The ninth annual conference of the College Young Men's Christian Association of New England was held at Williams College Feb. 6 to 8. About eighty delegates were present, representing nearly twenty institutions. The homes of Williamstown were thrown open with generous hospitality to the visitors, who thoroughly appreciated the beauties of the village, the college, and above all, the kindness of the people.
From Harvard five delegates were sent, each class being represented, while two were seniors.
President Carter delivered an address of welcome which was happily responded to and the convention was formally opened. Saturday morning the conference discussed the needs and possibilities of the work in preparatory schools with special reference to the help wich the colleges they feed might give them.
Rev. Samuel H. Lee presented the opportunities for college student work among the poorest classes of New York. Last summer about twenty college men were engaged for two months among these degrded people. They did great good, and in these two summer months led lives rich in experience. It is hoped that many more men may enter into this work next summer, supported, when possible, by the colleges whence they come.
Mr. Colley, the state secretary of Connecticut, gave an enthusiastic presentation of the work for young men in New England and its claims upon college men. Mr. S. M. Sayford pointed out the need of a more spiritual impulse in Christian work.
Saturday afternoon at 4.30, 3 Parlor Conferences were held; one on Bible Study at Chi Psi Lodge, another on Personal work at Delta Psi Lodge, and the third on Missions at Sigma Phi Place. More than thirty men were present at each of these conferences; the delegations from each institution being divided as evenly as possible among them. At these informal meetings the delegates fixed their attention on a single problem, and by exchanging thoughts and comparing experiences in regard to it, gained help in solving the peculiar phase of the problem as it appeared in their different institutions.
At seven o'clock Saturday evening, Dr. T. P. Sawin of Troy, N. Y., delivered the preparatory lecture, after which Mr. L. K. Morse of Harvard and Mr. Sayford spoke on the requisites for success in Christian work.
Sunday morning at nine o'clock the delegates assembled in Alumni Hall at the Meeting for Personal Blessing, which is always one of the most helpful meetings of the conference.
The early part of Sunday afternoon the delegates spent with their hosts or with each other, talking over the meetings of the conference or their own work at home.
At four o'clock Mr. Sayford gave a very earnest and impressive address on some of the dangers and evil tendencies of college life. In the evening Mr. J. R. Mott, one of the college secretaries of the international committee, on the Possibilities of the Intercollegiate Young Men's Christian Associations showing the advantages of united work, and the great need of such work in foreign lands.
At the farewell meeting the delegates summed up the main points which were brought out during the conference, emphasizing those thoughts which had impressed them most, and which they would carry back as an inspiration for their various work. This was the focal point of the whole conference, in which the results were brought together and impressed upon the minds of the delegates.
To every one the conference was an inspiration, giving an idea of the largeness of the work, suggesting better means for carrying it on, and rousing a determination to do more active work in definite directions.