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To the Corporation of the Institute :
Your attention is respectfully asked to the report of the Secretary, and accompanying documents.
The aggregate attendance for the year was 310, a decrease of 65 from the previous year.
This decrease was probably due in great part to three obvious causes: (1), the financial crisis which came upon us so suddenly at the beginning of our year, and almost entirely cut off the usual accession of special and advanced students, who join the school after the opening; (2), the increase of the fees from $150 to $200 per annum, which now first took effect; and (3), the increase in the requisites for admission, the elements of French and solid geometry having been added to the requirements of the preceding year.
And while these additional requirements, especially the French, were poorly met, and not rigorously enforced in the admission, it is still certain that they influenced the result. The second cause named is known to have changed the intention of some ; but it is very probable that the first cause, and which is still operating, was the most potent of all.
It is well known that the success of the previous year was marred by the crowded state of our building. The size of the lower classes made a division into four sections neces
sary for the proper instruction in some subjects, which made an additional number of lecture and recitation rooms desirable; and in these respects but little relief has been experienced during the past year. Some relief has been afforded by professors using their private rooms more freely for small classes in their own departments; but I am obliged to again ask your earnest attention to our want of room for the proper development of several departments of the school. Nothing more can be done in our present building for perfecting and expanding the work already entered upon; and particularly in the higher departments of instruction upon which, finally, the real rank of our school must rest. No matter how good the instruction involved in our courses may be, nor how perfect the appliances, we shall bar the way to all high aims and results, if we do not in all possible ways encourage a spirit of investigation, and furnish the amplest opportunities for the most advanced instruction, and particularly for scientific research, the most powerful stimulant for both teacher and taught. It is evident that the proper buildings and equipments cannot be had without a large expenditure, and after they are obtained, cannot be maintained without a large current expense; still, if we would attract the highest grade of students, and especially if we would do all in our power to give the proper rank to industrial education, and thus aid, through research in connection with the higher instruction, and through the thorough training of our graduates, in properly developing the wonderful resources of our country, these expenditures must be met. I hope to be pardoned, if I seem too earnest in again pressing this subject upon your attention ; but it cannot be, if the facts in the case were fully known by the public, that there would not be a hearty and generous response. The erection of our proposed Chemical Laboratory building, for which the State has already generously given us a site, would give the needed relief, and would probably be all we should require in the way of buildings for some years
to come. '