Administration of Samuel Wait I 385
As the administration of President Wait was coming to its close the
condition of the College was already more hopeful. In a letter to the
Biblical Recorder of March 31, 1845, written on April 5, Professor
W. H. Owen says that a brighter sun has risen for the College, that the
faculty is cheerfully hopeful, and that the number of the students has
shown an increase of twenty over the last session, although colleges
generally throughout the country, as shown in a report in the
Christian Review, had suffered losses in attendance. And he closes
with the following statement of conditions at the College which is
sufficient evidence that the high moral purposes and inspirational
personal influence with which Wait began his work at the beginning
of February, 1834, were still powerful at the College as he was
resigning the chief responsibility for its direction in June, 1845.
Though not written as an encomium of President Wait, hardly a better
could be found than these words:
But the strongest of all the indications of coming prosperity is derived from the
conduct of the young men themselves; here we have halcyon times. I feel confident
that if the public eye could penetrate our walls and see the good order, good morals,
and strict attention to duty and business, which characterize our students, we should
very soon have our rooms crowded. We have not had a single case of discipline
during the portion of the session which has passed, and only one or two excuses
rendered for absence to which exceptions could be taken; all from the oldest to the
youngest seem to act as if they thought they had no business here but to study. It is a
rare, very rare thing for one to be absent from his seat at prayers, except from sick-
ness ! the daily routine of duties is conducted with noiseless dispatch, and this rather
from the free will of the students themselves than any extraordinary exertion of the
faculty, and yet no one can witness their performances, particularly on the stage,
without being convinced that here there is the impatience of embryo genius and the
restlessness of ambition. I am somewhat at a loss to account for this great change in
a short time-whether to ascribe it to the influence of the revival of religion of last
session, or to a magnanimous and patriotic combination of the young gentlemen to
promote the prosperity and extend the usefulness of the Institution by exhibiting
conduct in a great measure free from reproach; be this as it may, we certainly have
high and encouraging signs that we shall have a Seminary from which the
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