« ElőzőTovább »
and I say again that I feel assured that a course looking to railroad management, viz: by attaching the economics of transportation, would be attended with grand results to both the Institute and country.
"Will you say how much I regret being compelled to be away from you, as my heart is with the Institute, and as regards its standing with our company, I would say that there are some nineteen graduates who hold responsible positions with us, and they are always acceptable when opportunity offers."
From letter of General Amos B. Eaton, of Washington, D. C.:
u Although I am not an alumnus of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, nor of the " Rensselaer School," as it was called in its earlier days—still it has been my intention, until to-day, to visit Troy, and to witness such of the commencement and the exercises of the semi-centennial of the Institution as might be open to me, but I find that my health is such at this time, as will not justify my leaving home.
"It is a very great satisfaction to me that the Institution that my father established, with only a few to appreciate and aid, has gained and grown until it is acknowledged throughout the whole country to rank with the best schools of science. I am especially grateful to the generous and appreciative friends of my father, that they are to erect and dedicate a monument to his memory. It is due to him from his pupils, that they should do as they propose to do, write the name Amos Eaton upon the granite he taught them to "spell by its component mineral factors."
"I hope during the summer to be in Troy, and then to see the " Eaton monument," and to pay my respects to President Forsyth and others of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute."
From letter of Rev. Marvin R. Vincent, D. D., pastor of Church of the Covenant, New York, and formerly a member of the board of trustees of the Institute:
"It will be impossible for me to be present at your meeting, but I may be allowed to express my hearty sympathy with its object. * * * I feel that the Rensselaer Institute has a legitimate claim on the liberality and confidence of your citizens, because it has always been, as it is now, a source of reputation and credit to the city. It has stood as a scientific school of the highest grade; and though the advance of science and the growth of the country have resulted in other, similar schools, yet they all still look.with respect to the Rensselaer. Its graduates are filling honorable and responsible positions all over our land. Notwithstanding the multiplication of scientific schools, its number of students never was so large. And not an unimportant consideration is the fact that the Institution turns annually into Troy a very handsome revenue.
"Troy is thus, as it seems to me, only consulting her own best interests and reputation by carefully fostering this school. It is a school for the advancement of those very sciences which lie at the foundation of her manufacturing interests, the principal sources of her wealth. Nor are the manufacturing interests alone concerned. Every business man and every professional man has a personal interest in the work in which you and your colleagues are engaged. As citizens of the Republic none of us can be indifferent to the vast development of mineral wealth which is among the potent forces now shaping the civilization of the West; a development which must be largely in the ratio of the advance of science. The great truths which you illustrate, and the great discoveries for which you prepare the way, touch the realm of the physician and of the theologian as well as that of the manufacturer. And yet I know how comparatively few outside of professional circles are aware of the amount of resources necessary to keep such an institution abreast with the progress of science. Large quantities of costly and delicate apparatus, expensive models, chemicals, the best and newest scientific works and periodicals, not only accomplished Professors but able assistants, all these require a generous outlay. And such I trust the citizens of Troy will feel it for their interest to make. Surely no investment could return to the city a richer usury, both in credit and otherwise. The reputation it has already won, the respect with which it is everywhere named, the advantages occuring to your society from the residence of its accomplished Faculty, the aid it is furnishing in the development of material resources and mechanical inventions destined to re-act upon the business and manufacturing interests of the world,—all should, as it seems to me, make it your pride to cherish it and to enlarge to the utmost its facilities."
From letter of Prof. B. F. Silliman, of New Haven:
"I should have taken pleasure, had it been in my power, to have assisted at the interesting semi-centennial exercises. The Rensselaer Institute deserves abundant honor as the pioneer in this special line of professional training, in the United States, and they find it best expressed in the useful lives of their honored Alumni all over the land."
