Report of the President for the Year 1934-1935
The Secretary for Education.
I have the honour to submit the following report, with appendices, of the Memorial University College for the academic year 1934-35.
Growth of the College:
This institution completes today the tenth year of its life. Did space permit it would be interesting to trace the growth of the College during the decade, a growth which must be gratifying to its founders and which, I suspect, has far exceeded even their hopes. But space allows me merely to call attention to a few facts. In our first year there was a student-body of 57, in our tenth we have 220. Then we occupied part only of the original building, sharing it with the Normal School and with the Methodist College, then made homeless by fire; now we are finding we have too little space in these two good-sized buildings. A faculty of 4 with 2 other persons on the staff in 1925 has grown to a faculty of 12 with 6 others in 1935. Then we gave perhaps 10 courses; now we give more than 50. From a mere nucleus of books there has grown up a useful library of some 8000 volumes. We had one laboratory in 1925; we now use four, and three of these are getting to be too small. All this expansion has been in spite of the slender means at the disposal of the College and the meagre resources of so many of our people.
But not alone in size and range has this institution increased. Conceived with such high hopes, founded as a Memorial, and presided over by J.L. Paton, it was impossible that material growth should not have been accompanied by an intellectual and idealistic enhancement whose value can be given not in figures but in the arithmetic of the enlightened and uplifted mind of youth.
The interest which successive governors of the Colony have taken in our work has culminated this year in the acceptance by His Excellency the Governor of the title and office of Visitor.
The number of students in attendance during the year now closing has been 220, the increase over last year's number being mainly due to the establishment of a new department, that of Teacher-Training. Entrance standards have been carefully kept up.
The College ranks have twice been broken during this year. Never before has a student died while in attendance here. Miss Marjorie Kelson Pittman of Trinity, a teacher in training, and Mr. Lloyd George Howell, a sophomore in Arts, have been taken from us by death. We mourn their passing and our sympathy goes out to the bereaved parents and friends.
A list of passes and distinctions is given in the Appendix of this Report. It shows that in the Arts and sciences 38 have successfully completed the Freshman year, 10 in First Class. The number of graduates is 37 in Arts and Science, of whom 10 gained First Class standing, and 56 in the Teacher-Training Course. Some 6 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. But we know that a College should bring into the lives of all its students many elements of the highest value but not measurable by any formal testing. Our graduates themselves can best say if this has been done.
Changes in Staff
Last year we said good-bye to Mr. C.A.D. MacIntosh, B.Sc., lecturer in engineering, an efficient and devoted teacher and a good friend of students and colleagues alike. His place in the Faculty was given to Mr. G. Alain Frecker, B.A., B.Sc. (E.E.), who has well justified the selection by his keen interest in engineering education in general and in the individual student. To be Professor of Education and in charge of Teacher-Training Mr. L.W. Shaw, B.A., was appointed, a gentleman with both a wide general experience and a special gift for his work. At the request of the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Shaw is now being released in order that he may take up the duties of Secretary of Education. The College does this with reluctance but with every good wish for Mr. Shaw's success in the wider field.
Two promotions on the staff has been made. Miss M.G. Mansfield, the Registrar, has been made a member of the Faculty; Miss Helen Lodge, M.A., becomes associate professor of education; and Miss Sadie Organ, B.A., is to receive the rank of lecturer.
Courses of Study
An important step was taken this year by the inauguration of a course of training for teachers "as an integral part of the Memorial University College," to quote from a recommendation of the Commission on the Curriculum. An entrance requirement of at least Grade XI was demanded, the students assumed the undergraduate cap and gown, the length of the course was set at a full year - for the present - and a course was planned which emphasized the use of books, physical education, household science and biology, and social science, together with the more useful topics in education. Observation and practice teaching was provided, and I take this opportunity of thanking those city principals and teachers whose kindness made this possible. The number of students enrolled in the teacher-training course was 58, of whom 56 continued throughout the year.
I append a brief report by the professor of education, but I quote here on sentence: "The aim of the course is two-fold, viz; a teacher trained in the art of teaching and a teacher trained also in social and community leadership."
In the department of household science some modification of the course has now been made. Not only has the subject of applied art, which includes design and colour as used in interior decoration and costume, been added; but such a rearrangement has been effected that in future our two-year graduates, besides having received a sound course complete in itself, will be able to pass on to such an institution as Macdonald College of McGill University and there complete in two years the degree (B.H.S.) course. There should be openings for such graduates in the near future.
In other departments minor changes have been made to adapt our instruction to meet the needs of the students.
Last year's experiment of providing some extra or honours work for selected students was repeated this year.
