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August 07, 1941 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1941-08-07

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THE M.T C.HI.5 CP A N D .5.~£~A £4 A

., ,:.,. .. _T_ . N T u !TV.'4 asi AE.r Ai\ V 1i L 1I

rt ur i t1ILL' tS

University Doors Open For One Hundredth Time Th

is Fall

Seven Enrolled In First
Classes 100 Years Ago
Antecedent Of School, 'Catholepistemiad,'
Was Established In Detroit In 1817
(Continued from Page 1)
ica" and "ennoeica," which the classical scholar recognized as history and
intellectual science.
In the next few years primary schools sprang up in different towns,
providing preliminary training fo those wishing to enter the University.
Lack of funds caused the failure of this attempt, and in 1837 the Board
of Regents of the University of Michigan was created by the state legisla-
ture, and plans were laid for the University.
Six members of that original Board of Regents were members of the
Michigan State Constitutional Convention, two were physicians, four law-
yers, one a merchant and one a writer. Only seven of the 20 had college
Rivalry for the University was keen among the cities in the state, but
Ann Arbor, which had hoped to be ----
the state capital, offered the , best igan Central Railroad bell, which was
inducement, a 40-acre tract of land occasionally turned upside down and
donated by the Ann Arbor Land filled with water.
'Company. Even in those days there were stu-
Physical Plant Described dent pranksters. Geese and donkeys
On August X10, 1841, a year before often appeared in odd places, and
the University was to open, the Mich- once a wagonload of wood turned
igan State Journal, published in Ann up on the roof of Mason-Hall.
Arbor, described the physical plant Mason Hall dwarfed the campus
thus : in those days, a stalwart building !
"The main building is four stories which, according to some ancient
high, built of brick, handsomely and Ann Arborites, was put together with
durably stuccoed so as to give it mortar mixed with milk.i
very nearly the appearance of Quincyeon
granite. Besides this, four professors' Lc
buildings of the same materials are The 10 seniors, 18 juniors, 14 soph- t
finished. More classical models of omores and 11 freshmen who attend-
a more beautiful finish cannot be ed the University in 1845 lived in s
imagined. They honor the architect, Mason Hall, which also included a r
while they beautify this already 4,500-volume library, classrooms, a
beautiful village . . ."
The main edifice was christened First President
"Mason Hall," in tribute to GovernorM
Stevens T. Mason. This building still.h
stands as the north wing of Univer- s
sity Hall.
Two Men On Faculty
When the doors were opened that;:
first September, the faculty num- s
bered two men: the Reverend George
P. Williams, formerly head of the g
Pontiac br'anch when the University t
had consisted of many branches
throughout the state, as professor of.ar
mathematics, and the Reverend
Joseph Whiting, professor of lan- v
guages. There were seven students a


Mason Hall Towered Above The Campus In The 1850's
- - - - - - - - - -

University Excursiomists Visit
Put-In-Bay Isle On Lake Erie

When the University was founded 100 years ago, Mason Hall dwarfed the campus. The only University
building outside of the four homes for the professors, Mason Hall served as dormitory for students as well as
the classroom building. The building contained living quarters, a library, chapel, and a zoological, geological
and botanical museum. It still stands today as the north wing of University Hall.


enrolled in the University in 1841,
six freshmen and one sophomore,
although 12 graduated when the
first class left the University.
Present day entrance requirements'
to the Harvard of the Midwest have
been branded about the stiffest of
any university, but the neophyte of
the University of 1841 was even worse
Entrance Examinations
To enter the University, it was
necessary to pass an examination on
geography, arithmetic, English gram-
mar, algebra through simple equa-
tions, Virgil, Cicero's select orat-
tions, Sallust, Jacob's or Felton's
Greek Reader, Stoddard's or An-
drew's Latin Grammar, and Sopho-
cles' Greek Grammar, according to
the catalogue of the Department of
Arts and Sciences.
The catalogue added that "testi-
monials of good moral character are
required in all cases."
The catalogue gives a vivid and
complete picture of the student life
of the first few years of the Uni-
versity. Livy, Xenophon and alge-
bra were the mental bill of fare fed
those seven students, with a more
varied program later added that in-
cluded Horace, Thucydides, Roman
antiquities, applied algebra and ge-
Day Began At 5:30 s
The bell was rung before daylight
each day, chapel services were held
at 5:30 a.m., and the first class at
6:30 a.m., with other recitations after
There were three recitations or lec-
tures each day, except Saturday,
when there was but one recitation
and an "exercise in elocution." The
students were also subjected to
weekly exercises in translation, com-
position and written disputations.
"Public examinations are held at
the close of each term, attended by
the Board of Visitors, appointed an-
nually by the Superintendent of
Public Instruction."
The school year was composed of
three terms of 14 weeks each, with
a six-weeks summer vacation begin-
ning in August, two weeks at Christ-
mas and four weeks in the spring.
'Like A Small Farm'
In those first years the campus
1' -ked for the most part "like a small
fai '." It was surrounded by a fence,
and the students came through a
turnstile on the northwest corner on
their way to boarding houses from
the University. This turnstile was
later changed to a gate "large enough
for a man to go through, but too
small for a cow."
'rime went according to the Mich-

