Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 9

Colorado Springs, Colo.
August 3rd 1901

To the male Students of Colorado College in 2001 A.D:

The writer has been told by older and wiser heads than his own to pay as much attention to detail as possible in this greeting, and thereby make it as interesting as possible. This is good advice but rather difficult to follow.

However, in the dawn of the 20th Century we the male students of Colorado College of whom there are about 175 send most hearty greetings to you male students of Colorado College in the 21st Century of whom there are about ? Shall we say one, two, or even three thousands, perhaps. And the above remark brings to mind the most general and also the most confident feeling which exists in all of our hearts when we consider the future of our College. Even today we are certainly among the most prominent of educational institutions in this part of the country. But everyone of us feels intensely that Colorado College is to be the institution of the Rocky Mountain Region. We firmly believe it is to widen out into a university, the largest and the best to be found in this great region; a university which will stand for all that is best and highest in physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual life; a university, if you please, which in this day's parlance preeminently stands for "honest trade and a pure home." Why do we believe all this? Because of the strenuous and heroic efforts which have been put forth in its foundation and since its foundation to the present day. Do we not have it from eye-witnesses that the College was aided by the widow's mite in the early days? One poor woman sold butter and eggs, and gave the proceeds to the founding of the College. Another Massachusetts widow refused to have her house heated by furnace, but preferred to give the money to help out "that struggling college in the West, where poor boys and poor girls are struggling to get an education." The College cannot help becoming great because of whole lives, and brave ones too, which have been given up to it. I could mention many names whose service has been glorious, but I mention only one, that of our present President, William Frederick Slocum, who is making the success and welfare of Colorado College his life work. He has been called to leadership in some of the best institutions in the land, but has preferred to remain with the College. His devotion to, and faith in the College is unexampled. And I am sure that you students of the 21st Century have heard of his fame. You may rest assured that it is not exaggerated. Colorado College must become great in the natural course of events. You, yourselves, know of the climatic advantage of this section, and also that Colorado Springs is the "mecca" of this region in more ways than one.

But I must tell you something of our present life here, for I cannot think of anything that would be more interesting in connection with College matters.

Let us first take up the physical side. Tennis and golf are popular, but the greatest interest centers around football and baseball, and largely because we have contests in these games with the other Colorado colleges. In the last six years we have won one field day, two football, and four baseball intercollegiate championships. The student body aims to support its own athletics. Everyone who can gives liberally, and those who are unable to give, help keep Washburn Field in shape, etc. The students not only attend the games but the daily practices; hence much routine in practice is avoided by applause from the spectators. Everyone is encouraged to get out and try for the teams, and the slogan in determining who shall fill the different positions is, - "May the best man win." However, it should be said that the kind of athletes who succeed here, and of whom the college is proud, are those who are here primarily for study, and in athletics for recreation, for "sport," as we say nowadays. The professional athlete is not encouraged, rather is discouraged. Here we find many students on our athletic teams who are not only brightest in their classrooms but also are working their way through college.

Just a word about the social side of college life. It would be tedious if I were to tell you all about our social life; the football, literary society, and glee club banquets, the musicales, receptions, picnics to the caņons, etc. I shall, however, touch lightly upon a much mooted question of our day, - the chaperone question. For instance the young ladies residing at our dormitories must proceed en masse without escorts to an entertainment of an evening, but the young men may take them home afterwards. The great majority of the fellows do not approve of this method. But the Dean of Women, whose word is the "law of the Medes and Persians," says we must be conventional, and do as they do in the East. But we are Western, and proud of it. Again, on special occasions, such as the annual concert of the Glee Club a young man may even escort a young lady to the Opera House, and of course afterwards see her home. No chaperone is required on the pilgrimage through the dimly lighted streets, but before everyone's eyes, and under the dazzling lights of the Opera House, there must be a chaperone. It is maintained that this is "conventional" also. Again we think that the method is inconsistent and illogical.

Of course the intellectual life of the student is very important. Each student is required to take seventeen recitation hours per week. And upon each recitation at least one and one half hours are required in preparation. But the students accomplish a great deal in the intellectual way which is not recorded in the curriculum. We have our oratorical, and elocutionary contests, which are open to everyone. Most of the work in public speaking and debating is done in the literary societies, the Apollonian Club and the Pearsons Society. These societies annually meet in public debate, and the best speakers are selected to represent the College in the annual debate with our sister institution, the University of Nebraska. Of the debates held in the past the U. of Nebraska has won two and Colorado College has won two. The College was founded by Christian men, and as a Christian college. So the religious life receives much emphasis from faculty and student body. Chapel lasting twenty-five minutes is held each morning at 9:15 o'clock in the auditorium. From time to time, the faculty procures the most noted ministers of hereabouts to address the student body at Vesper services. Among the male students the Young Men's Christian Association is leader in all religious works. Prayer meetings are held in the dormitories each evening after supper, and regular services Sunday afternoons to which all the fellows are most cordially invited. Questions of student life, etc. are discussed. Besides doing much Christian work among the students, the Association also does considerable work outside of college. Fellows are sent out to the different small churches and the jails to conduct services on Sundays. The Association also supports a missionary in Ceylon.

I wish to close this greeting by telling you students of the 21st Century what in many minds is the most predominant factor in our college life. And we all hope that 100 years from now it will be a most important factor in your college life. It is the democratic spirit of the student body. Here we have no system of caste, if I may be permitted to use such a strong word. Everyman is as good as his neighbors, be he poor, rich, black, or white. Everyman stands for what he is worth. Everyman has an equal show to make the most of himself. The poor boy who works his way is just as much respected as his rich classmate. May this spirit of true democracy and true worth ever be guarded with jealous diligence is our fond wish and hope.

Ben Griffith, Class of 1901

Top of Page
Brown bar

Click here to return to the Colorado College web site.
Special Collections Home

maintained by Special Collections; last revised 10-01, jr