1907 Fredericton Encaenia

Valedictory Address

Delivered by: Jewett, Frederick Arnold


“Valedictory” The University Monthly 26, 7-8 (May-June 1907): 208-215. (UA Case 68, Box 1)

Your Honor, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Senate, Mr. President and members of the Associated Alumni, Mr. Chancellor and members of the Faculty, Fellow Students, Ladies and Gentlemen :

Since the flight of time began, all has been change. The earth was without form and void, and as such rolled through space. It reflected not the smiles of its creator nor accepted the ray from it centre, the sun. Yet with the changes of the passing years, order has been reclaimed from chaos, darkness has come from light, the waters have parted from the land; the mountains have stood forth; rivers had their beginnings, life appeared and all nature clothed herself in that beauty of landscape which we see around us everywhere today.

And the same principle marks everything. On this Encaenia day in the progress of our lives, the class of 1907 must change. It is the parting of the Ways and to the inevitable we must bow, changing our relations to class-mates, friends, to the University and to life. We must turn from these scenes, these halls and all the charmed associations of college. We must sever the ties that bind us and step forth into the untrodden future, to take our places in the busy world.

What feelings come at such a time! I need not tell you that it is the time when friend parts with friend. It is the sadness when the old times and fond associations must be left forever. To this hour we have looked with expectancy, but now over the task that has called forth our best endeavor we feign would linger. It is hard to say farewell.

Yet it is no faltering step we take as we leave the walls of our Alma Mater. These four years of life have been rich in those influences which are peculiar to a University; four years have made us broader in mind nobler in sympathies; given us a larger knowledge of life and its possibilities, a higher appreciation of whatsoever things are good and whatsoever things are lovely. And then there is the inspiration—and it is a strong one—that we are graduates of this proud old University. We are mindful that from these classic halls have gone forth legions who have graced most honorable positions. We go to join that galaxy of men, now scattered everywhere, in proud places. Alike with them we have tasted the life and known the influences of old U. N. B. and cart I not say, alike with them we are bound in loyalty to the University, and to the high principles for which the University stands.

As valedictorian today I am bid by custom to enter somewhat into the history of our class. Yet no chain of events can tell the history of any class. It is not such; it is four years of our life. Here we have been bound together, knowing the sympathy and genuineness of college friendships; four years we have been led in the ways of knowledge and truth by men learned and strong in character. Here we have known the culture from study and training that comes from participation in the varied student activities. The history of our class must be told in our lives. It is there the permanency of there influences must be seen.

It was in the fall of 1902 that first as undergraduates, we climbed this hill, then resplendent in all the colors of autumn. Needless to say, we came up with combined feelings of hope and fear. We had heard most exaggerated reports of a variety of ceremonies which were calculated to intimidate the most gallant freshman. It all comes back to us today. We see that document spiked so firmly down in the grove, the Wanagan Wampum, with mystic signs and letters. We obeyed it, I am sure we did. We could not complain of our reception here. Two days after our arrival we were most enthusiastically entertained. The entire student body was “At Home” to us. The
sophomores were unprecedented in their magnanimity; they presented us with bouquets, and to use their term, we were used the “whitest yet.”

But, though the days of strong initiation are gone, we are firm in our opinion that in senior control and in class rank is the surest foundation upon which the best organization of student life can be made. It is most conducive to successful student government and to the maintenance of a strong university spirit.

The freshman enters into the college, a perfect stranger to its life and customs, long since time-honored. The life here is the product of many years. It is well ordered and not a thing to be experimented with; only to improve the standard of excellence that has been maintained so long. Every class does enter in with a different part to play. It is the freshman's duty to take a pride in the old functions which are new to him, to support them loyally, and to learn the organization well which one day he must lead. To all undergraduates we say “be mindful of the fair records of the past and do well your part.”

To the class of ‘08, to whom we now surrender leadership we say “be strong in your control, and doing such you will be able in your turn to lay down your charge, the University spirit lacking nothing in its strength and her record for brilliant functions untarnished.” Our freshman year was one of the best; we were well guided by the seniors of '04, and our observance of the unwritten laws, our initiation into the mysteries, gave an added charm to our new life, and a stronger loyalty to all that pertained to U. N. B. At the close of the year we were proud of our student profession, we were devoted to every interest of the college. We were a part of its life and vitality connected in maintaining its honors. We were not here to venture into new ways, but to do our best in a life that the past had greatly enriched.

Then came the sophomore year, and we were all that the name implies. Persuaded that upon our lordships hung the destiny of the college spirit and to our tender mercies, the class of incoming freshmen. How mistaken in our calling! Nevertheless the influence of the sophomore class is strong; they do owe an important duty to the college life, and to the freshmen, a duty that is not performed in any conduct that may be called rash, or in any actions that savour of rowdyism. Custom and class rank has made them the leaders of the freshmen. It is their duty to initiate them, not in a ceremony limited to an evening, but to initiate them into the life of the University, into all its student activities and interests. The freshmen need to be guided, and even to be controlled if student life is to maintain the standard of years gone by. There are unwritten laws that are standard, and should be obeyed by every college man. Their observance makes for a healthy college spirit, and a well-ordered life. Here the leadership of sophomores should be seen.

