Hill Auditorium Dedicated Today - Magnificent Structure Presented To University - Noted Men Make Addresses at Dedicatory Exercises Today - June 25, 1913
Wednesday, June 25, 1913
HILL AUDITORIUM DEDICATED TODAY
Magnificent Structure Presented To University
Noted Men Make Addresses at Dedicatory Exercises Today
President Emeritus James B. Angell Made Presentation Speech
on Behalf of the Hill Estate and Regent Clements and
Governor Ferris Accepted Building For University and State --
Senator Charles E. Townsend Made Splendid Speech
The beautiful new $250,000 Hill Auditorium, a gift to the university from the late Regent Arthur Hill of Saginaw, was dedicated this morning, the ceremony beginning at 10 o'clock.
Preceding the dedicatory services in the auditorium, a formal parade was made on the walks of the campus, a parade in which members of the board of regents, the invited guests from other colleges, the president and president emeritus, the members of the faculty, those who are to receive honorary degrees tomorrow, and the seniors all appeared in academic dress. The parade was military in aspect, and very spectacular, including a guard of honor, heralds, a fife and drum corps, and buglers, and it was fully an hour after it was formed before the last person in the great auditorium was seated.
A special musical program had been prepared under the direction of Prof. Albert Stanley, during which a chorus of 150 voices sang "O, Great Are the Depths" and the Hallelulah chorus from Handel's Messiah. Between these two choruses, Prof. William Howland sang "Gloria."
President Emeritus James B. Angell, a long time friend of the late Regent Hill, presented the beautiful building to the university in a few words. He said:
"At the request of the representatives of the estate of the late Arthur Hill and in their behalf, I have the honor of presenting this auditorium to the university. Mr. Hill was graduated here in 1865, and always cherished for his alma mater the affection of a loyal and loving son. He had served her wisely as a regent for eight years, and had contributed generous gifts, among them the Saginaw forestry farm, to her prosperity. From personal conferences with him, I knew that for some years he had considered carefully in what way he could make a large sum most useful to the university, but he finally concluded that by the erection of a large auditorium he could accomplish that purpose. Accordingly he provided in his will for the gift of the generous sum of $200,000 for the building in which we are assembled.
"It has been planned and completed with the most painstaking regard for the accomplishment of his wishes. It has proved to be perfectly adapted to the end he had in view. We rejoice also that by the generosity of his wife it is adorned with a memorial tablet, bearing an excellent bronze likeness of Mr. Hill.
"It is now my pleasure to present the building to the regents of the university and commit it to their perpetual care. Long may it endure as the gathering place of the many friends of the university on great festival days, and as the memorial of one of her most generous and devoted sons."
Regent W. L. Clements of Bay City, had been asked to accept the gift, on behalf of the board of regents, and Gov. Woodbridge Ferris on behalf of the state.
Mr. Clements remarks in part, follow: "With profound gratitude the board of regents accepts this building, the gift of the late Regent Arthur Hill, and herewith dedicates it to the best uses the university can give.
"We believe the building is a triumph in the science of acoustics. For this very important feature, we are indebted to the eminent engineer, Hugh Tallent of New York. To the architect, Albert Kahn, of Detroit, our gratitude is due for the design and construction of the building in an artistic yet simple manner.
"The problem of university advancement, of educational advancement, is not unlike, in many ways, the problem which is presented at all times to the business man or the manufacturer. He must have organization, the best of ability, and he must have facilities, and equipment wherewith to work. There is the same keen competition between educational institutions and their heads as there is between competitive businesses and the organized university with ability in its departments and effective appliances wherewith to work, is sure to pass those less effectively organized. In the competitive race for educational supremacy, for self preservation, perhaps, we have a problem of which we must not lose sight in our considerations of essentials in the making of students. For, if we cannot connect with the essentials, expensive marble piles, then we, organized as we are, and with responsibilities as we have in Michigan, are hopelessly lost.
"In education as in business the first essential for effective work, is the competent man in charge. Fortunately we are able to construct substantial fireproof buildings, simple but artistic in design, and equip them at moderate cost.
"We all appreciate the esthetic value in educational work of beautiful buildings, but it is indeed a costly plan of university building operations to maintain an expensive established architectural type of buildings not essential for practical or effective service. We of Michigan, with funds limited, are fortunate in not having to maintain such a standard at the expense of essentials. Organized as we are, a state institution, the essentials in building and equipment must always govern the board of regents. Each member is surely responsible for a careful expenditure of the university's funds. There must be a maximum efficiency with a minimum of cost.