From letter of F. Collingwood, Engineer on the Suspension Bridge, New York:
"I trust that in good time the proposition brought prominently forward by Mr. Boiler,—that the Alumni have a representation in the management of the Institute,—may become an accomplished fact. With proper restrictions, it can hardly result otherwise than in benefit; and I have faith to believe that the lively interest that will in time be awakened will bring also something more tangible. Though engineers as a class do not amass wealth, there must be some of the graduates who, in other fields of labor, will do so, and I believe that it is to such sources mainly that substantial aid should be looked for. Aside from this, the Alumni ought to know, better than any other class of men, what are the needs of the Institute, and what the wisest measures to adopt. I trust, therefore, that we shall not let another Alumni meeting pass without bringing out more pointedly the views of the members, and taking steps to press the matter upon the attention of the Trustees."
From letter of O. F. Nichols, Engineer on the Chimbote & Huaraz Railroad, Peru, S. A.:
"My friends have favored me with the newspaper reports of the semi-centennial exercises, and as I had anticipated, they passed off finely. I wish I could have been with you, but Troy and Lima are most too far apart to make such a wish practicable. I heartily approve of almost any means which have for their object the assembling of the graduates of the Institute, for I think that much of the support it obtains other than financial, depends upon the interest which the graduates take in the school, and the zeal they display in its aid. Certainly, by this time we should have given up most hope of obtaining any funds from the worthy men, rich and poor, who have received their education at the Institute. Still, if there yet be hope from the city of its birth, and the State Legislature, possibly some financial good may come out of Nazareth yet.
"Collegiate experience seems to be that individuals with large hearts, or large love of approbation and larger purses, are to be relied on, and I trust that some such individual may one, day, not too far off, be found, who shall furnish Troy with the wherewithal to maintain its Institute in the position which we all wish it might hold. Now, and for long years, the high standing it has, is and has been maintained by the industry and sacrifice of its professors, aided by the record of the men, talented and deserving, of its graduates. It seems to me now that on the same elements the Institute will have to depend for many a year, for whatever of reputation it bears. The new schools, with all their wealth, do not seem to prove formidable rivals, either by diminishing the number of students at Troy, or by sending out better Engineers."
From letter of Rev. S. R. House, M. D,, of the class of 1834, Missionary at Bangkok, Siam:
"I can only express my sincere regret that distance must prevent my joining my fellow graduates of the Rensselaer Institute, so honored in memory, in celebrating her semicentennial anniversary. Be assured that few of her graduates can have greater veneration for her founders or a higher appreciation of the excellencies of her modes of instruction—or be more thankful for the delighful and profitable months spent in her halls. I have ever had reason to remember most gratefully my worthy Alma Mater, for the practical acquaintance gained of the natural sciences and applied mathematics, has been of the greatest service to me throughout my missionary life. I will mention one instance. Some lectures on chemistry with experiments given soon after my arrival here, secured for me the respect and lasting friendship of the knowledge-loving Crown Prince, who a few years after was called to the Throne and reigned for seventeen years over Siam."
(Dr. House, after leaving the Institute, graduated at Union College, and also at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.' While at the latter place he wrote the "Chemist's Dream" published in the Knickerbocker Magazine. He also made many valuable contributions to the knowledge of the natural history and geography of that little known land.)
From a letter of James T. Allen, class of 1855, written at Zurich, Switzerland:
"It may be of interest to some of the graduates to know that the father of our lamented Professor Elderhorst, Col. Elderhorst, is still living at the age of ninety-three. One of the few, who as an officer in the Hannoverian cavalry fought through Waterloo and the Peninsula. His sister, ninetyseven, his wife sixty-five, and daughter comprises the family at Hameln, Hannover. A younger brother died a few years since whom they mourn with William as though in new made graves. Two cousins about the age of the Professor wear the iron cross gained in the late French war. * *
"It would give me great pleasure to be present at the semicentennial exercises, but as it is impossible, I propose as a toast:—" The graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute—-may they always do their level best."