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1930-1931 General Report of the President

General Report For The Year

To the Honorable, The Board of Visitors of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute:


I have the honor to submit the following general report of the institution for the year which began July 1, 1930, and ended June 30, 1931:

Board Of Visitors

To fill vacancies caused by the expiration of the terms of four members of the Board on July 1, 1930, the Governor appointed Mr. R. S. Moss and Mr. R. A. Russell to succeed themselves, and Mr. Harry F. Byrd and Mr. Homer L. Ferguson to succeed Mr. J. Marshall Lewis and Mr. T. Gilbert Wood, all for the four-year term extending to July 1, 1934.

Changes In Staff

Leaves Of Absence: T. W. Hatcher, associate professor of mathematics; J. F. D. Smith, assistant professor of engineering drawing; C. H. Hamilton, assistant rural sociologist, Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension Division.

Resignations And Expiration Of Terms: C. C. Taylor, professor of agricultural economics, specialist in marketing, Agricultural Extension Division, agricultural economist, Agricultural Experiment Station; F. A. Buchanan, dairy husbandman, Agricultural Extension Division, associate professor of dairy husbandry; L. I. Case, animal husbandman, Agricultural Extension Division; R. A. Runnells, associate animal pathologist, Agricultural Experiment Station; M. B. McGowan, specialist in home economics, Agricultural Extension Division; J. L. Scott, associate professor of military science and tactics, assistant commandant of cadets; J. H. Wild, associate professor of French and German; W. N. Cunningham, assistant professor of industrial engineering; D. C. Heitshu, assistant agricultural engineer, Agricultural Experiment Station; L. J. Bray, assistant professor of English; S. D. Preston, assistant agronomist, Agricultural Extension Division; R. H. Chestnutt, assistant agricultural engineer, Agricultural Extension Division, instructor in agricultural engineering; P. H. Barnes, Jr., instructor in civil engineering; S. W. Earle, instructor in animal husbandry; C. E. Schrock, assistant dairy specialist, Agricultural Extension Division; S. C. Andrews, specialist in surveys; P. T. Gish, acting instructor in agronomy; R. S. Warren, instructor in physical education; Lettie Whitt, assistant librarian; Lois Justice, assistant librarian.

Promotions: W. S. Hough, entomologist, Agricultural Experiment Station; H. S. Grenoble, manager of Richmond engineering branch (professor); L. B. Deitrick, associate professor of horticulture, specialist in vegetable gardening, Agricultural Extension Division; T. W. Hatcher, associate professor of mathematics; H. B. Riffenburg, associate professor of chemical engineering; G. C. Herring, animal husbandman, Agricultural Extension Division; C. C. Hill, assistant professor of engineering drawing; E. T. Hines, assistant professor of foreign languages.

Appointments: G. W. Patteson, agronomist, Agricultural Experiment Station, soil specialist, Agricultural Extension Division; W. P. Cherrington, associate professor of military science and tactics, assistant commandant of cadets; H. N. Young, associate professor of agricultural economics, agricultural economist, Agricultural Extension Division; G. H. Ward, associate professor of agricultural economics, specialist in marketing, Agricultural Extension Division; R. G. Connelly, dairy specialist, Agricultural Extension Division; G. M. Shear, assistant plant pathologist, Agricultural Experiment Station; W. H. Daughtrey, assistant agronomist, Agricultural Extension Division; Cymbel Taylor, clothing specialist, Agricultural Extension Division; J. W. Sjogren, assistant professor of agricultural engineering, assistant agricultural engineer, Agricultural Experiment Station; E. P. Johnson, assistant animal pathologist, Agricultural Experiment Station; A. D. Pratt, assistant professor of dairy husbandry, assistant dairy husbandman, Agricultural Experiment Station; K. E. Litton, assistant animal husbandman, Agricultural Extension Division; Janet L. Cameron, food and nutrition specialist, Agricultural Extension Division; R. A. Polson, acting assistant rural sociologist, Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension Division; G. B. Johnston, instructor in English; Jack Dalton, instructor in English; N. A. Eaton, Jr, assistant entomologist, Agricultural Experiment Station; Paul Swaffar, instructor in animal husbandry; S. H. Byrne, instructor in agricultural engineering; F. P. Trent, instructor in agricultural engineering; Hamilton Parks, instructor in architectural engineering; H. V. White, instructor in metallurgy and metallography; C. F. DeLaBarre, instructor in English; C. R. Baldock, instructor in physics; E. P. Ellison, instructor in business administration; H. M. Osborn, instructor in physical education; Edward Shulkcum, assistant agronomist, Agricultural Experiment Station; R. W. Dickson, assistant dairy husbandman, Agricultural Extension Division; W. N. Cunningham, assistant librarian; Margaret Little, assistant librarian; Mrs. M. S. Michael, acting assistant librarian.


