Commencements of N. C. College and Mt. Pleasant Female Seminary.
The examinations at N. C. College and Mt. Pleasant Female Seminary last week were in every respect satisfactory, the students of each school seeming to take more than usual interest in the exercises, notwithstanding the fact that no special preparation or cramming had been made or indulged in for the work.
Profs. Schaidt and Wright at the college gave evidence that they had done good work, the first year of their connection with the college, and showed that they are the right men in the right places. Their classes exhibited the effects of good training, and that they had been managed in accordance with the principles underlying correct teaching.
Prof. Linn and Miss Ella Shirey, at the Seminary, gave like proof that their school has been efficiently managed, and thoroughly taught. Miss Shirey deserves, and receives, special praise for the manner in which she had conducted the department assigned her, it being that of Higher Mathematics and English. Her devotion to the work, her thoroughness as instructor, and her kindness as teacher, have won for her both the confidence and respect of her pupils. The patrons of the school are glad to know that she will continue teaching in the Seminary another year.
On Sunday at 11 A. M., Rev. Geo. Cox delivered the baccalaureate sermon to the graduating classes and students of both schools, his remarks being based on the 9th ver. of the 119 th Psalm, an abstract of which will be given hereafter.
The academic exercises on Monday night at college consisted of declamations, &c., and were largely attended. The declamations were very well delivered.
On Tuesday night the literary societies of tbe college held their annual contest iu the church. The representatives of the societies, viz.: J. A. Blackwelder, B. H. W. Runge, and John M. Cook of the Phllalaethian, and W. N. Misenheimer, J. D. Ketchie, and G. D. Moose of the Pi Sigma-Phi Society, acquitting themselves in oratory and composition very creditably.
On Wednesday morning at 10 A. M., six Preparatorians competed for the declaimers’ medal. Parties who are judges thought it was the finest declaiming they had ever heard at the college. The medal was awarded to Robert L. Patterson, of China Grove, N. C. The awarding committee spoke in high consideration of H. N. Miller, and praise for W. A. Ridenhour.
After the contest, B. H. W. Runge delivered an interesting and instructive oration in German.
Wednesday afternoon, Prof. Kiser, superintendent of Salisbury Graded School, delivered an address before the Literary Societies of both schools. The subject of the address was “Our Age— Its Needs and Requirements.” A synopsis of the address will be given at another time.
Wednesday night the ladies of the Seminary gave their annual concert. This is an occasion that always draws a large audience, the church being crowded to fullness. Miss Anna Vollers, under whose direction the music has been during the last two years, fully sustained her reputation as a musician of high order, and as a teacher faultlessly accurate. The exemplification of her work at the concert displayed the fruitfulness with which she had served her pupils in order to raise them to a higher standard of excellence in music. She will not return, having decided not to teach during the next year, a fact regretted by her many friends here.
The following is the programme as carried out at the concert —At 6 o’clock :
1. Grand March de Concert-(Two Pianos) —Wollenhaupt. Misses A. Vollers, Otten Dreher, and J. Blackwelder.
2. Trio—Organ and Piano—Aria, “Softly, Softly,” from Der Frieschutz—Von Weber. Messrs. Horace Barrier and Willie Haar.
3. Vocal Duet—See the Pale Moon—Campana. Misses Mary Miller and Leah Blackwelder.
4. Duo—(Two Pianos)— Tarantella, La Dansa, Rossini—Liszt. Misses May Dreher and Lizzie Otten.
5. Duo—Organ and Piano—Air, “He Who Knows,” from Marriage of Figaro—Mozart. Misses Kluttz and J. Blackwelder.
6. Vocal Solo—Ah: So True—Estabrook. Miss Maye Dreher.
7. Trio—Charge of the Hussars—Spindler. Misses Otten, A. Vollers, and Mr. Haar.
8. Duo—Organ and Piano—La Serenade— F. Schubert. Mises Mary Miller and Mamie Gantt.
9. Polka Brilliante—(Two Pianos)— Dance of the Fairies—Fowler. Misses J. Blackwelder, Maggie Miller, Holshouser, and Heyer.
