The meeting in Sanders Theatre last evening to welcome new members to the University, and the reception which followed in Memorial Hall, were largely attended, not only by members of the Freshman Class but by many upperclassmen. Dean Shaler, chairman of the committee on the reception of students, presided, and stated the purpose of the meeting, apologizing for the absence of Governor Walcott, who was compelled to be absent on account of the complete loss of the use of his voice. The speakers who addressed the meeting were President Eliot, Dr. Edward Everett Hale and Dr. H. W. Walcott, of the Corporation. Dr. Hale's speech was full of reminiscences of his college days and of his connection with the religious life of the college. In particular, he spoke of the establishment of the present system of chapel worship and the opportunities and advantages for students in the means afforded for intercourse with the prominent men of all denominations. Dr. Walcott confined himself to the medical side of student life. A reference which he made to the poor gymnastic equipment of his day, whieh was supplemented by poorer shefls that managed, nevertheless, to beat Yale, was loudly applauded.
President Eliot was the first speaker. "Each year, for several years past," he said, "more than 1000 young men have joined this university at this time, and this year is no exception. This coming of the new men is a joyful time for them, but for us there is something solemn. This old ship carries a precious cargo, and hardly any one of us can avoid feeling a sense of responsibility. But on each one of you some share of this burden falls from the time when you become a member of this association of men. This is an association of which one-half of the members have died and left the record of their good deeds.
"The dead make a great part, but they illuminate the lives of all who in future shall become members of this University. We are all associates with a common interest and common credit to win in the future. It is pretty hard to realize just what this descending honor from the men in the past and this ascending honor from us, means. We have to get at it from examples, and I take two examples from men who have died this summer." President Eliot then told of the lives of Professor Child and Ex-Governor Russell, and showed how through their lives they had proved an "ascending and descending honor" to the University.
"By the influence of character," he continued, "can you do as these men have done. For the influence of character is not much affected by the age of the person. The life of Philip Stanley Abbott of the class of '90, who was killed this summer in the Selkirk Mountains was throughout his college career a power for good in the lives of all who knew him. He set an example of pure and lofty living.
Each one of you will tell here just in proportion to the strength of your own personal character. And let me add one other word. These things may look far away, but in reality all are close at hand. The hour of acquisition is infinitely precious. It should be the means of procuring a full, abundant and happy life."
After the meeting a reception was held in Memorial Hall at which refreshments were served and an opportunity given men to meet such instructors and members of the University as they chose. The members of the committee on the reception of students served as ushers.