The junior and senior years are different. It is a transition from the lower classes to the upper; the novelty of college is passed and its truer meaning and responsibility felt. Its life presents greater opportunities for study, for development and for influencing others. It calls us to greater effort. Its standards and ideals lift higher our ambitions, and the future presents its claims for a wider and better service; the senior year calls us to fix the quality and the kind of service that we shall aim to give.

In regard to the life of the University and the activities in which students engage, the year just passed has been eminently successful. I shall briefly refer to some things which are prominent to student life. The Literary and Debating Society is of extreme importance. By its standing is determined the status of college life, embracing also as it does the University Athletic and Financial Associations. The work of this society cannot be ignored. It is a supplement to the courses of the curriculum, and gives a roundness and finish to our work that is invaluable. It presents the opportunity to give expression, in language and in deed, to our highest attainments in knowledge and in culture, to be the things that for us the University is aiming. I feel I should say something regarding the Saturday evening debates. There, many of our distinguished graduates, men who are leaders in the wide world, look, as the place where they learned to express clearly and forcibly the products of their study and research. I can only say that for a college man with a college spirit, the lace for him on Saturday night is the debates. What has been the record of this year? Its crowning point was our victory over King's College in the intercollegiate debate held in this city. The subject was "Imperial Unity," the standard for argument and eloquence was high and the victory over the gentlemen of King's was an honor to our society and to the University. The contest was also marked by the growth of a very friendly feeling between these two Universities.

The publication of the UNIVERSITY MONTHLY is another, and very important part of the Society's work. It is the official organ of the student body. It aims to reflect our student life, and to bind together in the spirit of U. N. B. our graduates and undergraduates. Let us remember that the record of our college is a literary one. We have names in the world of letters that the University delights to honor, and I may be allowed to say that rising among them is the distinguished gentleman who is the Alumni Orator of today. College journalism is a most valuable part of student activities, and it is one where we will be judged as to the quality of our life. During the year our magazine has been enlarged and improved in appearance; its editors have given it their best attention, and we feel confident that it compares favorably with the publications of other years and of other colleges.

In Athletics too, we look back over a year that has been entirely successful; successful not only from the point of view of victories, but in the training and discipline that comes from participation in the manly sports. The football season was marked with unusual enthusiasm. In all seven games were played, three in Fredericton, and four during our tour of the province, in which the best teams were played. The total of results are five victories, one tie, and one defeat, also tieing with the other colleges for Intercollegiate Championship.

In Basket Ball the leading Provincial teams were played, and the U. N. B. representatives maintained their position of Provincial Champions.

In Hockey, our team, owing to peculiar circumstances, was unable to compete with the other colleges.

At the Intercollegiate track meet held May 24th at St. Stephen, at which Acadia, Mount Allison and U. N. B. competed, our own team were easily the winners and brought home again the coveted cup.

The Glee Club has been an active organization during the year and under the direction of Prof. Harmon has accomplished excellent results in the way of culture in music. The club in its presentation of the Comedy entitled “Tom Cobb,” together with a concert was very successful, and was greatly appreciated by a large audience.

The Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. become more and more important factors in College life. In a social way these Associations contribute much to the University life, and in the stimulation of religious, thought become a power which is most valuable and essential. The Sunday afternoon meetings during the year have been whole courses in themselves. The many addresses from the strongest leaders in the religious life of the Province have been especially inspiring and uplifting. The Students’ Volunteer Band, which is the largest of its kind among the Maritime Colleges, consists of eight men, who have pledged themselves to a life work, than which none is more noble, upon the mission fields.

A feature of our graduation today is the number and quality of the ladies. Of the nine who have been connected with our class eight are most honorably graduating, in fact we have yielded the palms to them. The medals and the highest honors are theirs. The class is justly proud of the excellent scholarship and ability of its ladies. We appreciate very much the way in which they have entered into the life of the University and the large amount they have contributed to the success of all our college functions.

Since our entrance into the University, marked changes have taken place. At the close of our Junior year, as we were scattered far away, the sad news came to us of the death of our late Chancellor, Dr. Harrison. Nothing we can say can add or detract from the sum of his achievements. It is measured in the years of patient work, of scholarly instruction and in kind advice. He left the impress of his genius upon the University; the influence of his life was upon the minds and hearts of men. It will live and always live for the cause of highest education, for nobility in thought and action. In our memories he shall always hold an honored place.

