Report of the President for the Year 1936-37
I have the honour to submit the following report, with certain appendices, of some of the work done by the College during the academic year 1936-1937.
This has been a notable year, alive with stirring events, at home and abroad. The address of loyalty, which on May 12th this College presented through His Excellency the Governor to His Majesty King George the Sixth, was a true expression of our actual sentiments. The still depressed condition of so many of our own people in this country and the oppression of fellow-wearers of the cap and gown in some foreign lands have reminded us at once of our place of high privilege in this little seat of learning and of the responsibilities which such good fortune always implies.
It was with regret that we heard of the death of Admiral Sir David Murray Anderson, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O., late Governor of This Colony. He had always displayed a kindly and informed interest in the work of the College, and was in fact the first to honour us by accepting the title and office of Visitor.
The College bade a respectful farewell to Lt. Col. T. A. Burton, S.A., who retired from the Board of Governors, having left this country for service in Canada, and now welcomes his successor Lt. Col. R. Tilley, S.A., and hopes that Mrs. Tilley and he may find life pleasant in their native land.
Last year we said good-bye with much regret to Mr. J.S. Colman, B.A. (Oxon.), B.A. (Cantab.), from the department of biology. His successor Mr. W. Templeman, B.Sc. (Dal.), M.A., Ph.D.(Tor.), has now given us one year of fine service as Associate Professor in this important department. Mr. R.T. Harling, professor of physics, has been absent on sabbatic leave which he has spent in successful study and research. We have been fortunate In his locum tenens, for Mr. H.W. Harkness, B.A., B.Sc., (Queen's), M.Sc., Ph.D. (McGill), has proved to be a physicist of repute, a teacher of skill and experience and a friendly associate. He carries our very best wishes as he returns to Canada. The Librarian, Miss S. Organ, B.A. (McGill), has been made a member of the Faculty Council. Two members of the Faculty have received higher degrees during the year.
The number of students has been 255, the largest, except for last year, in the history of the College. The First Year in Arts and Science numbers 121, of whom 10 are taking the Household Science Course, and 18 the Engineering. In the Second Year there are 51. Five men are taking the Third Year for the Engineering Certificate. There are 62 students in the Teacher-Training Departmont. Sixteen persons are pursuing a special or partial course. These numbers do not include the members of evening and continuation classes or of study clubs.
In considering this large enrolment we may keep in mind that, while several of the Canadian Universities advertise themselves through the local press, our own College does little more than make a bald announcement of its dates of opening. There are reasons for this, of which our lack of accommodation is one.
I am glad to report that no student has died during the session. But in last summer's vacation we were grieved to learn of the death by pneumonia of Mr. Lester Charles Best, a man of fine character, who had completed the First Year and, we hoped, would have returned for the Second. The respectful sympathy of the College goes out to his widowed mother and his friends.
This year for the second time we have held the annual examinations in two parts, that for the first semester from January 25th to February 3rd, and for the second semester from May 25th to June 2nd. An Appendix to this Report gives the aggregate results. It shows that in Arts and Science 57 have successfully completed the Freshman Year, 10 in the First Class. The number of graduates is 33 in Arts and Science, of whom 13 gained First Class standing, and 51 are receiving the diploma in Teacher-Trainlng. Some 3 need to satisfy the requirements in one subject before being added to the list of graduates.
We do not deny that our standards are somewhat exacting. We want our courses to be rich in content and interesting in their presentation, but they must be taken in earnest.
Last year we raised the standard of our matriculation by requiring a somewhat higher mark in the Grade XI examination. We also require six "subjects" (counting the three mathematics subjects as one) instead of five. The age of entrance has also been raised a little.
Courses of Study
An agreement has been entered into with McGill University whereby students who have completed a selected group of subjects here may enter at once on the Third Year of the B.Sc. (Agriculture) Course at Macdonald College. This means we now offer a pre-agriculture course, in parallel with our pre-engineering and pre-medical courses. I believe there is a good prospect for graduates from this course.
