The hearing on the proposition to change the name of the Annex was held before the committee on education at the State House yesterday morning. A large number of visitors were present.
Mr. J. B. Warner, a member of the corporation of the Annex, represented the petitioners. He showed the rapid progress that has been made by the Annex since it was started fifteen years ago. He said that the purpose of the college in furthering the enterprise had not been to found a distinct woman's college, but to give to women the benefit of its collegiate course. Although the officers of the University do not deem it advisable to incur the expense and responsibility that would be involved by conferring degrees upon graduates from the Annex, yet they wish to give the Annex all practical advantages that may be derived from the patronage of the college. They believe that these advantages will be secured by allowing the degrees of the Annex to be countersigned by University officials. The two principal objections to the change that have been made by the remonstrants are that a certificate attached to a degree is a confession of inferiority, and that the Annex because of insufficient endowment may be abandoned by the University. Yet the present endowment of the Annex conpares favorably with that of other institutions, and, as to the good faith of the University, the liberal protection that the Annex has received in the past, and the unanimous spirit in favor of the change that is expressed by the overseers of the University, ought to be sufficient earnest of fair treatment in the future. There is no objection to the legislature's providing that no degree of A. B. shall be conferred by the Annex without the approval of the University. It is desired that the University may have control over the Annex just so far as it wishes to assume it.
Mrs. Elizabeth Agassiz, and Professors Norton, Goodwin, Goodale and Byerly, spoke in favor of the petition. They agreed in saying that there can be no valid objection on the ground of insufficient endowment, and that the honor of the college is pledged to the support of the Annex.
The remonstrants were represented by Mr. G. W. Anderson. They withdrew their objections upon being assured that the proposed legislation would not make it possible for Radcliffe College to confer degrees itself.
It is highly probable that the committee will return a favorable report.