January 22nd, 1867

March 6, 2008

The Bishop took part in Morning Prayers and addressed the students on honesty, honor and truth. He spoke to the younger members especially.

Our Board of Trustees met at the Medical College at ten. We went through the usual routine business for the Medical College, and voted M.D. to eighteen students in course. The Chaplaincy business came up and occupied a good deal of time. Bishop Coxe opened the matter by referring to his correspondence with Mr. Douglas on the subject, and then stated his own views, both of the proper interpretation of the statutes for the Chaplaincy, and the relation required, by the nature of the case, to subsist between the President of the College and the Chaplain. He concurred in entirety and with great force of reason, in the view taken by the President, and in the action which he had taken accordance with those views. He thought the President had been exceedingly moderate in the exercise of a right clearly conferred on him by the statutes, as he (Bishop Coxe) understood them. He said if Mr. Douglas persisted in taking the view he had put forth on this subject, he saw no alternative but that we should refund and so release ourselves from an obligation which we not fulfill consistently with what the interests of the College would require. Mr. Douglas remarked that in that case he would devote the amount to Christian education on some other field “where it would be wanted.”

Mr. Douglas, when asked to state his views, read a paper containing what he had written to Bishop Coxe on the subject. Pretty long. Dr. Shelton expressed himself quite freely in concurrence with the Bishop. Mr. Ayrault also spoke in favor of Bishop Coxe’s view. No one sustained Mr. Douglas’ view. Finally it was resolved that the President be requested to put his own views of the proper relations between the President and the Chaplain, in writing, and submit them to the Board at its July meeting.

Mr. Douglas had expressed the opinion that with our present number of students, it did not matter about appointing a Chaplain – that things were going on well enough as they were. He said Mr. Swift had written to him, saying that he agreed with him that no appointment of Chaplain should be made until the relations between Chaplain and President were clearly defined.

Bishop Coxe, as Chairman of the Committee on Endowments, reported earlier in the day that the People’s College had providentially been thrown on his hands, and that he would require twenty thousand dollars to put it in working order, and that this must take precedence of the effort for the College. It was agreed that Bishop Coxe, as he proposed to do, should call attention to the wants of the College at the same time that he obtained money for the school.

But it thus becomes clear that our effort for the College must be deferred for a time – perhaps a year. And if at the end of that period I should engage in raising funds for the College, two or three years must elapse before I could ask leave of absence without detriment to its interests. I therefore determined to ask the Board for permission to be absent from College for about six weeks at the beginning of the next College year, in order to pay a visit to Europe immediately after commencement, which was very kindly granted – Dr. Shelton moving the resolution, and Mr. Douglas seconding it. I had always purposed, if God should spare my life, to go abroad at the end of ten years’ service to the College, and now I have been nearly nine years here, and at the ten years, as it now seems, it would not be convenient in view of the interests of the College, for me to go abroad.

            In the evening I attended the Commencement of Medical College at Linden Hall, and conferred the degrees. Dr. Towler gave the address on Life – quite spicy. The whole thing passed off quite well.

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