The Teacher-Training Course in this College is now three years old. I attached to this Report a short report from the professor of education. Notable features are the health programme, including physical examinations and attention paid to the Junior Red Cross, which is now being introduced into schools; the use of projects such as making portfolios; visits to works and factories; classes in weaving; the Cadet Company; singing; and observation and practice teaching. I hereby thank the principals and teachers of the city schools whose kindness made our practice teaching possible.
The department of Household Science is an active part of the College. Not only does it provide the regular subjects which make up the Two-Year Course and the important subject of Food Values in Teacher-Training, but it gives two evening classes, as well as lessons in cooking for five city schools. This last is a free service which the College is glad to provide as long as it can find the time and space. Plans are afoot to make the Two-Year Course even richer in content.
In the department of Engineering increased attention is being paid to its cultural and professional aspects; while a small increase in equipment will make this Course even more efficient.
We plan also to improve the teaching of the important subject of geology.
Our pre-medical course is of necessity taken by but few students. Its effectiveness may perhaps be indicated by the fact that at the recent annual examinations for the First Year of Medicine at Dalhousie University our five students did remarkably well, one of them taking the top place in five out of the six subjects of the year.
Few changes have been made in the courses in Arts and Science. A further subdivision of the class in Biology I has been made, which allows the men teachers-in-training to form a special group and to be given a course more definitely suited to their needs.
For purpose of reference I append the full list of ordinary courses actually given this year:
This list does not include the subjects of the Teacher-Training Department, which is designedly not so fully standardized. It excludes also the highly important evening and continuation classes, the music and art and certain other work done.
The length of the list of classes given above indicates that little time is left to the members of the Faculty for other activities such as research. Nevertheless I can report that the following papers have been since last June:
(1) By Dr. H.W. Harkness to the Journal of Scientific Instruments (London): "An Hygrostat of Special Design".
(2) By A.M. Fraser to the Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science (published by the Canadian Political Science Association): "Government by Commission (1934-36), a Survey".
(3) By Dr. W. Templeman to the Journal of the Biological Board of Canada: "Fourth Stage larvae of Homarus Americanus, intermediate in form between normal third and fourth stages."
(4) By Dr. W. Templeman to the same Journal: "The Influence of Temperature, Salinity, Light and Food Conditions on the Survival and Growth of the Larvae of the Lobster (Homarus Americanus)".
(5) By Dr. W. Templeman: "The Lobster and the Lobster Fishery",an address to the Rotary Club of St. John's, published in the Daily News, Observer's Weekly, The Canadian Fisherman, The Fundy Fisherman.
(6) By Dr. W. Templeman to the Newfoundland Trade Review: "Fishery Research".
(7) and (8) By Dr. W. Templeman: Two other papers now in course of publication by the Biological Board of Canada.
The Library ought to be the heart of the College. Its importance warrants a separate report, which is attached herewith. Lack of space is now quite a serious problem. Lack of money to buy books, is well known to us all. Efforts to encourage wider range of reading are constantly being made. A synall effort in library training need not pass unnoticed.
Direction of Studies
The chief work of the College is, of course, the regular day by day instruction of our undergraduates. Although our entrance is carefully guarded, our courses of study are constantly being revised, we have a well-chosen and expert staff, yet we find we need to foster carefully study-life of our students. We have this year exercised an increased supervision over the living arrangements of our out-of-town students; the system of student advisers is constantly becoming more useful; and this year the Faculty made a special study of the causes of failure in examinations particularly in those of the First semester of the first year, in which study the prinicipals of the denominational colleges gave us the benefit of their valuable experience.
