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June 11, 1899

In his baccalaureate address, President Taylor urged the 118 members of the Class of 1899 to use their influence as women to counteract “the desire to secure immediate gratification.” Social ills ranging from the exploitation of “helpless tribes of Indians” to heedless national expansionism—“as if everything American must be right”—were, he said, examples of “the curse of the social world..the desire to secure immediate gratification…. Women, on account of their great influence in this age, must set their faces against this social laxness which now stands in grim contrast to the godly spirit which is to save society from…ruin.”

Among the guests in attendance were the varsity and freshmen eights of the Columbia crew, in Poughkeepsie for a regatta. Several members of the class attended a racing demonstration and tea given by the crews the following afternoon. The event was chaperoned by Mrs. J. W. Hinkley, the wife of a Poughkeepsie industrialist, and the wife of the crew’s coach, Dr. Walter Peet.

The New York Times

The Years