Irvah Lester Winter '86, associate professor of public speaking at the University, was the guest of honor at a dinner given last night at the Harvard Club of Boston by some forty of his associates and former students, to celebrate the beginning of his twenty-fifth year of service on the teaching staff of the University.
Among the former pupils who spoke briefly in praise of Professor Winter and testified to the advantage they had gained from his teaching were the Hon. Edmund C. Billings, former collector of the port of Boston; Professor S. L. Garrison '12 of Amherst; Professor W. H. Davis '12 of Bowdoin; the Hon. Joseph E. Warner '06, former speaker of the Massachusetts House: Professor W. J. V. Osterhout and Professor Zechariah Chafee of the University; Mr. John Nolen G. '05, landscape architect; and Professor N. C. Maynard of Tufts.
Professor G. H. Palmer '64 and Professor F. N. Robinson, associates of Professor Winter's at the University; the Reverend E. J. Dennen, head of the Episcopal City Mission; Mr. C. S. Thomas '97 of the Atlantic Monthly Company, and Mr. A. J. Garceau '91 also bore witness to the value of Professor Winter's service.
A cane which had formerly been carried by Daniel Webster, Hon. 1804, was presented to Professor Winter at the dinner as the gift of an anonymous donor.
Reads Many Congratulatory Letters
Letters from large numbers of former pupils and associates of Professor Winter's, including business men, teachers, actors, preachers, and men in many other walks of life, were read by Mr. Alfred Johnson '98 who presided at the dinner. Among these were letters from President R. B. Ogilby '02 of Trinity College; Judge C. P. Smith; Dr. S. S. Drury, Med. '47, headmaster of St. Paul's School; Mr. I. N. Flinner '11, headmaster of Huntington School; Mr. W. T. Foster '01, ex-president of Reed College; President W. A. Neilson, G. '96, of Smith College; Professor W. W. Fenn '84, and Professor G. G. Wilson of the University, and Judge J. N. Palmer '86.
President Lowell was unable to attend on account of the inauguration dinner to President Stratton at the Institute of Technology. Among the letters read was one from President Eliot, in which he spoke of the high position which Professor Winter had gained for public speaking as a subject for college instruction, and concluded:--
"Professor Winter has won this place for his subject through his own judgment, good taste, and skill, and has done good service not only to the students who have profited by his instruction, but to all people who believe that democracy will in the future as in the past owe much to citizens capable of accurate, rational, and moving public speech".
Professor Winter, in reply, spoke of the character and extent of the work done in public speaking instruction both at the University and throughout the country, of its educational as well as practical value, and of the need for further development in this branch of teaching.