The difference between the life of a school and of a college is shown most clearly perhaps in the fact that here students manage their own affairs through their elected representatives. This places grave responsibilities on the Students' Representative Council; for example, they administer a Union Fund of some thirteen hundred dollars. It also gives a useful training in the conduct of affairs. This year's Council, consisting of Mr. G.W. Clarke as President, Miss Marjory Godfrey as Secretary, Misses Margaret Barron, Alma Easterbrook, Elizabeth Evans and Messrs. M. Bishop, E. Cheeseman, G.T. LeGrow, E.J. Shea are hereby thanked warmly for their careful and intelligent administration.
The College magazine Cap and Gown (editor-in-chief, Mr. D.E. Howley) was almost entirely the work of the students themselves, except for a section produced by the Graduates' Society. A novel venture was a bimonthly newpaper The Memorial Times, edited first by Mr. Mr.F. Harrington and later by Mr. I. Newell.
The Literary Society (president, Mr. D.E. Howley) has confined its attention chiefly to debating, and has experimented with a different type of debate in which most of the debaters spoke from the floor. The topics of debate were not trifling, for they included peace, feminism, internationalism, national defence, economics, agriculture and (a hardy perennial) science vs. letters. Debates with other societies were: a series of two with the Alumni and one with M.C.L.I. Two prizes were given for public speaking.
The Science Club (president, Mr. S. Rossiter) - not to be confounded with the organization of the same name referred to below - has held some interesting meetings, but has received less support than formerly.
The Citizenship Study Groups formed three years ago "for the purpose of understanding better the significance of the present critical period in our country's life" have been continued this year. The manner in which these voluntary studies were carried on and the value of the method of free inquiry have led me to append a copy of the report recently made to me by these groups.
The newly-formed Engineering Society (president, Mr. E.W. Cheeseman) presents a fine report, whose salient features are seminars led by student-members, the use of motion pictures of industrial processes, visits to works and factories, various social events, an Annual Banquet, and literary efforts.
In spite of a full prugramme of studies and certain handicaps, such as the lack of a playing field, our students have done much in athletics. Organized games form an important part of the health programme for teachers in training. Hiking is a popular pastime. Also tho women have played field hockey, ice hockey and basketball, but have not won any championships. The men have done well in Association football, and have entered the Senior and Intermediate city leagues in basketball. Their ice-hockey season was very short, but included an enjoyable trip to Bell Island. The students' athletic report thanks many friends, among whom are the Prince of Wales College, St. Bonaventure's College and their Bell Island hosts.
It is with much satisfaction that we now see our own playing-field at last graded and seeded down. The students are very grateful to the Department of Public Utilities. We shall make much use of it, I hope, in the very near future, and not selfishly. The College campus is beginning to look a little more like the suitable environment for a building erected in memory of our noble dead.
Awards for Service
We follow here the practice observed elsewhere of awarding a letter - an M in our case - to a student who has well represented the College in athletics. But in addition the Students' Representative Council has submitted a list of names of students who have served their fellows in obliging and often unobtrusive ways, and to these the so-called "Service M" has been awarded.
We try to help our students to understand music and so to enjoy it in at present three main ways. The teachers in training take regular lessons from Mr. Charles Hutton, C.S.G. At our weekly Assemblies there is usually a short musical programme; I wish again to thank those who have helped us here, especially Mr. D.E. Morgan, A.R.C.O., for two interesting studies in the form of the sonata. Then we have the College Glee Club, in which Miss Eleanor Mews, L.T.C.M., has been good enough to train our students. Two recitals, Carols by Candlelight and Springtime in Song, both brought in money to the Scholarship Fund. The main purpose of the Glee Club is, of course, not to give recitals, much less to raise funds, but to learn, enjoy and produce good singing.
Beside the regular instruction given to the teachers-in-training and to the students of household science, we give two less formal services, namely a voluntary class in the appreciation of art and a series of exhibitions open to all students and usually to the public also.
We hope soon to be able to do more in this field, for perhaps our education is somewhat wanting on the aesthetic side.
