An adjourned meeting of the board of overseers of Harvard College was held yesterday morning, with the Hon. Charles R. Codman in the chair. It was voted to concur with the president and fellows of the college in the following elections: Silas Marcus McVane, A. B., professor of ancient and modern history; Ernest Young, Ph. D., professor of history; Arthur Serale, A. M., Phillips professor of astronomy, to date from Sept. 1, 1887.
President Eliot, in his report, shows the progress that has been made in regard to entrance examinations in English and the classics, and states that the instruction of the college has been directed to giving command over the languages, rather than to securing knowledge of certain pieces of Latin and Greek. In this connection he emphasizes the advantages of the sight reading system and points out the good tendencies of the method now recognizable. The endeavors of the faculty to improve the teaching of elementary science in the secondary schools is next touched upon, and the results of voluntary chapel exercises come in for a word of comment. On this much-mooted question, President Eliot says: "The experience of the year indicates that all these services can be usefully and honorably maintained on the method of voluntary attendance. Religious interest among the students has undoubtedly increased with the abandonment of prescribed attendance, and the serious-minded students have now the wholesome feeling that they are themselves partly responsible for maintaining and enlarging religious influences at the university. There are, of course, students who never enter Appleton Chapel, or expose themselves in any way to the preachers' influence; but in this respect the college closely resembles the larger community without."
In the matter of student expenses, the report states that there has been no increase, but that all the advantages of college life, physical, social and in tellectual, can certainly be had for not more than $800 a year. and that $500 will cover all that is absolutely necessary. Brief accounts of the graduate department and divinity, law, medical and dental schools are subjoined, and the library, herbarium and observatory are shown to be in excellent condition. Of the summer courses, the report says that they have been serviceable to teachers and schools, and have helped to introduce into the secondary schools a rational teaching of science. The great variety of athletic sports which flourish at the university seems to the president to be "useful to the general end of cultivating bodily strength and skill and assuring physical health." Commenting further on athletics, he says:-
"Three of these sports, namely foot-ball, base-ball and rowing, are liable to abuses which do not attach to the sports themselves so much as to their accompaniments under the present system of intercollegiate competitions. These abuses are extravagant expenditure by and for the ball players and the crews, the interruption of college work which exaggerated interest in the frequent ball matches causes, betting, trickery condoned by a public opinion which demands victory, and the hysterical demonstrations of the college public over successful games. These follies can best be kept in check-they cannot be eradicated-by reducing the number of intercollegiate competitions to the lowest terms. The number of these competitions is at present excessive from every point of view. Wrestling, sparring and football-games which involve violent personal collision-have to be constantly watched and regulated, lest they become brutal.- Boston Advertiser.