For purpose of reference I append the full list of ordinary courses actually given this year: Biology 1,2,3; Chemistry l,2,3; Latin 1 and 2; Greek 1 and 2; Surveying 1 and 2; Drawing 1,2,3; Mechanics 1,2,3,4,5; Economics; Political Science 1,2,3,4,5; Mathematics 1,2,3,4; French 1 and 2; German 1 and 3; Spanish; Physics 1,2,3; Science of Education and School Management, Principles of Education; Teaching Methods and Practice Teaching, Social Science, English for Teachers in Training, Physical Education and Health.
A glance at the above list shows that little time is available for other activities on the part of the Faculty. Yet these have been many and varied, adding much to the intellectual life of the community, and including writings, lectures and addresses to various organizations. I record here the publication by Associate Professor J.S. Colman, jointly with Dr. F.S. Russell, of two pieces of research on Zooplankton entitled Composition of the Zooplankton of the Barrier Reef Lagoon and The Occurrence and Seasonal Distribution of the Tunicata, Mollusca and Coelenterata (Siphonophota). These were brought out by the British Museum (Natural History Section).
Through the kindness of Radio Station VOGY the College was able this year to offer a weekly broadcast. The programmes consisted of addresses by members of the staff as follows: "Cellulose" by P.L. Lovett-Janison, "Cosmic Rays" by R.T. Harling, "An Introduction to Plato's Apology" by A.G. Gillingham, "Second Wind" by A.G. Hatcher, "A Few Words" by A.C. Hunter, "Schubert and His Songs" by J.S. Colman, "The New Deal for India" by A.M. Fraser, "The College Library" by Miss S. Organ, "The Development of Engineering Education" by G.A. Frecker, "The Scope of Household Science" by Miss E. Baird. In addition to these a debate between past and present students, a symposium called "A Day in the Life of a Student", and musical and dramatic selections were broadcast.
In order to share the benefits of the College as widely as possible, evening and extension classes have always been carried out. This year the evening programme consisted of a series of public lectures on subjects of contemporary interest given by members of the Faculty; classes in dietetics, cookery, electricity, mathematics, pharmacy, first-aid, navigation, chemistry (for nurses), English and a class for mining prospectors. The number in attendance at evening classes was 258. I need not stress the importance of this effort, especially perhaps in navigation, from which class each year several go up for qualifying examinations from Mates' ticket (local) to Masters' (foreign).
The Farm and Garden study group which was formed last year, has had this year a successful season. It Is not a College class but its sessions were held in our Biology rooms and were led by Associate Professor Colman. I append a brief report of its activities.
An even more promising organization has been a seminar for Teachers, formed in October on a suggestion made during an informal converszione at which some eighty city teachers were the guests of the President. Its activities took the forms of group-study, lectures and much illuminating discussion. Professor Shaw acted as general advisor to the Seminar and rendered notable and generous service all through. Space forbids more than this brief reference to a very valuable piece of work.
It is pleasing to record the activities of our graduates and former students. Some have gone forward to complete their university courses, and during the past year more than 15 have received degrees, in several cases with much distinction. Some have made contributions to scientific knowledge. Year after year their influence is being felt.
There is now an active Old Memorials Association under the presidency of Mr. E. G. White. Its members in the city have held frequent meetings for study, discussion and recreation. Two of its activities are well worth mentioning here. One is the provision of a directory of all our past students. Another, even more significant, is the establishment of an Old Memorials Scholarship of $75.00 per annum to be given to assist an able and deserving student of the First Year to enter the Second. It is being awarded this year. This gift indicates at once the loyalty of our graduates to the College and their appreciation of the value of its courses.
The doings of our present students have not been confined to their studies. Their system of self-government gives a valuable training in the conduct of affairs. My thanks are due to this year's Student Representative Council which consists of Mr. H.T. Renouf as President, Miss Betty Wood as Secretary, Misses Mary Murphy, Daphne Pratt, Margaret Sansom and Messrs. A.W. Osborne F.J. Henley, A.E. Cramm, for their skillful management of student affairs, The College magazine Cap and Gown (editor in chief, Miss Mary Murphy) is the students' own work except for the graduates' section and reflects credit on them. The Dramatic Society put over well two plays - "Twice is too much," a comedy, and the stark and difficult "The Valiant." The Literary Society (President, Mr. E. Howell) in addition to some specially arranged addresses gave its attention to debating, such topics as Hitlerism and the Treaty of Versailles being discussed. One debate in particular, between past and present students was repeated over the radio. The Science Club (Mr. H. Godfrey, President) held a series of meetings to hear talks and to hold discussion on topics of current scientific interest. A large proportion of these addresses were given by the students themselves.
The Citizenship Study Groups, started by last year's students "in order to understand better the significance of the present critical period in our country's life," have been continued this year. Not so many of our students have engaged in these voluntary studies, but the manner in which they were carried on and the promise this method of free inquiry holds out, have led me to append a copy of part of the report recently made to me by these groups.
