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ments: the Scientific-Collegiate, the Academic, and the Commercial. In addition to these, a Preparatory Class has been opened to supply the necessary rudiments to such students as are not qualified to enter the lower classes of the Academic or Commercial Departments.
In previous reports I have given a detailed account of our course of studies. Within the past year changes have been made, an outline of which may be of interest.
A year ago representatives of our various Western Colleges met in Chicago. They had before them reports of local committees from the different Colleges, previously drawn up after long and earnest deliberation. From these reports those items were selected which seemed to represent the very best economy; and an account of the labors of the Central Committee was dispatched to each of the Colleges, to be returned with such amendments as the circumstances of time and place suggested. Thus uniformity in the various Colleges was secured. The object of these deliberations was not to supplant our timehonored “Ratio Studiorum,” but merely to adapt it in detail to the needs of our American Colleges. A standard is fixed which the young man of average ability should reach. The uniform course determines the number of years before graduation, and the matter to be treated in each class. It provides special courses of Science, Literature and History for the Scientific-Collegiate Department. These courses have already begun, and are now a fixed part of the week's work. Experience will show that as a means of developing the broadest culture they will not be without their results. Certainly the influence of this more definite plan of studies is already making itself felt, as is shown principally by the increased interest on the part of the students to meet its requirements.
For a full account of the lately remodeled courses of instruction I must refer to our Catalogue for the session 1886-1887, pages 9-24. Several copies of the Catalogue are sent to your office, together with the present report.
At the public commencement exercises held on June 29th, the College conferred the degree of A. B. on ten graduates, who had completed our full course. In addition to the conferring of degrees, a number of valuable prizes, the gifts of friends of the College, were distributed to the successful competitors in the various classes. These incentives to labor are every year held out to the students; and the winner is determined by the combined result of frequent competitions.
For the formation of a thorough Christian character, as well as for the maintaining of order and discipline, without which good results are not obtainable, strict obedience, assiduous application and blameless conduct are required of every student. Any serious fault regarding these essential points renders the offender liable to effective correction, and even to dismissal, if this be deemed necessary by the faculty.
The College closed its tenth session (1886–87) with an attendance of 266 students. Of these, 60 were in the Scientific Collegiate Department; 120 were in the Academic Department; 30 were in the Commercial Department; 56 were in the Preparatory Department.
The increased number of students made it necessary to procure further accommodations. Accordingly, two additional buildings were purchased on the north side of Jefferson avenue, giving us an entire frontage of three hundred feet in a most desirable portion of that beautiful avenue.
The College Library has been considerably enlarged with a choice selection of books—principally donations. Through the courtesy of Hon. Wm. C. Maybury and others, we have secured to the College sets of Congressional documents, together with the very valuable reports of the different departments at Washington. This portion of the library is open not only to the students, but also to the general public.
The College societies have had a very prosperous year. One of them, the Philomathic (Debating) Society, numbered upwards of forty members, all of the Scientific-Collegiate Department. Its weekly meetings offer a splendid opportunity of obtaining correct views on the leading questions of the day.
Efforts are being made to render the physical cabinet all that can be desired for a complete course of scientific studies. Considerable appropriations made for this end, together with the substantial aid of the many friends whom the College numbers among the leading citizens of Detroit, have already accomplished a great deal; but much more remains to be done, and will be done in the near future.
REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF VISITORS.
HON. JOSEPH ESTABROOK,
Superintendent of Public Instruction : DEAR SIR:-We the undersigned, members of the State Board of Visitors to Hillsdale College, visited that institution in February.
We found everything in connection with the college in a prosperous condition. The location of the grounds is upon an elevation which commands a fine view of the city of Hillsdale and the surrounding country. The buildings are good, well located upon the grounds and the rooms are usually convenient.
The faculty of teachers seemed to be live workers and greatly attached to their departments. The new President has won the confidence of the faculty and students and seems in every way adapted to be at the head of the college, and he is well supported by Miss Reamer, the excellent Principal of the Ladies' Department.
The courses of study are well graded and in every way suited to the wants and necessities of the young men and women of the age.
The Department of Theology is strong, having a three years' course and taught by a corps of five professors.
The Commercial Department is a feature of the college which has become popular. It presents a course of study fitted to prepare young men and women for business.
The Normal instruction here given has prepared many teachers for our schools, who are now doing such excellent work in the State that it has gained a reputation in its special line of work.
The mathematics and physics are taught by excellent methods and illustrated by improved apparatus, and the recitations give evidence of the interest in these branches taken by the students.
Some new features were noticed which we desire to commend for their excellencies. The Latin teachers gave their classes one lesson each week with the Latin left out. This lesson is a selection from the English masterpieces for the purpose of comparing the Latin literature with choice selections of pure English. We listened to one of these recitations and were greatly pleased.
The classes of the Biological Department were doing more work in dissection than any classes we have known outside of medical colleges. This is an advanced step in the right direction.
One of the grandest features of the institution is the Gymnasium, where the students of both sexes have an opportunity to take the much needed physical exercise, and the value of this daily exercise is self-evident to any visitor who will notice almost at first sight, the robust, healthy and well developed students in all departments.
The College has a fine Library which is well managed and is largely used by the students.
The Christian influence exerted by the Faculty is of a pronounced type and many of the students have enlisted in church and Sunday school work.
The great need of the College is more money, not so much for additional buildings or more apparatus and supplies, as for an increased salary fund. The salaries of the Faculty ought to be doubled.
Here is a Faculty of teachers, men and women of pronounced scholarship, of talent and culture, who are giving the best years of their lives to this grand work, with so small a salary that it must be that their devotion to their chosen profession and their personal interest in the institution are very great to induce them to make this personal sacrifice.
J. M. BALLOU,
REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT.
Hon: JOSEPH ESTABROOK,
Superintendent of Public Instruction: SIR—I have the honor, herewith, to report the work and condition of Hope College for the year ending June 22d, 1887. It will be seen, that in almost all respects, the institution is much the same as for the previous year. It furnishes educational facilities to an important part of Michigan and is doing, as best it can, an elevating mission, but as yet lacks the ample endowments which the times seem to demand.
The Board of Trustees is composed of 19 members, each (except the president of the College) holding his ottice for six years. Regular meetings are held at Holland in April and June of every year, and special meetings when duly called. The “constitution” of the school was adopted in 1878. The members of the council are as follows:
Rev. Chas. Scott, D. D., President of the College.
Rev. P. Moerdyke, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Rev. G. H. Mandeville, D. D., New York City.