We continue to find invaluable the Carnegie Reference Set of reproductions to which the Curator of Art has added much additional material during the past few years - and the fine books and albums which accompany the set.
I have pleasure in announcing the most recent gift from the same generous source, which is a set of 18 fine and, I am told, very faithful reproductions in colour of certain paintings of the modern school.
A report from the Honorary Curator of Art accompanies this Report.
Plans are now being made, by direction of the Board, to increase and widen the range of our efforts in the field of art.
A movement towards Guide training, begun in the year 1934-35 at the request of certain of the teachers in training developed last year into a Cadet Company registered as the First St. John's (Memorial University College) has this year completed a very successful season, under the command of Miss Caroline Furlong, Commissioner for Training, to whom I here offer warm thanks. I attach a short but encouraging report herewith. Much interest was kindly shown by Lady Walwyn, who, visited us, enrolled recruits, spoke words of encouragement and advice, and presented Colours to the Company. The visit of Miss McMahon, Field Secretary for Canada, gave much help and inspiration also.
We have found we were able this year to give more attention to the health of our students. Unfortunately this has been a year when minor infectious diseases seemed more prevalent than usual and interfered much with our work. In the case of the pupil-teachers, we cannot speak too highly of the help given us by the Department of Public Health, especially - if one may give names - that of the Secretary of that busy Department and of Dr. L. Miller. As a result of individual medical examinations, which included the Tuberculin Test, such physical defects as of the eyes, teeth, tonsils, lungs, etc., have been discovered and treated. Moreover, besides lending us the benefit of their advice and encouragement, officers of the Department gave a course of lectures on Public Health to our teachers in training. The course in Health Education in the schools, given by our Associate Professor of Education, is again proving of much value.
As reported above, no student has died during the year. It may be observed, by the way, that this year no less than six parents of present students have died. In this connection we are sometimes impressed with the great value of life insurance to provide for the higher education of children.
This College has never been satisfied to confine its benefits to the circle of its own undergraduates, and so evening classes and continuation classes have always been carried on. This year the evening programme included a series of public lectures, four of which were given to large audiences by the Honourable R.B. Ewbank, Dr.F. Fraser Bond, Professor H.W. Harkness and Associate Professor W. Templeman; and also weekly classes in a variety of subjects including Chemistry (for nurses), cookery, dietetics (for nurses), German, practical English, navigation, shop mathematics and blue-print reading (for apprentices), and a continuation of the classes in law, accounting and economics (for civil servants). The College was also glad to supplement the work of the St. John's Community Centre in the case of one class. Other classes were offered, but too few persons applied for them. Many young men of this city are missing golden opportunities.
I mention here two valuable organizations, which we do not control in any way, but to which the College is glad to act as host and friend. One is the Seminar for teachers, which has now completed its third year of most profitable lectures and discussions. I am allowed to attach herewith a copy of its Report for the year.
The other is a unique venture, modestly calling itself a Science Club, in which some 30 people engaged in scientific work, or intelligently interested in it, came together in the College to discuss matters of contemporary interest. This organization, purposely informal has proved a success and it is planned to continue next year. Elsewhere from such small beginnings more than once a strong and useful Institute of Science has grown. I am allowed to attach herewith a brief report of this Club.
In every year since its foundation the College has conducted a summer school for teachers. Last summer it was the Department of Education which did so, giving professional training to some 250 teachers mainly in three of the key-subjects of the curriculum of the elementary school. Certain academic courses were also given. The Governors placed the College and its equipment at the disposal of the Department and the President was asked to act as Director.
The Summer School of 1936, or which a full report was furnished to the Department of Education, was, I believe, very profitable and also and rightly very enjoyable.
