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Boyle, Ruth M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. XIII, Number 6 (March 1916)

Winship, Amy D.
A letter from Mrs. Winship,   pp. Thirty-seven-Thirty-eight

Page Thirty-seven

   [In keeping with her perennial interest in the University, Mrs. Amy Win-
ship, now eighty-four years old, has contributed the letter here printed.
As a
student at Wisconsin in 1912-1913 she had the distinction of being "the
junior in the world." When one recalls that she heard five of the seven
coln-Douglas debates, that she knew Lincoln personally, and that she experi-
enced the things which we learn from texts, it is as if time were annihilated.
We repeat a story told of her as indicative of her spirit. When asked by
university girl if she wasn't glad because of the holiday the next day and
cause there would be no lectures, she replied, "I am not! I don't want
to lose
a single day. I haven't much time left to learn. You are young and you
               Fisk University,
                 Nashville, Tenn.,
                 February 12, 1916.
Dear Editor:
  Your kind letter reached me here
where I came expecting to make a brief
visit, but I was so impressed by Fisk
that I decided to give at least a month's
time to it.
  This is the Negro University made
famous by the Jubilee Singers. It has
just completed fifty years of splendid
service to the Negro race and to the
nation. I am delightfully domiciled
in Jubilee Hall, the hundred thousand
dollar woman's dormitory erected by
the Jubilee Singers. It is one of the
finest buildings of the kind which I
have seen in the numberless universi-
ties which I have visited.
  The colored students of Fisk consti-
tute the most impressive body of stu-
dents which I have met, realizing, as
I do as I look at their faces, that only
half a century has passed since their
grandfathers were violating the law of
the land if they even attempted to learn
to read. Out of these five hundred stu-
dents, nearly two hundred are college
students, working in science, mathe-
matics, languages, sociology, home eco-
nomics, with an enthusiasm and a
thoroughness not believable by those
who have not visited Fisk. It is not
surprising that the notables of the
land who visit Nashville generally in-
sist upon coming to Fisk. Scarcely a
week passes without some important
visitor or body of visitors. The first
attraction is, of course, the Jubilee
music, a music whose study is not sur-
passed, if indeed it be equalled by any
other music in the land.
  I soon discovered another phase of
the situation here worthy of comment,
And that is the intense enthusiasm,
amounting to absorption, upon the part
of the President, Dean, and teachers
in their work. Salaries are almost for-
gotten. Hours are none too many, if
only the object of their endeavors can
be realized. They know that a great
responsibility as well as opportunity
is theirs, and they dare not do less
than their best. They know, too, that
the funds to support the University
and to pay their meagre salaries must
come in large part from the philanthro-
pic public, since the University has
only a small endowment. So they la-
bor on, trusting to Providence that
they will be cared for as they shall
   As I attend the classes, taught by
 both white and colored teachers, I am
 continually impressed by the quality

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