Report Of the President for the Year 1944-1945
The Chairman of
The Year. The War is not yet over but the defeat of the enemy in Europe allows us to examine briefly the effect of the struggle as it has touched the life and work of universities and colleges. While devoutly thankful that our college has mercifully been spared the destruction and loss that have been the lot of so many noble seats of learning, yet we cannot ignore the impact of the war on us here. It is a sobering reflection that most of our students next year will have passed their whole high-school period in the shadow of war, for they will need the utmost in sympathetic guidance to face the days ahead. Our own spirits have been saddened and, we trust, chastened by the horrors of a modern "total" conflict and by the loss our beloved College community has suffered in the gallant young men more than a score of them who will never come back to their Island home.
This is not the time to tell the story of the war effort of this College, but it has not been unworthy. Apart from anything done for the War, we have tried to learn some lessons from it. We have seen how valuable is our cultural heritage, since so high a price has been paid to preserve it; how very important are education and training and self-discipline; how significant is science which, used in one way, came near to destroying us all and, used in another way, saved civilization from ruin; how noble is an enlightened patriotism and how cruel a narrow nationalism.
We have seen China content to suffer great loss in order to remove her colleges to the comparative safety of Sze-chwan, the cold deliberation with which the enemy decimated Czech students and destroyed Polish universities, and Britain increasing the grants to her universities in the war's most anxious period and launching a vast new programme of education on the eve of invading the continent of Europe. To us who in this country plan for the future such things have an unmistakable significance.
Out of the last war grew a demand for a place in the intellectual sun which had much to do with the foundation of this College. As the present war moves, we trust soon, to a victorious end, we may ask in what direction the minds of our people are turning now. If higher education for our young people is what is wanted, the College will not be found lacking in the will if not the means to help supply it.
Changes. Commissionership. The college welcomes the Honourable A. J. Walsh, K.C., as Commissioner for Home Affairs and Education in place of the Honourable H. A. Winter, K.C., with every good wish for his success in so important a department of government at this critical time in our country's history.
Board of Governors. The three-year period of office of the Board of Governors expired in December. Retiring governors are Arthur Mews, Esq., Mr. J. Boyd Baird, Dr. H. L. Pottle, and Brigadier (S.A.) J. Acton; new members of the Board are Reverend Dr. I. F. Curtis, J. W. Morris, Esq., Dr. W. Templeman, and Major (S.A.) W. C. Brown.
Mr. Mews, a member and Secretary of the Board for nine years, has been able to bring to its deliberations the mature wisdom of years of administrative experience. Mr. J. Boyd Baird has also been a Governor for nine years and the college feels very grateful to him for this period of unbroken service. To Dr. Pottle the college offers its thanks for the interest he has always taken in its work and its good wishes for success in his important new field of service. Brigadier J. Acton, S.A., carries such a load of responsibility that he deserves our respectful thanks for his three years' service as a Governor.
The College gives a respectful and warm welcome to Reverend I. F. Curtis, B.A., D.D., whose close knowledge of our country's life and thought makes him a valuable member of our governing body; to such a highly regarded W. Templeman, B.Sc., Ph.D., who as our late professor of biology knows the college intimately; and to Major W. C. Brown, S.A., who has already a very close acquaintance with our life and work.
The Faculty. Several changes of staff must be recorded this year. As professor of biology to replace Dr. W. Templeman we were fortunate in securing Mr. E. Chamlers Smith, B.Sc., (Acadia), A.M. (Harvard), Ph.D. (ibid). Dr. Smith is well qualified and reommended and has experience, some of it with the Royal Canadian Airforce. The chair of education, left vacant by the resignation of Mr. P. J. Hanley, has been filled by the appointment of Mr. G. A. Hickman, M.A., a graduate of this college, who also has degrees, from Mount Allison University and Acadia University and is an experienced and successful teacher. In the department of education we welcomed Professor Helen Lodge back from a year's leave of absence. Mr. Duder's unexpected call to serve with the Allied Military Government in Europe would have inconvenienced us more if we had not been so fortunate as to secure as locum tenens Miss Ethel Brinton, B.A.(Hons.), Lond., whose work has been very well done. During the year Miss E. Baird was raised in rank to associate professor of household science, and a similar promotion in the department of education came to Miss M. Fitzpatrick. Still absent on war service is Miss G. Summers. Professor A. G. Gillingham is now discharged from the Royal Canadian Navy and is completing a course of graduate studies at Harvard University before returning to his post here. I record with satisfaction the good work done by Mr. J. B. Ashley, who for three years has carried Professor Gillingham's load of teaching.
