The presentation of the monument on behalf of a parishioner was made by Mr. H. H. Edes, in a few well chosen words. He said that two pleasant duties devolved upon him - first, the cordial welcoming of every person in the great congregation, assembled to do honor to the memory of so good and great a man; and, secondly, the presentation of so appropriate a tribute of the love and esteem in which Dr. Walker was held by one of his parishioners, who considered him the nearest to perfection of any man she ever had met.
The commemorative discourse by the Rev. Wm. Orne White followed. He spoke of Dr. Walker's birth in Burlington, Mass., of his boyhood and of his brave struggles to obtain an education, embarrassed as he was by poverty and extraordinary discouragements; of his joy at finally gaining admission to Harvard College, and of his resolve to make the utmost of his opportunities; his diligent application to his studies during the course, and his final graduation with high honors; his acceptance of the position of assistant professor at Phillips Exeter Academy, and next that of pastor of the Harvard Church. His connection as pastor with that church ceased in 1819, when he resigned to accept the position of Alford Professor in this university. Finally he was elected president in 1853, and until his resignation in 1860 he performed the arduous duties of that position with a fidelity, faithfulness and ability rarely, if ever, equalled. His death occurred in Cambridge, Dec. 23, 1874.
At the conclusion of Mr. Orne's remarks President Eliot was introduced. He said he came there as a representative of the great university the prosperity of which was due in no small degree to the labors of him whose memory those present had met to commemorate. Dr. Walker was a man who impressed one at a glance; his physique was grand and his constitution strong and vigorous. His power over young men was very marked, and many are now living in the prime of life who look back to some discourse or conversation of Dr. Walker's as a turning point in their lives.
President Eliot said that he spoke from experience, as he felt that his gratitude was due to Dr. Walker in no ordinary degree for his invaluable advice and kindness to him at the earlier stages of his own career. He closed with a glowing eulogy of his probity and worth.
Professor Lovering was introduced, and said that he could add little to that which had been so ably said by those preceding him, but that he felt he must take this opportunity of testifying to the love and reverence which he had for Dr. Walker. His association with him began when, as a boy, he was selected to be his reader, as his eyesight was beginning to fail. For several years he read to him two hours a day, the doctor in the meantime advising and directing his studies, and finally supplying him with the means of obtaining a collegiate education. In after life his advice was of the greatest assistance to him.
A few brief remarks were then made by the Rev. Pitt Dillingham, and letters were read from Dr. Ennis and Ex-President Hill. Letters expressing regret at their inability to be present were received from Ex-Governor Long, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop and others. The singing of a hymn by the congregation and the pronouncing of the benediction closed the service. The monument which was presented was designed by Mr. Henry Van Brunt of Boston. In the centre is a replica in Italian marble of Miss Anne Whitney's bust of Dr. Walker now in Memorial Hall.