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McCormick, Bart E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 28, Number 4 (Feb. 1927)

Powers, W. P.
A retrospect,   pp. 126-127

Page 127

ing, Mathematics and Natural Philos-
ophy; J. D. Butler, Greek Languages
and History; Ezra Carr, Chemistry and
Natural History; Tutor Carpenter and
after him Tutor Smith in charge of the
preparatory department. This depart-
ment was maintained for about twenty
years until the high schools of the state
cation with difficulty obtained, profited
him little. It was a day when there was
little wealth in the States and forced
economy was the rule with most people.
  In the center of the upper floor on the
east side was the chapel where we
gathered in the morning for prayers and
reading of the Bible by members of the
Hall, fronting on the Capitol park. In
the two buildings first mentioned all the
activities of the college previous to i86o
were carried on. I presume there are
more professors now than there were
students in my day, and many more
departments than were dreamed of at*
that time. Meager as were the facilities
in that day compared with those of the
present, one could, if disposed, acquire
a fairly good education, at least in
  It is interesting to note that the Uni-
versity as well as the beautiful city of
Madison has all been developed within
the lifetime of my honored classmate,
one cou d catch a glimpse of Monona from the top of the Hill.
were sufficiently advanced to prepare
students for the college course.
  At that time the doors had not been
opened to young women;' there were no
fraternities, no college yells, and no ball
games; so much of the interest that'now
attaches to college' life was lacking. In
fact, there was little else to do but to
study and attend recitations.
a big oak tree in the rear of North Hall
anst consisted of two ropes suspended
from a high limb, with rings within reach
at the lower ends. On these we per-
formed various "feats' of the trapeze.
There was also a pair of horizontal bars
about six feet above' the ground and
these constituted our gymnasium outfit.
  On the upper floor of North Hall,
in each of the four corners, were recita-
tion rooms, to which we were summoned
for our classes by the ringing of the col-
lege bell. On the third floor in the south-
west corner roomed one of my class-
mates, John E. Sutton, and with him
I did my studying in preparation for the
class recitations. (I myself lived with
my parents in the city.) The college bell
that summoned us to classes was hung
in the south window of his 'room, pro-
jecting outside on a frame.    Sutton
attended to the. ringing of the'bell as the
equivalent of hs tuition, which, as I
remember it, was $6.oo for each term.
In this room he cooked his own meals
over an oil lamp and by working in the
harvest field during vacations he was
able to get through to graduation. He
lost his life in the Civil War, so his edu-
faculty. On the three floors below were
dormitory and study rooms, accom-
modating about fifty of the students
from outside the city. Now I am told
there are more than one hundred build-
ings in which the college work is carried
  During my last year the center build-
ing, now known as Bascom Hall, was
elreted aLdL someUI  01 LIIJC college woK
was at the last carried on there. The
graduation' exercises were in the"City
before the territorial government was
established, and before the first house
was built in Madison by Col. A.A. Bird,
in 1837.
  It is indeed'a wonderiul growth from
the single building when I began to one
hundred and fourteen at the present
time, and to the position 'where it
now ra nks with any-of the older institu-
tions of the country. When I was there
two years ago celebrating my sixty-
fifth anniversary, there was graduated a
class of eleven hundred, quite in con-
trast with our class of eight in 186o.
Sitting with my classmate, Professor
Parkinson, on the platform between the
Governor of the State on one side and
President Birge on the other, I saw each
of the eleven hundred as they passed
in front of me to receive from the hand
,of the President their much prized di-
  It is not given to many college gradu-
aite. to on hack -cto- their Almn Mtipr tn
celebrate a sixty-fifth anniversary; to do
this one must have started early and
        *(Cont'nued on page 144)
Two friends, 7. B. Park-
inson (left), and *. P.
Powers (right), who have
had the remarkable experi-
ence oJ watching the Uni-
versity's growth for more
than a half century.
February, 1927

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