In 1852 Dr. Henry Phillip Tap-
pan, a Presbyterian clergyman,
was appointed first president of
the University of Michigan. Presi-
dent Tappan, for 11 years head of
the embryonic institution, guided
the University with the one idea
in mind: "to make it possible for
every student to study what he
pleases, and to any extent he
chapel and various geological, botan-
ical and zoological collections.
Two students would occupy one
study with two bedrooms opening on
it. Residents had to furnish their
own rooms and clean their quarters.
The refuse was swept into the hall
where the janitor swept it up.
Expenses were from $70 to $100 a
year, according to the catalogue.
There was no tuition charge, but $10
of this went for admission fees and
$7.50 for "services of the janitor."
Salary Was $500
Professors were paid $500 annually
and allowed to live in houses built
for them by the University.
Recreation and sports were un-
known entities in those days, except
for informal contests in jumping,
lifting dumb-bells and foot racing.
Attendance Record Set
At Bridge Hour Tuesday
* Attendance at the duplicate bridge
session at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday reached
a new high for the season, when 30
couples showed up at the League.
Winners in the North-South divi-
sions were the team of Purdy-Tap-
ping, and runners-up in the same
group were Gaskell-Gaskell. On the
East-West players, the couple, Cof-
field-Young took first place, and
Schwartz-Stephens garnered second
Although many of the activities of
the Summer Session closed with the
end of the six-weeks term, Barbara
McnItyre, who is in charge of the
bridge hour, announces that this feat-
ure will continue to meet at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays through the eight weeks.


Of conviviality there was very little
n that academic atmosphere, though
ccasionally the students would suc-
cumb to the beer and wine of the
Trouble arose occasionally between
tudents and townspeople, and, as a
esult of a fight with employes of the
Van Amberg Circus, circuses avoided
Ann Arbor for many years.
Life was simple and unpretentious.
Most of the students were from farm
homes and were earnest in their
earch for an education.
Unable To Pay Teachers
In January, 1842, the Board of Re-
ents was unable to pay the teachers'
alaries, but Professors Whiting and
Williams remained until the emer-
ency passed. In 1844 the salary of
he professors was raised to $700.
An attempt was made to establish
college paper in 1843, but failed.
Fraternities first came to the Uni-
ersity in 1845, when Beta Theta Phi
nd Chi Psi installed chapters. Chi
?si built a log chapter house in the
woodseast of the campus,heralded
is perhaps the first chapter house
t any college.
First Graduation
The graduation of. the first class,
with its 12 graduates, is described in
lizabeth M. Farrand's "History of
;he University of Michigan," pub-
shed in 1884:
"It was a great day for the town as
yell as for the University; merchants
losed their stores, and old and young
rowded to the church. Each stu-
ent of the graduating class delivered
n oration, and, in the judgment of
;e press of the day, each acquitted
imself well. The Detroit Advertiser
aid of them: 'The pieces spoken
y the graduating class were, for
;he most part, of superior merit,
vincing a depth of originality of
hought and a clearness of beauty
f composition that is seldom sur-
assed in the older colleges.' Profes-
or Ten Brook made the closing ad-
ress to the class, and in the after-

Back in the early days of the University students coming to and
from campus had to pass through this gate at the northwest corner
of the campus. The Buildings and Grounds Department had trouble
with cows wandering on the campus, so the gate was built "wide enough
for a man, but too narrow for a cow."
An important step forward was the new state constitution of 1850
the establishment of the medical de- calling for the appointment of one.
partment with a new building con- Dr. Henry Phillip Tappan was the
structed in 1850 at the cost of $9,000 first man to hold the office of presi-
under the supervision of Dr. Silas H. dent of the University.

'Too Narrow For

A Cow'

noon Dr. Duffield addressed the lit- Douglas, who was the University's
erary societies. In the evening an first superintendent of the Buildings
entertainment was given in honor of and Grounds Department.
the graduating class by Mrs. Denton, The first president was appointed
Mrs. Hawkins and Mrs. Page. in 1851 after a provision was made in




On August 16th The Michigan Daily will publish
its annual Freshman Edition.
This paper is mailed out to all incoming
Freshmen. This is your first opportunity to con-
tact the new students who are to be at Michigan
for the next four years.
If you are interested in renting your rooms
you will surely want to run an ad in the Classi-
fled Ad Section of The Michigan Daily.

Use the Daily Classifieds!


~' tOA.-_


erc t oy a.M o ern 'li Of al

a1re £wiotzgan Daij




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