Our lack of a playing-field has interfered much with outdoor games, and it is with much satisfaction that we now see our own ground in a fair way to be made suitable. This year we have used the playing-fields of our friends and somehow managed to carry on football and ground hockey. Ice hockey, basketball, indoor tennis were also played with enthusiasm. "Hiking" is a most popular pastime among our students. Our fine gymnasium has been much in demand; it has been particularly useful for the physical education programme of our teacher-training department.
During the year the women teachers-in-training expressed a desire to know something about guiding. The kind help of Miss Caroline Furlong was enlisted and five patrols were organized. After a period of training Lady Anderson visited the College, enrolled the guides and said some gracious words of encouragement. A number have since passed the tests for Second Class Guides. We were helped in the work of training by Miss A. Stirling, Miss A. Phillips, Miss R. Butler, Miss B. Thistle and Miss J. Carnell. Miss Annie Hayward has lately conducted a further enrollment. On June 20th Lady Anderson was good enough to bring Lady Baden Powell, the Chief Guide, to speak to our students, a memory they will cherish.
Last year the health of our students gave me much concern. This year we have been able, through the ready co-operation of the Department of Public Works and Welfare, to offer a medical examination to our students. We made this available first to the teachers-in-training and then to the other students. The effect has been very good. Defects, such as of the eyes, tonsils, etc., have been discovered and rectified. For the removal of these severe handicaps to efficient study and living, the College is very grateful to the Department of Health. Moreover, lectures and demonstrations in health and first aid were given by officers of the Department as part of our physical education course for teachers-in-training.
The College is now so large that my individual knowledge of each student's needs is becoming less and less possible. The system of student advisers, on which I reported last year, has been used this year more fully. It will be still more effective when students learn to come oftener for advice and help to members of the Faculty who are eager to help and advise.
Beside the instruction in Art given to teachers-in-training and to the students of household science, an optional weekly class has been held by the Curator of the Art Collection whose report I attach. This class dealt with the history and appreciation of art. Exhibitions, open also to the public, have been given using the Carnegie Reference Set of five reproductions. The College has been glad to offer the Newfoundland Society of Art its walls for the display of a fine exhibition of British Posters.
The services of Chas. Hutton, Esq., K.S.G., have been enlisted for teaching singing to our teachers-in-training. At our weekly assemblies several artists of the city, too many to name here, have generously played and sung to us with taste and feeling. Miss E. Mews, L.T.C.M., has been good enough to train a Glee Club which has helped to bring out hidden talent and arouse interest in song. A recital of Carols at Christmas and a concert on two evenings in May have been judged by competent opinion as really fine productions. The Glee Club is a very bright spot in the picture of our College life. The need of a small grand piano is now very pressing.
The proceeds of these entertainments and of the students' plays have gone towards our Scholarship Fund. Some gifts have been made during the year, such as $25.00 from the Newfoundland Pharmacy Board, and other amounts have been earned. But no such princely donation as last year's anonymous gift of $6,000.00, can be recorded this year. The Fund is carefully administered and offers an opportunity for generous aid to higher education.
Events of Interest
May I mention briefly some events in the life of the College during the year?
In October some eighty city teachers were entertained at an informal evening conversazione and musicale.
In the first term also it was the great pleasure of my wife and myself to entertain, with your approval, many of the parents of our students at an evening reception.
The members of the Old Memorials Association were our guests at an evening party during the Winter Term.
Several student socials have been held in the College. These, when properly chaperoned, have value apart from the actual enjoyment, since our students come from all parts of the country and since they are usually managed entirely by the students as hosts.
The Assembly Hall of the College was used by the Newfoundland Historical Society for its meeting to celebrate the Jubilee of H.M. the King. Your president was asked to deliver the address.
This report has had little to say about what is, of course, the main purpose of the College, namely the actual day-by-day instruction of our undergraduates. I can give few details beyond what may be indicated by the lists given in the Appendix. But I may remind you that with carefully guarded entrance, worth-while courses of study, a well chosen and expert staff, standards of teaching set high in the early years of our history, an intelligent and earnest student-body, there is needed only capable oversight to insure success.
The heart of the College is our fine Library. During the year we have found an increasing use being made of the books as true sources of reference and knowledge. The fine gift of $l,000.00 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York has injected new blood into the life of the whole College. But the year has been such a good one for the Library that it needs a Report to itself and this I append herewith.
To so many persons are the thanks of the College due that I cannot enumerate them here; for gifts in books or otherwise, for expressions of encouragement and good-will, and for many forms of help willingly rendered. To the Trustees for wisdom and sympathy and to the Faculty for hard work well done I offer here my own respectful and sincere thanks.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
St. John's, Newfoundland.
June 21st., 1935.