Miss Mary F. Paton. In October there died in England one whose influence on the life of the College cannot be lightly regarded. I refer to Miss Mary Paton, who came to Newfoundland with her brother, our first president, and who by her support of his labours and the expression of her own rare spirit in many deeds of kindness and hospitality helped to stamp finely our early and formative years.
Numbers. We had 201 men and 96 women registered in the regular College classes. The First University year included 110 persons, the Second year 49, Third year and special students 31; the Teacher-Training year had 107. Our School of Navigation served 110 persons during the year. Other extension and evening classes were given to 125 persons. These numbers do not include students in classes conducted in the College by the Adult Education Division or by the Canadian Legion War Services (Educational).
A special appendix gives lists of passes and distinctions won during the year. In Arts and Science 66 have successfully completed the First Year, 20 of them in Class One. The number graduating today in Arts and Science is 43 and the number of Teacher-Training diplomas won is 97, of which 29 are of Class One.
Courses of Instruction. I report with pleasure that another year's work of sound instruction in arts and science (including pre-medical studies), household science, engineering, and teacher-training has been well and faithfully done. Three of these departments may be regarded as semi-professional since some of their subjects are not usually taken by the general student, and I have asked for special reports on Teacher-Training, Household Science and Engineering and added them as Appendices to this Report.
Few changes have been made. Two subjects, planned as war-time extras, have had to be dropped. A course for prospective high-school teachers was given. Methods of treating the topics of university instruction will of course always be varied to suit students' needs by such learned and careful teachers as my colleagues are.
During the year the Faculty made a fairly close study of what is called the liberal arts college idea, as worked out at St. John's College, Maryland, and in the University of Chicago. We wished to see how or how far it could be applied here, either with our present status or with a possible higher one. The discussions were lively and stimulating, and the Board will be glad to know of them, for they show how much alive our professors are to the importance of sound principles and clear aims.
Engineering. A report on the year`s work in Engineering forms one of the appendices to this report. The Doyle Scholarships now begin to show their value. The classes are large, but there appear to be very good prospects for well-trained engineers. Interesting features of the year's work are the geological and other trips of inspection, the use of films, the Seminar, and provision of summer employment. Near the end of this summer the College will operate a Surveying Camp.
Two important matters are now receiving careful consideration. One is the need for more vocational guidance than most college entrants now receive when in high school. The other is how far we should go to meet the demand so insistent elsewhere for a revision of the engineering curriculum in the direction of increased emphasis on the educational rather than the purely professional qualifications of graduate engineers.
Household Science. A report on the year's work in Household Science forms one of the appendices to this Report. Several useful activities may be noted, such as the fine Nutritional Exhibit, the interesting display of students' work in making, and repairing clothing - some excellent work here - and the experimental testing of recipes for war-time or post-war foods. Besides conducting a class in dietetics for nurses and another, under the auspices of the C.L.E.S., for service-women, Miss Baird has given regular assistance to the work of the Medical Association's Council on Nutrition and co-operated with various Departments of Government for similar purposes.
Teacher-Training. I commend to your attention the first report made to me by Professor Hickman on the year's work in Teacher-Training. You will note the large class, the increasing interest not only in the Teacher-Training Society but in other college activities as well, the use of excursions, the revival of guiding and the attention paid to health. The regular teaching has been faithfully done. For facilities for practice teaching we are much indebted to the city schools, whose principals and staff I here once more thank most heartily.
The Libraries. The first appendix to this Report is the annual report of the Librarian. I ask your careful consideration of the position of the Library, whose function is central in the life of a college. You will observe the extent of gifts of books, the increasing use of periodical journals, the collaboration with Queen's College and the Gosling Memorial Library, and the very pressing need of increased accommodation. This last I urge strongly. On the larger scale, I suggest that here is a place for a generous donation, from some person of public spirit and means, of a library, whether a building or a fund, as a memorial.
