The Union has just completed its eighth year which, in spite of the fact that its membership has fallen off dangerously, has been successful. Several improvements have been made throughout the building and in the running of the house, and a number of changes have been made in the constitution. The library has had a successful year, whereas the restaurant has suffered a decrease in patronage.
The inauguration of a series of lectures on the professions was proposed by Major Higginson and realized with the help of Mr. J. D. Greene '96, secretary to the Corporation. Lectures treating medicine, business, the ministry, engineering, law, and education were delivered through the winter by men representative of their respective professions, and on every occasion were well attended by Union members. The pop concerts, given each month alternately by the Pierian Sodality and the University Musical Clubs, have been more popular than in past years, the average attendance being about three hundred. Mr. Copeland's series of six readings given in the Dining Room during January and February were the most uniformly successful of any Union entertainments. At each reading the room was filled to its utmost capacity.
Among the prominent men who have spoken in the Union during the past year are President Eliot, Major Henry Lee Higginson '55, Hon. J. S. Wise, Mr. Cameron Forbes, Postmaster General George von L. Meyer '79, Hon. Beekman Winthrop '97, Hon. Charlemagne Tower '72, Mr. F. Hopkinson Smith and Mr. John Kendrick Bangs. The lecture on "Education as a Career," by President Eliot was given in Sanders Theatre in order that all who desired, whether or not members of the Union, might attend.
During the year twenty-eight different clubs have used the various rooms of the Union. The small Sophomore class dinners, the class smokers, and the Round Table dinners have likewise been held there as in past years; and the Sophomore class, following the lead of the class of 1910, held a pop night in the Living Room in place of the annual class dinner. This year the Juniors instituted a new scheme of having, instead of one of the class smokers, a Strawberry Night, which proved highly successful. The Junior Union Dance, the Faculty Reception and the reception to President Hadley of Yale after the award of distinctions in January were all pleasant affairs and well, attended. The Class Day spread has been continued and gives great promise of success this evening.
The average number of men taking meals at the Union restaurant during the year is considerably lower than last year. The average number a day this year has been 269 against 350 last season. Owing to the formation of the Varsity Club the Union has lost the training tables, a loss which has materially decreased the income of the restaurant. About 600 volumes have been added to the library, which now has a total of over 9800 volumes. Nearly one-fourth of the books added have been acquired, by gifts, a much larger number than usual.
In the past year the constitution has been amended twice, once to allow members to charge their restaurant and tobacco accounts, and again to provide for participating life members. The clause relating to participating life membership now reads as follows: "A student finally leaving the University, may become a participating life member by the payment of $10 at the time of application for such membership, and by signing at the same time an agreement to pay within the period of four years thereafter, $40, in annual instalments of not less than $10 each."
The decrease in membership will be shown by the following comparison, taken at the end of each academic year: