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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
A meeting of the friends of the Harvard Annex was held last week at the house of Miss E. F. Mason, 1 Walnut Street, at which Mrs. Louis Agassiz made a few remarks concerning the progress of the Harvard Annex, its plans and prospects for the future. Mrs. Agassiz in her address told how the Annex was first started ten years ago in four small rooms on Appian Way with a small sum of money, barely sufficient to carry the scheme through four years. There were then but twenty-five students, and these had no books save those in the college library, no laboratories and no apparatus. It was to their teachers, however, that the success of the Annex was due. The success of the undertaking prompted an appeal to the public in 1882 in be half of an endowment fund, and $70.000 was soon subscribed. Part of this money was used in 1885 in the purchase of the Fay House, and since then grounds adjoining the Fay House have been bought, and two laboratories have been built. The capital at present yields an income of about $4,000 per year, which, with the money received from tuition fees, cover the expenses.
At first the aim of the Annex was to give to young women intending to become teachers the best possible preparation. But after a while many came who wished to study without any practical object. The special students, although they are not compelled to take the examinations, often do so,-working with motives sufficiently earnest to keep up the standard. At first little more than an experiment, the Annex has grown to be one of the best known educational institutions in the country. The number of its students has increased from 25 to 250; it has sent teachers all over the country, and it has enabled many young women to pursue studies in which they were particularly interested.
At present there is a plan undergoing discussion for the enlargement of the Fay House (the present home of the Annex), which, if carried out, will require the expenditure of $35,000 This money is to be raised by subscriptions, which may be sent to Miss Alice M. Longfellow, Cambridge, or to Lee, Higginson and Co., State Street.
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