"One link in the chain of new and approved buildings for Michigan is made in the erection of this auditorium. If we maintain our standard of equipment, more buildings and equipment must follow. If our alumni and friends will see to it that each year the board of regents is granted those requests for aid to maintain its rights to supremacy in the field of education, I am sure the expenditures will be made for efficiency. We must have these funds or Michigan will go backward rapidly. This building is the fourth only, of modern construction, included in the many belonging to the university.
"In some special fields of work we cannot well ask for aid from the state. May we not expect for our friends gifts of modest monumental buildings, for advanced work? From the work of such schools most important results come, results which in the science of medicine have saved thousands of lives, and in zoology and botany have been of inestimable benefit to the agriculturist. We must not be satisfied to be neglected to the rank of a state college. Let our ideal be for the highest standard, a national university."
Regent Clement was followed by Governor Ferris, who accepted the
(Continued from Page One.)
gift for the state. In a few well chosen words, he couched this acceptance:
Governor Ferris said in part:
"Any attempt to estimate the resources of Michigan without considering our great university would result in failure. Our vast iron and copper mines, our coal and salt, our fisheries and farms, our orchards, all are of immense value. They are fundamental to existence. After all, their existence is primary for the realization and appreciation of higher riches, the riches of the human soul. Michigan as a state possesses the natural resources I have named. Michigan likewise possesses this great universit., I, as governor of Michigan, in her behalf, graciously accept the gift of the Hill auditorium."
"The auditorium recognizes the tremendous value of the spoken word. The printing press and the library have not minimized the value of the spoken word, but rather magnified it. If the time were at my disposal I would be glad to pay my best tribute to the value of the spoken word in moving man to the appreciation of the highest ideals and the noblest actions. I am glad that this auditorium is not to be used as a class room. This auditorium is for the thousands who, on account of its ample provisions, can assemble here.
"I am hoping that the auditorium may offer much in the way of the drama. I feel that is is now time for the universities, colleges and the many other institutions of learning to recognize the educative value of the drama. Most of the people assembled here this morning have heard some of the great players of Shakespeare, but they have likewise learned the subtle power of simpler plays, such as "The Old Homestead," "The Third Floor Back," "The Servant in the House." I am not asking that this auditorium shall emphasize problem plays. I am speaking for the young men and women who need the inspiration, the uplift of the drama in its simpler form.
"Possibly the work done in this auditorium will affect the state of Michigan, the United States and the world more than any other provision that this great university has. The state of Michigan cannot be too enthusiastic in expressing gratitude to the giver who has passed to the great beyond, who chose a magnificent means for making his name dear to thousands and tens of thousands who are yet unborn. It is with most intense satisfaction that I receive for the state of Michigan this magnificent gift."
The dedicatory address was delivered by Senator Charles E. Townsend of Jackson former student of the university. He said, among other things:
"It is with great pleasure that I accept your courteous invitation to address the faculty, students and friends of this great university which has been the source of much pride to me as it has been to every grateful son of Michigan.
"I can yet sense the feelings of joyous satisfaction which possessed me years ago when I matriculated here. I have always regretted, however, that circumstances which I was not then wise enough to control prevented me from remaining here a sufficient time to complete a course and to acquire the information and training which have proved of such great value to the thousands of young men and women who have persevered to the end. Nevertheless, having once been on the student roll and experienced the college thrill, I have retained throughout the years which have passed a little warmer feeling of love and admiration for the U. of M. than I could have felt if I had not had that short but blessed experience.
"I fear that the members of the classes of '80 and '81 and of the faculty who were here during the school year of 1877 - '8 and who retain any memory of my obscure presence during that period will be able to remember me more because of my athletic prowess than for any demonstration by me of remarkable mental endowment or achievement. But I trust it is proper and becoming of me to say that I here caught some inspiration which, though largely unrealized by me, has nevertheless been the star pointing to the sacred place wherein are cradled the best and most glorious possibilities of life. And so it is, Mr. President, that I am here today without a diploma, but I am still a student hopefully following the course entered upon 35 years ago. No alumnus is more loyal to his Alma Mater than I am to the University of Michigan.
