams in many ways, was transferred to the College as Instructor in Physical Education, and has rendered valuable service.
Dr. Morgan thus added many more to the Faculty than any man had done before, and nineteen of these remained on his retirement. Of those remaining in 1932, Patterson for Social Science, Wing for Greek, Norcross for Psychology, Carver for Education, Rohrbaugh for Philosophy, Vuilleumier for Chemistry, Eddy for Biology, Doney for English Literature, and Quimby for Bible, are in charge of Departments, and Associate Professor Meredith is Dean of Women.
Following his retirement from active college duties, Morgan traveled some months, mostly in Europe, especially in Greece, but spent a short time in Jerusalem and Cairo. On his return he settled down quietly in the old home occupied by him before he became President, expecting to view from a distance the progress of the College to which he had given so many years. On the death of his successor, however, the trustees called him back in March, 1931. He served again until the following January. Another recall occurred on the resignation of Karl T. Waugh, June 24, 1933.