Art. A report on the year's work in Art made by Miss D. Wilson, B.F.A., is attached as an appendix to this Report. Not only has the prescribed course been followed, with regular instruction in art and handwork for teachers in training and in costume and interior decoration for students of household science, but also several other good things done. Regular exhibits - three each month - have been made of our Carnegie Art Teaching Set, lessons in appreciation of art given, and the picture-loan plan encouraged. An evening class in painting, a Puppet Show, and a Saturday class for children were also successful. This last owes much to Mr. J. R. Ewing for a generous gift of two dozen painting sets to help promising youngsters to develop the artistic instinct.
Music. While our diet of music in the College has not been as rich as in some years, yet it has been by no means a spare one. Miss Jennings' skill and good taste were again evident in her work with teachers in training, a small voluntary glee-club held enjoyable meetings, groups of students met in "free" periods to listen to recordings selected from our Carnegie Teaching Set, and friendly artists, including some of our own students, sang or played at our College Assemblies. These and other musical activities helped make the College a bright and happy place.
Dramatics. We are glad that our students have the chance to learn something about plays and their production. It is especially good for prospective teachers, for the value of simple dramatic treatment of many parts of the curriculum of a school is more and more realized today - most children are indeed "born actors". The Students Dramatic Group (president, Mr. T. P. Halley, secretary, Miss Marie Fennell) carried on again this year. Their work included a pageant-play "Why the Chimes Rang", directed by Miss Baird, which was shown in service hostels as well as in college, and Mr. A. A. Milne's "Dover Road", directed by Miss Organ. The latter play is part of the prescription for one of our courses in English and its production gave new meaning both to its study as literature and its performance as drama.
As dramatics perhaps we should include the life-like performance of some of the quaint marionettes in the puppet show given by Miss Wilson's class of teachers in training.
Guiding. After a lapse of two years we have again been able to provide instruction in Girl Guiding for some of our teachers in training. As one who has always believed firmly in the value of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements, I am glad to report this. We were able to find among our own students a captain ( Miss Olive Rideout) and a Lieutenant (Miss Frances Barrett) for the Company. On March 10th Lady Walwyn visited the College for an enrolment and her kindly interest encouraged us much. The Company is grateful also to Miss Furlong and Miss Brinton for help and advice. A short report on Guiding is given in the Appendix.
Health. Once more we record with gratitude the attention paid to the health of our students by the Department of Public Health. Dr. L. Miller, Director of Health Services, arranged for the medical examination of incoming students and Dr. L. LeGrow and nurses of the Department did the work with efficiency and kindness. The discovery of physical defects, the offer of expert advice, remedial treatment in necessary cases, these measures have meant much to many of our young people. We thank also the staff of the Sanitorium in this connection especially Miss E. Wells, Superintendent of Nurses.
Instruction in the subject of health is given in the College directly, for Dr. Miller has given weekly lectures during the year. Miss Lodge has taught the subject to teachers in training in her usual expert manner and with practical work in the gymnasium, and Miss Baird has shown the close relation of food to health in her Household Science classes. But the laws of health are also taught indirectly, for example in parts of the biology courses, and in our programme of physical training and games.
Games. In the middle of the academic year l943-1944 we received back our gymnasium, which was loaned for war purposes, and since then we have used it to the full. Though short of some equipment and without a full-time instructor we have carried on a good programme of physical activities. These are supervised by a joint committee of students and a representative of the Faculty. To Mr. S. J. Carew, who has this year attended to this arduous task, I here offer warm thanks. Mr. Carew has prepared a report of the Athletic Committee's work, and I have placed it in the Appendix to this Report for your examination.
The College playing-field, which when War broke out we placed at the disposal of the Director of Recruiting and later of the Department of Defence, has now been handed back. It will take a considerable time to replace the surface of the field, re-turf the terraces, plant trees again, restore the retaining wall and repair the fences. The public of St. John's could help much by refraining from trespass and misuse of these grounds, on which stands a building raised to the honour of Newfoundland's heroes of the last war.
