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June 9, 1885

The orator for Class Day was Betty Campbell Woods ’85, who spoke on the class motto, “Dabunt Aspera Rosas,” which the class had chosen as freshmen, “at a tender age, when their hands had been already pricked by roses too eagerly grasped.” The recollections of class historian Mary Watson Craig ’85 and the foretellings of class prophet Grace LaMont Chuff ’85 produced much merriment. Led by an orchestra, the junior and senior classes proceeded to the class tree, where Jane Elizabeth Ricker ’85, “in a decidedly sarcastic vein,” gave the senior charge, to which Caroline Gray Single ’86 replied in “a short response…full of repartee and fun.”

The trustee and alumnae meetings during the day were of a more somber nature. The trustees accepted the resignation of President Caldwell, who terminated his appointment after overwhelming expressions of no alumnae confidence, specifically from the Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Connecticut alumnae associations. The trustees’ acceptance was on the condition that President Caldwell would serve until his successor was chosen, and a presidential nomination committee was formed. Three trustees—Thomas Cornell, Rev. A. P. Peabody and John Thompson—also tendered their resignations.

Reports at the meeting indicated that the college deficit had nearly doubled since the previous year, reaching nearly $14,000, and that enrollment had dropped in the last decade from 400 to 300 students. A special trustee committee, headed by Rev. Edward Lathrop, was appointed “to promote the general interest of the college.”

The lengthy alumnae meeting did not take up the resignation of the president. Committee reports showed that the alumnae had raised $9,000 for physical training in the college, $1,500 for scholarships and nearly $18,000 for general endowment. After much discussion, it was resolved to petition the trustees for alumnae representation on the board.

The New York Times

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