10. Vocal Quartette —Greeting to Spring— J. Strauss, Misses L. Cook, Dreher, Mary Miller, and L. Blackwelder.
11. Piano Duet—Hommage Aux Dames— Fesca. Misses Annie Vollers and Lizzie Otten.
12. Vocal Solo—Ilma—Arditi. Miss Leila Cook.
13. Good Night. Misses L. Cook, Heyer, Dreher, Otten, Mary Miller, and L. Blackwelder.
Thursday, May 31, was commencement day of both schools, hence the graduating exercises were held conjointly, the following being the
Salutatory and Address—”The Value of an Enemy.” —W. A, Deaton
Essay—”The Power of Music.” -Miss Jennie A. Blackwelder.
Essay—”The American People; Their Possibilities and Responsibilities.” -Miss Mary C. Miller.
Address—”The Reformation and Civil Liberty.” —J. H. Ritchie.
Address and Validictory—”Evolution and Revoiutjon.!’ — J. L. Deaton
The two classes acquitted themselves admirably. Miss Jennie A. Blackwelder’s essay on the “Power of Music” was well composed and contained many rhetorical excellencies as well as much substantial matter for reflection.
Many beautiful expressions and tender sentiments rendered the production not only interesting to listen to, but also worthy of being treasured by the hearers as important truths to be remembered. The power of music to soothe the afflictions of the wretched, us power to allay the ferocity of the savage natures of man, its soul inspiring influence directing the hearts of men from the trials, temptations and miseries of this life to the life in the realms beyond the skies, were clearly and forcibly treated of. Miss Mary C. Miller’s essay on “The American People, Their Possibilities and Responsibilities,” was equally well conceived and composed. The style was for the most part philosophical rather than literary, the adoption of which was necessitated by the manner of treatment of the subject. Under Possibilities were shown the rapid advancement making by the American people and the high state of civilization, wealth and power to which we are destined to attain. Quoting from Emerson the reader began by saying, “America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history seems like a last effort of Divine Providence in behalf of the human race,” The genius of the Anglo-saxon race for colonization, carrying their language, their laws and the truths of Christianity with them, was well illustrated.
The race being favored and our resources being so immense our responsibilities are correspondingly great. The ten talents have been given us. We should return them with interest, &c. The language was concise and the thought strongly expressed.
Messrs. Deaton and Ritchie fully sustained themselves as orators. Inasmuch as they have the ministry in view, and will in due time enter the field of labor, comment on their addresses would be superfluous. They are promising young men, and will doubtless lie faithful laborers in the cause to which they have consecrated themselves. God has given them the talents.
The degree, A. M , was conferred on Prof. James P. Cook and Kev. C. B. Miller of the class of ’85.
The honorary degree, Ph. D., was conferred on Walter Siverly, of Oil City, Pa.
The next session of the two schools will begin on the first Monday, the 3d of September. The session just closed has in each case been more than ordinarily prosperous.
From Our Church Paper (New Market, VA), Vol. 16, No. 25, June 20, 1888, p. 3.
Abstract of Baccalaureate Sermon.
Delivered by Rev. Geo. Cox to the graduating clauses and students of N. C. College and Mt. Pleasant Female Seminary, Sunday, May 27, 11 A. M.
The discourse was based on 119th Psalm and 9th verse : “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
All souls are precious. What shall it profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul? This the conscientious minister feels when he stands before his congregation, and never did he realize it more so than under the present circumstances.
Looking behind faces we see souls which need cleansing, purifying, and sanctifying. Before entering upon life, the way needs cleansing. The great question for each and all is, wherewithal shall I clean my way? The text furnishes the answer, viz.: “By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” You will need taking heed.
But our own strength is inadequate. Thank God for the Word. It is a sure guide—a chart—an infallible rule by which we should be governed. Let my effort today be to assist you in understanding the directions of that Word. May the Holy Scriptures so guide us that I may say something that will help you answer the question stated in the text, and will help you to understand and appreciate the responsibilities that are and will be upon you. And may it act as a guide in the formation of character, and be an incentive encouraging you to search for the pure, the good, and the true, making you what God intends you to be, perfect men and women.
Be true. No knowledge is worth anything without truthfulness. Better be unable to read or write and be truthful, than to have a finished education and be untruthful. Better be ignorant of all the branches of knowledge and science and everything comprehended under the popular name of education and be true, than being learned in all the arts and sciences and be false in heart. We often hear persons say they do not know whom to trust. Let it never be said of you that you cannot be trusted. God wants you to be true men and women. To he such you must avoid all falseness, deception and hypocrisy.