Various Doings of our Students. Apart, of course, from formal courses of instruction, our undergraduates manage most of their own affairs through an elected body, the Students' Representative Council. This year's Council consisted of Mr. J. Quigley (President), Miss Patricia Sharpe, (Secretary), Mr. J. V. Ryan, (Treasurer), Miss Janet Abraham. Miss Ruth Baggs. Mr. R. B. Butler, Mr. C. Hancock and Mr. G. B. King. Their duties were quite responsible - for example, they managed a Union Fund of some fourteen hundred dollars - and it is a pleasure to record efficient performance. At half-year two representatives retired from the Council in the interest of their studies. The conduct of S.R.C. elections is made quite formal and regular, the reasons for the various steps in the procedure being explained to all the students as a lesson in democratic method.
The College magazine, Cap and Gown (editor-in -chief, Mr. J. P. O' Quinn) is now in its fifteenth year. It is managed and almost all composed by the students) themselves and I believe it to be a credit to them. Wartime publication is, of course, not easy.
In the conduct of the various student societies a slight change was made this year with the object of more wide-spread interest in each of them.
The Teacher-Training Society (president, Mr. L. Howse, secretary, Miss Olive Roberts) had an interesting and profitable year, with debates on such subjects as equal pay for women and practical experience versus college education, addresses on matters of general interest as well as the teaching profession, a very enjoyable party, and other activities.
The Arts and Science Society (president, Mr. W. Hutchings, secretary Miss Ruth Baggs) held debates, spelling bees, and heard talks by visiting speakers: altogether an interesting year.
The Engineering Society (president, Mr. R. Blackmore, Secretary, Mr M. Green ) is a most active student society, whose doings during the year include the very valuable seminar, various "smokers", and excursions, as well as social meetings.
The Pre-medical Society (president, Mr. K. Linegar, secretary, Miss P. Giovannetti) added to the usual programmes of talks etc. by visits to hospitals and a very well-conducted Christmas party.
The International Relations Club (president, Mr. C. Andrews, secretary, Miss E. Epstein) used literature supplied for the purpose by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Papers were prepared in a serious manner and read to the Club by student members.
The President of the Student Representative Council has prepared a report covering various student affairs during the year, and a copy is attached as an appendix to this Report.
Alumni. ...Of the doings of our graduates I mention first their war service. The number of graduates and past students whom we know to have volunteered for the Armed forces of the Crown now stands at 301. Rejections were 32. Our list of those who were killed or missing includes 28 names. Some have suffered imprisonment or loss of health. Decorations, honourable mention and promotion has come to not a few. Alma Mater Salutes her gallant children, with joy for their acts of heroism, sorrow for their suffering or loss and sympathy with those who hold them dear. At the close of the War we must set up a fit memorial but in the words which Thucydides put into the mouth of Pericles, "The great world is a monument to great men".
Space forbids me to chronicle the achievements, in war or peace, of our graduates during the year. An increasing number are finding fields of service in their own country. Others are continuing abroad the education begun here and several have won the insignia of sound scholastic achievement; for example at one professional school this month the medal for best all-round standing and also the prize for highest average in cultural subjects were both won by a graduate of this College. When visitors from abroad ask as they often do why Newfoundland, alone among modern states, lacks a full university foundation, we can reply with confidence that the mental calibre of our youth and the quality of our own College teaching are not among the reasons.
The local alumni society known as the Old Memorials Association (President, Mr. R. Bartlett, Secretary, Miss Iris Lacey) has carried on well this year in spite of the varied interests of its members. Social and Athletic activities and the provision of a fine annual scholarship are some features of the year's doings of the Association.
Evening and Extension Programme. Although the College has no established Extension Department with special director and staff, we carry on as large a programme as some institutions which have.
Our Navigation School, for example, is a real vocational institute. During the year as many as 110 men, mainly seamen, were given intensive instruction, by means of which 76 have to this date qualified for government certificates of competency, 22 as masters and 54 as mates. The fields of service of these men are Navy, the Merchant Service, and the Home Trade. All but 18 of them are Newfoundlanders, the rest are English or Canadian. For certain weeks a part-time assistant had to be employed to assist the zealous and industrious instructor, Mr. A. G. Parrott. The record of this school which the College maintains in quarters close to the St. John's water-front, shows a notable contribution to the winning of the War and a promise of personnel for post-war needs of our (or other) merchant shipping.