The personnel of the Faculty as it was when we entered College has only one in common with the staff that shall return next fall; that one, our esteemed Professor in Classics. Before we speak of the men who leave us, we would honor the man that stops. Just as the small University can rival the largest in quality of culture for which it stands, it also can maintain the highest standard in its classical instruction. In the hands of Professor Raymond we are confident that no course in college will surpass his own. His loyal stand on matters of interest to the University meets with our highest appreciation.

The retirement of Dr. Bailey from the University this year is an event in our history. For forty-seven years he has been a faithful and worthy professor. He has seen the University through many a crisis, and has always exhibited a strong sympathy for student life. He has been known as a friend of students and the facts have been handed down to us, that when the prankish and mischievous student was before the Faculty, the doctor was the pleader of his cause.

The students of half a century have held him in highest esteem. All recognize the largeness of his work, and the nobility of his services. We all join in wishing for Dr. and Mrs. Bailey many years of health and happiness, and for the immediate present a very pleasant time in their voyage and travels through Europe.

At this time also we are losing the able services of Drs. McDonald and Brittain, and Professor Salmon. Of their work time does not permit that I should speak. Suffice it to say that in them we have distinguished fine scholarship and strong characters, and we recognize the high order of their work. In the sphere of their new labors they are followed with the best wishes of U. N. B. We are confident in the nobility of work they will accomplish.

Other changes have been. In our new Chancellor, Dr. Jones, who has been with us one year, we have a scholarly gentleman who knows the life of this University and who knows its needs. With his energy, coupled with the increasing favor of our legislators, we feel that the University is going forward, that she is increasing in the sphere of her usefulness, widening in both extensive and intensive directions, and gaining in the hearts of the people. Of the University customs that add a grace and dignity to our lives I wish to refer to the wearing of the cap and gown. There has been a growing tendency away from this custom which we deprecate very much. These distinctive customs of a University set us apart from the intensely practical world. They induce a charm and mysterious fascination which makes for a stronger loyalty to the college. There is a relation between conduct and dress. I know of no conduct to associate with the mortar-board and gown that is not in keeping with the dignity of the University life, and our student profession. Let every Engineer who would foster the spirit of U. N. B., let every Arts Student who takes a pride in that our college was modeled after the Greek, appear about the halls and class-rooms in our Greek caps and gowns.

And now our farewells. To you gentlemen of the Faculty we tender our appreciation of your efforts. Four years of personal contact has left its mark upon us. You have introduced us to the best in literature, and in science. Following the call which led us to these classic halls we have received from your hands an equipment the best of which is the inspiration which has come to us, and now the message comes to go. Before stepping forth, we assure you of our warmest appreciation and will always remember the great part you have played in the shaping and directing of our lives.

To the citizens of Fredericton we voice our gratitude which we feel for the hearty welcome which we have received at your hands. We thank you for the abundant patronage which you have always given us, and for your continual friendship and presence in the gala days of our college life. Your beautiful city is an ideal University town and it is not easy to say Farewell.

Classmates, before we part, before we break these bonds which have knitted us together in the University life, let us pause to listen to the call to duty that our noble Alma Mater proclaims. Like the Spartan Mother she has buckled her shield upon us, and bids us go
forth to do honor to her fair name, to stand by those things which are lofty and truly noble. Let us be true to her, to be a source of strength to her. May we aim toward those high ideals which she has set before us.

A retrospect of the four years and their meaning may be summed up in the words of the poet.

“Our seeming futile efforts now have gained a meaning.
’Tis not in vain that we did strive.
All truth at last converges into one. We have not reached the top,
It seems now still more distant, deeper set within the clouds.
Yet we do see why we should toil and work
The vision now is ours of Hope and Truth,
Of Light and Life. We have but caught the gleam. The latest light, aye, shines upon the hill tops.”

And to the undergraduates what can we say? We know that you nave caught the fire that every class has known, that you are bound, one and all, in loving loyalty to old U. N. B. Let the expression of your devotion to her interests be seen in your relentless struggle to maintain the dignity of her fair name, to uphold the honors which she has won, and which are hers to win. The voices of a hundred years come back today. They bid you to treasure as sacred the things of U. N. B. It is yours to stand true to the life, to guard well the customs that time has greatly honored and which has bound a worthy Alumni in the spirit of a noble college.

Our task is finished; our career as undergraduates is ended. We entered the University, numbering thirty-seven, thirty of whom are graduating today, sixteen in arts and fourteen in engineering. We go forth with none other feelings than pride and loyalty for our Alma Mater. We performed our last ceremony in the planting of the ivy. And as the ivy clings best to the old and broken wall, I am sure that in the masonry of our memories these fond associations and influences of college will cling, stronger and dearer as the years go by.

And now on behalf of the class of 1907, it is my duty to say Farewell. To Faculty, Classmates ; to Fredericton, the University, and to all,—Farewell—Farewell.

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