"The university has grown marvelously in the last 35 years. If I had not been a frequent visitor to Ann Arbor during that period, but had returned for the first time today, I would have had some difficulty in recognizing this as the same place where I attended school in '77 - '8. Of course when I saw Professors Beman and Demmon and Dennison, my patient and competent instructors in mathematics, literature and mechanical drawing, I should have recognized some familiar landmarks of the place, and when I met Michigan's grandest old man, Dr. Angell, I should begin to feel certain that I was not in the wrong city. Nearly all of these splendid buildings have been erected in the last 25 years, and the campus where once we played football and other games is now largely covered over with imposing and commodious buildings. The state has been wisely and properly generous to its university until we have here what I sincerely believe to be the greatest institution of learning in the world. If I had a son I would not care to leave him great material wealth, but I would feel that I had performed my full duty to him if, after I had instilled into his mind a desire for the best and truest in life, I had given him a course in this university. I like it because it was founded by the people and primarily for the especial benefit of their sons and daughters, but ultimately for the good of the nation and of the world. It is cosmopolitan in the broadest sense of that term.
"To this place come the brightest young men from nearly every state and nation, and returning to their homes they become the radiating centers of that progressive spirit which is indigenous here and which is absorbed and appropriated by all true Ann Arbor students.
"But it was not my purpose in coming here to give voice to those sentiments which well in the heart of every son of Michigan when he contemplates our university. I desire to submit some thoughts which have come to me in the course of a rather busy public life and amidst conditions which it should be the object of university training and experience to affect.
"I assume that the principal object which the state has in establishing and maintaining schools and colleges is to promote the cause of civilization by increasing the efficiency and power of the people. It is a trite saying that 'knowledge is power,' but no student of human affairs can doubt its truth. We have many examples of men and women who have accomplished much and achieved greatness although they have never been to college, but a thorough understanding of these cases will disclose that they have been close students in the broadest, truest sense of the term, and it cannot be known how much more even they might have accomplished if they had taken a college course. But this is speculation. We know through actual examples demonstrated over and over again that the uneducated are handicapped in the race with the educated, all other things being equal, and never in all the history of the world was there such a demand for men and women who know and think as there is today. Time was when the scholar educated in the sciences and arts was regarded as an impractical theorist, but the time now is when the plans and specifications for every great project of government, whether industrial, sociological, political or broadly ethical must be drawn, if they are to be drawn even approximately correctly, by architects from our universities. The scientific and exact have supplanted to a great extent and must supplant altogether the haphazard and accidental. Not by main strength but by afterthought must be solved some of the real though complex problems of the world. We are face to face with the great question of economics -- economics of time, resources and energy and properly directed thought must be in charge.
"But in saying this I do not wish to suggest that the splendid achievements wrought by non-college men of native genius shall be ignored or even discounted. The real student will study in order that he may understand existing things as they have worked out by actual experience. He can thus find out and know how it happened. Our civilization is a fact and with that fact as it is must every scholar begin if he is to be of any service to his day and generation. Theories are not of great longevity nor of much value unless they are capable of application to present conditions.
"The young men and women who enter our colleges and universities have fallow minds ready to receive the seeds of information which shall be sown by the husbandmen -- their professors. They start in usually with no fixed prejudices and have not firmly established errors to uproot. it is of the highest importance therefore that the teachers shall be of the right kind. Even a university can get along without the latest electrical apparatus and without the most modern mechanical equipment, but it cannot accomplish great good without the right kind of a faculty and given a good corps of instructors they will create the equipment. One truly great man in the faculty is a greater asset to a university than a large cash endowment, and such men will make it supremely great. If I were to criticize the regents of this institution it would be because they do not pay what the position of professor is worth, and every little while --- at any rate it seems every little while to me -- I learn through the press that some other state has taken a good man from us. I wonder that with the insufficient salaries paid to professors, less in amount than is received by the engineer turned out by it, the university retains the services of some of the distinguished instructors who have been here so long. The only explanation is that love of their work and loyalty to the university have inducted them to forego the opportunities for money making. Permit me to repeat, a strong faculty is the greatest thing in a great school, and a board of regents should spend more time and energy in securing such a faculty than it does in erecting new buildings. Both work well together, however, but get the most important first and all necessary things will be added."
University of Michigan - Buildings
University of Michigan - Board of Regents
United States Senate
Speeches & Addresses
Michigan - Governor
History - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor News
Wooster Woodruff Beman
Woodbridge Nathan Ferris
William L. Clements
James B. Angell
Isaac Newton Demmon
Charles E. Townsend