Commencements 255
tion of the faculty conferred the Master of Arts degree on Dr. W. E.
Poole (disregarding the fact that they had conferred the same degree
on him in 1855), T. D. Boone, G. W. Sanderlin, T. J. Horner, T. J.
Deans, and J. B.
Mays.2
From this it is evident that Trustees in 1867-
69 thought themselves competent to confer the Master of Arts degree
without a college commencement and even without the
recommendation of the faculty.
Beginning with 1868 annual commencements have been regularly
held, at the dates indicated above. Though they were much more
important in the life of the College in the early years than in the later
their general features have remained the same; some of the more
important of these will now be discussed.
For the members of the faculty the entertainment of those attending
commencement was a matter of chief concern. The faculty was
responsible for entertaining the Trustees during the time, which until
well after the turn of the century was a period of four days.
Accordingly, several weeks beforehand the faculty appointed a
committee on hospitality, whose duty it was to find homes for the
various members of the Board. This committee always found that the
citizens of the town not connected with the College were willing to
supplement what the members of the faculty could do and in this way
never failed to provide for the fifteen or twenty members of the Board
who were expected to
attend3
In the early days trustees and others
were content to sleep two in a bed and did not complain if two others
were occupying a second bed in the same room, and they expected no
shift of bed linen during their stay. Bathing arrangements were a
pitcher of water and a basin and a towel. In the early days beards were
common, but those who shaved could either shave themselves before
the mirrors in the rooms or be shaved at the barber shop of Caleb
Winston who for fifty years served the
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2 The General Catalogue statement is confused about some of these names. In
the list of Master of Arts it gives the name of T. J. Horner as "T. J. Holmes," and
sets 1869 as the year in which T. D. Boone received the degree.
3
The food-consuming capacity of certain gigantic trustees was well known and
sometimes those who composed the hospitality committee had some difficulty in
placing them.
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