This College is too young to see many of its graduates carrying on its life into the tasks of the adult world. But we find increasing satisfaction as we learn of their achievements and not only in academic pursuits, though their recent successes in that field are very gratifying. During recent days at least 15 university degrees have been conferred on them; this makes more than 140 during the 12 years of our life as a College. Some few of our graduates have already made contributions to scientific research, two have recently been given important posts on the staffs of leading Canadian universities; an increasing number are beginning to fill places of responsibility in the learned professions and to give such voluntary public service as on the Public Libraries Committee (the public library has always been a special project of our graduates); some are assistant magistrates and supervisors of schools; others are giving an even more essential service, perhaps, as teachers in the schools of our own country; and so on.
The Old Memorials Association (president, Mr. G. Rex Renouf) has had an active and interesting year. Not only has it provided opportunity for pleasant social gatherings, but its members have engaged in a series of social studies, presented plays, taken part in debates, and raised a sum of money. This last went chiefly to provide the Old Memorials Scholarship. I thank the graduates for this fine gift, which testifies alike to their affection for the College and their appreciation of teaching. Also the Association, in conjunction with the present student-body and the Department of Public Utilities, has erected the fine flag-pole which now graces the campus.
I end this too brief reference to our graduates and their doings on a sad note. Two days ago Mr. George William Smith died. He is the second of our (full) graduates to be taken from us since the College began. He possessed abilities of a high order and, but for his frail physique and now his untimely death, would have continued to serve his country well.
Scholarship and Loan Fund
Out of the income from this Fund, raised for the most part by my predecessor, we are able to award this year two 2-year leaving scholarships, which are open doors of opportunity to the deserving holders. But we wish the amounts were larger and that we could give at least one more each year. A small part of the Fund is earmarked for loans to graduates. This has been of astonishing effectiveness, its small size considered. An essential feature of the Loan Fund is prompt repayment, and I take pleasure in recording that the beneficiaries are striving to retire their loans, often from their first small earnings, in order that fellow-graduates may have their turn to benefit.
Gifts or even loans to this Fund, no matter how small, will bring cultural returns out of all proportion to their cash value.
Events of the Year
The foregoing pages show that this has been an active and eventful year in the life of the College. May I mention briefly some other happenings?
In October it was the great pleasure of my wife and myself to entertain, with your approval, some eighty city teachers at an informal evening conversazione and musicale. In November we were similarly At Home to the members of the Old Memorials Association. In December the parents of the students were our guests, when after a short musical programme the buildings were thrown open to them and special exhibits were shown.
A very jolly Christmas Tree party was held by our women students for a number of under-privileged children.
The students of our Household Science Department served, as a practical examination, a dinner of several courses, the judges being the Governors and their wives.
Some of the little girls of Miss Baird's cooking classes from the city schools entertained their mothers and their teachers on an afternoon in our rooms.
In March and April the College put its fine gymnasium at the disposal of the St. John's Senior Basketball League for its annual series of matches.
Several student "socials" have been held in the College. When properly chaperoned, these have a value apart from the actual enjoyment, since our students come from widely scattered parts of the country and since these affairs are usually managed entirely by the students as hosts.
The Annual Students' Dinner was held in December.
On the day of the Coronation of His Majesty the King, the President, Faculty and students in academic dress, walked in procession to pay respect to His Majesty's Representative, and also presented to the King through His Excellency the Governor a loyal address, which was worded in noble Latin and suitably engrossed.
I wish now to offer respectful and sincere thanks to all who have contributed to whatever measure of success the University College may have achieved this year. The list is very long. It includes His Excellency the Governor (Visitor to this College) and Lady Walwyn for kindly interest in the midst of so many high duties; the Honourable Commissioner for Education, for benevolent supervision amid manifold cares; the Board of Governors for their exercise of wisdom and patience; the Founding Trustees for their enduring sympathy and encouragement; the President Emeritus for the abiding stamp of his influence and his continual remembrance of us; the Faculty, especially the Registrar, and other members of the staff for hard work well and faithfully done; our fine body of students whom for their zeal and youthful enthusiasm it has been a pleasure to serve; and parents and friends for gifts and good wishes.
I have the honour to be,
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