We revived this year the programme of evening public lectures, so popular and profitable a few years ago. The number of them was only five but their quality and public reception encourage us to attempt more next year. Topics treated were Britain and India, Man's Social Rights, Peace and Federal Union, and the British Commonwealth; and the lecturers were Mr. H. B. Goodridge, M,A,, Lieutenant, R.C.N.V.R.. Reverend R. T. McGrath, M.A,, Doctor A. C. Hunter, and Mr. G. P. Bradney, B.A., respectively.
Evening classes were held in the College in such subjects as Accounting (two groups), Art, Blue-print Reading, Calculus, Chemistry for Nurses, Cookery, Dietetics, Elementary Electricity. English Literature, Speech, French, German, Pharmacy, Workshop Mathematics.
We were pleased also to be able find accommodation for two other sets of classes. One of these was given by the Adult Education Division of the (Government) Department of Education, and the other by the Canadian Legion Educational Services. This latter organization operates in the Newfoundland area under a committee of which your President is chairman and two of the governors and five of our alumni are members. I am told that its work of providing education for members of the fighting forces, is more extensive in this "region" than in most others on the continent.
At some inconvenience but happy to be able to do so the College has acted as host to several organizations including the St. John's Players, well-known for their fine "little theatre" work among us, the Art Students' Club, the Old Memorials Association, the Girl Guides Association, a Cooperative Movement study group, and two alumni societies of friendly colleges. Two art exhibitions by outside organizations were also accommodated in our rooms.
Gifts. Every year since the College began we have received donations of some kind. Last year we recorded the three fine gifts which set up the Curtis Bursary, the Doyle Scholarships and the Kellogg Scholarships. This year I have to report a number of significant gifts including a large number of books from Acadia University and the fine present mentioned above to encourage children's art from Mr. J. R. Ewing.
The generous and far-sighted act of Mr. C. C. Pratt in setting up a scholarship fund for the children of those 63 who served our country in the War touches this college as well as the schools of Newfoundland, since part of the provision is for university scholarships to be held here. The deed of gift names the President as a member of the committee and I have begun to act.
Events of the year. Social amenities and the good feeling they generate have not been forgotten. Students "socials" as they call them have been held - but not, I think, too frequently - never without proper chaperonage. The Annual Indoor Sports Day was a great success. Our women students held a Christmas Tree Party for children from some of the less well-to-do homes. The Teachers-in-Training by direction of Miss Wilson gave a Puppet Show at which many boys and girls of orphanage schools were welcome guests. One of our dramatic groups performed a Christmas playlet at two servicemen's hostels. A faithful group of lady-students gave the President's wife splendid assistance in her work for servicemen.
While deeply grateful for the way in which city denominational colleges have made room in their residences for many of our out-of-town students we see each year an increasing need for hostels of our own and I direct the Board's attention to this necessary service.
In the way of personal guidance we do more each year. It is now clear that the institution of the post of Dean of Women a few years ago was a wise action. I append to this Report a copy of a report made to me by Miss M. G. Mansfield, Dean of Women, whose service in this capacity is of the highest value.
My wife and I have been glad to hold receptions during the year for students, professors, visiting educationalists, and other groups friendly to the College. The War has of course, curtailed somewhat the scope of all such functions.
The Future. Twenty years have passed since the College first opened the doors of opportunity to Newfoundland youth. This young institution has now grown into an integral part of our educational system, and has its friends in every hamlet of the country. But twenty years is a short time in the life of a seat of higher learning and no doubt the future holds a promise of still higher and wider service. To quote a phrase from our first President's last Annual Report: "A university foundation is the nation's answer to the call of the future".
Thanks. I offer respectful and sincere thanks to the many persons who have helped to make the year a success by interest and encouragement, direction and supervision, kindness and benefaction, service and goodwill. The list is a long one. It includes His Excellency the Governor, our visitor, and Lady Walwyn, the Honourable the Commissioner for Education, the President Emeritus, members of our Board of Governors, the members of the Faculty especially the Registrar, parents of students, friends and benefactors, principals and teachers of city schools, graduates and my dear young friends the undergraduates of the College.
I have the honour to be,
St. John's, Newfoundland, June 2nd, 1945
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