Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

June 10, 1884

Class Day for the Class of 1884 was cool and cloudy. ‘84’s president, Alice Blanchard ’84, opened the exercises at 2:30 pm, and the oration, history and prophecy followed by, respectively, Emily Townsend ’84, Martha LaVaughn ’84 and Minnie Cumnock ’84. At the class tree ceremony, Lydia Katherine Smith ’84 gave the senior charge and passed Matthew Vassar’s spade to May W. Craig ’85, who gave the junior reply. After the senior class records were buried, the class song, composed by Caroline Walch ’84 was sung.

The annual June board meeting and the alumnae meeting reflected the overcast day. At both, the precarious situation of the college budget, the continuation of the preparatory division and President Caldwell’s administration were main concerns. The alumnae requested that the trustees establish a conference committee comprised of three trustees and three alumnae to discuss matters of mutual concern. The proposal was “favorably received.”

At the trustee meeting, President Caldwell denounced newspaper accounts charging him with mismanagement as “false and malicious,” and the trustees endorsed a resolution in his support:

Resolved, that on accepting the report of the President this board recognizes the peculiar character of the work of the President and Faculty of the college and the great responsibility which is devolved upon them. The board is satisfied that the work of instruction and the internal administration in every department of the college have, during the past year, been faithfully performed, and it expresses its entire confidence in the ability and fidelity of its President and in his devotion to the true interests of the college.”

It was also resolved that a vigorous effort would be made to supply additional funds which might, eventually, permit the closing of the preparatory division. Alumnae contributions might help, it was said, in this regard.

Four trustees—founding trustees Martin B. Anderson and Samuel S. Constant, Rev. Frederick D. Huntington, D. D. and Henry G. Marquand—having resigned, the board elected Rev. Augustus H. Strong and Rev. Henry C. Potter to fill two of the vacancies. The New York Times

The Years