The average Harvard undergraduate if asked to describe the Annex would probably plead ignorance, and yet the Annex is but a block off.
Just across from the old Washington elm stands a large brick building known as the Fay House, once occupied by Edward Everett. Here in a small front room many years ago Mr. Gilman composed the song so dear to us all, "Fair Harvard." The property has passed into the hands of the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women, and is now known as the Annex.
This society was started twelve years ago with the intention of offering to young women the same opportunities for a collegiate education as offered to Harvard men, and it has rigidly followed its original idea. The instruction is given entirely by Harvard professors and instructors, and the requirements for admission are the same in both colleges.
Harvard has always pursued a most generous policy toward the Annex. By a special vote of the Faculty, the Annex was given the use of the library free of expense, and also the privilege of using the examination papers.
The beginning of the second halfyear finds the Annex in a flourishing condition. The total number of students has risen to 172, of which 21 are in the freshman class. Apropos of the argument advanced for the three years course, that Harvard men enter college too old, a comparison of the ages of the freshman and senior classes of the two colleges will be of interest.
The average age of the regular freshman class at the Annex is 17 1-3; of the senior class at the beginning of the year, 19. At Harvard the same classes average at least two years older.
At the Annex the number of specials is unusually large, consequently the inference is often unjustly made that many of the specials could not pass the admission examinations. On second thought, however, one will see that to a certain extent the Annex is both a college and a professional school; hence the tendency to specialize.
The Annex does not confer degrees, but instead a certificate stating that the student has pursued with success a four years' course of study, such as would be accepted for the degree of A. B. in Harvard College.