Be true in action. So regulate your lives and your actions that you will put to shame all low behavior in others. Let your thoughts be pure. Let your words be pure. Let all your acts be pure. Never allow yourselves be guilty of word or deed that would lower you in the estimation of others.
Be true to your Alma Mater, your fostering mother. Remember the lessons you have learned. Act your part in the world, so as to bring credit, honor, and distinction to your instructors and your Alma Mater. You have a great duty to perform in this respect.
Be pure in thought, language, and life, pure in mind and pure in body. One impure person may poison the society of a whole community. Impure language and impure actions are the moral ulcers of society, and ought to be treated as lepers. Nothing belittles a man or woman so much as impure language and actions. They are the criterion by which character is estimated by the world, God will hold us accountable for the thoughts that are evil. Abstain from that which is evil—evil news—evil stories—surmises —insinuations —innuendos— scandals, in fact from everything evil.
Refuse to associate with those who do not lead pure lives, who have not pure thoughts, who use impure words and are guilty of impure acts, “Abstain from the appearance of evil,” “Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.”‘ We are so constituted that our expressions have a reflex action. “Those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart and they defile the man.”
Be unselfish. One bound tip in self is disliked by all. Unselfishness does not care for the feelings and comforts of others. Suffer wrong rather than do a wrong to anyone and if a wrong be done never shrink from making a frank apology. If all would do that what a world this would be!
Be just in all things. “Honesty is the best policy.” A wise man has said: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord.” Oh! I know it is said that it is no harm to practice the tricks of the trade. But if your business or social relations demand that you be unjust, get out of them. They will bring you to eternal ruin.
Have due respect for sacred things. Be serious and do not let levity be a characteristic of your conduct when treating or discussing grave and solemn subjects. Your manhood will be tried here. The world is delighted with levity, and many a young man or young woman has been entangled in the deceptive snare.
Be self-reliant and self-helpful. The world does not need delicate habits and fastidious tastes, but wants strong, self-reliant, self-helpful selfmade men and women, —men and women who have keen perceptions, unfailing earnestness, and brave and daring spirits—men with clear heads, large hearts, and strong wills, combined with ready hands and vigorous arms. Remember that all honest labor is honorable, that idleness and dependence upon others are disgraceful. Whatever your calling, be industrious. Husband your means. Help self and others. Let every step be onward and upward. Begin at the bottom and climb upward. The lives of those who have preceded should be lesson leaves to us, and we should strive to heed the lessons they teach. The lives of all great men remind us that there is no success, no excellence without labor.
But it is impossible lor you to be true to all these responsibilities in your social, business, and domestic relations without Christ. Therefore be Christians. God calls, and calls now while you are in the spring time of life. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” &c., as we learned in our Scripture lesson just read. The call is made to all, especially to the young. How sad to think so many young are out of the church. You ought to be Christians, serving God with your whole hearts. Serve God because he serves you. He understands what you are, what you need, and supplies all. Why then not believe? Do you believe the theory of Salvation? Then why not act in accordance with the theory? You ought not to serve God out of self love. You ought to love something that will endure. Wealth may take wings, friends may forsake you, reputation may not last, all may go leaving you poor and helpless. The future may become blank and you may be forced to exclaim, “vanity of vanities ; all is vanity.’
You ought to serve God because it is your duty. You have warm heart, fleet feet, vigorous arms, and active minds. The church needs these. She is looking to you for her leader, heroes, and heroines, exemplars of piety and pillars of strength.
True dignity is allied to religion. No matter what other attainments you may have, without religion you never can be perfect men and women, nor true gentlemen and ladies. He who neglects serve God will always feel that there are things left out of his life which render it incomplete.
Then in conclusion, be pure in thought, pure in notion, unselfish, self-helpful, and above all be Christians. Let the standard of your thoughts, words, and deeds he high. Fulfill the high destiny God has appointed for you, so that when you come to stand at life’s western window you may lie able to look back upon a well spent life in the service of God, and then finally be received in that kingdom from whose borne no traveler returns, with the words, well done thou good and faithful servants.