Cadet F. W. Mills, son of Mr. J. E. Mills, of Cullen, Charlotte County, Virginia, died on March 26, 1931, in the college hospital, of scarlet fever and complications. He was 19 years of age and in his second year here as a student in agricultural education. He was one of our best students. Everything possible was done for him, two doctors and special nurses being called from Roanoke to assist our own staff. This is the first death of a student here since March 21, 1926, five years ago, which in an average student population of about 1,400 is quite remarkable.

Mrs. F. S. Glassett died on February 12, 1931. For about twenty-five years she had been secretary to the president of the college, having served four different presidents in this capacity.

Mr. John Smith, formerly engineer at the power plant, and the oldest employe in both age and service, died about the middle of February; and Mr. Robert P. Linkous, for about twenty-five years a skilled mechanic and assistant teacher in the college shops, died in April.

Commencement, 1931

At the final exercises for the college year, degrees were conferred upon 241 students as compared with 227 in 1930. These were distributed as follows, the 1930 figures being shown in parentheses:

Agriculture 43 (47)
Engineering 114 (111)
Business Administration     40 (42)
Applied Science 16 (8)
   B.S. Degrees 213 (208)
  M. S. Degrees 25 (15)
  C.E. Degree 1 (2)
  E.E. Degree 1 (2)
  M.E. Degree 1 (0)
    Total 241 (227)

Alumni reunions by classes, in accordance with the plan adopted a year ago, were held very successfully, and much interest in the welfare of the college was manifested by those present.

Summer Activities

The summer of 1930 was a very busy one on our campus. There were more groups meeting here than ever before, and the attendance was unusually large, despite the unfavorable weather and drouth conditions.

The regular summer quarter of the college enrolled a total of 497 students in the two terms, representing 364 different individuals during the eleven weeks. This is the largest enrolment we have had in our summer quarter, and is an increase of 19% over the enrolment of 1929. For the various other activities, there was a total attendance of approximately 4,100.

Among these activities the outstanding one was the Institute of Rural Affairs. This brought an attendance of approximately 1,500, including those who came also for the Farmers’ Institute. It was possible to provide an exceptional array of speakers of national reputation for this new summer event, and it appeared to be successful and valuable in every way. It has been suggested from many sources, both within and without the state, that this Institute of Rural Affairs be developed into a national, rather than a state, project. With the support of the leaders and agencies interested, it is believed that such a project could be carried out with excellent results. The chief, if not the only, difficulty is in properly financing it. The Institute of 1930 was financed almost entirely by a gift from an individual citizen of Virginia, but it is not known whether he will be willing to continue his generous assistance, and to enlarge the same for future years. Possibly we may be able to secure the substantial assistance of others, and it appears advisable that an effort be made to do this.

Certificates Of Merit

In accordance with the custom to award each year, during the Farmers’ Institute, two certificates of merit in agriculture, Mr. H. L. Bonham, of Chilhowie, Virginia, and Professor D. O. Nourse, of Newburgh, New York, were selected for 1930. Professor Nourse was for many years a member of our agricultural faculty.

Opening Of The Fifty-Ninth Session

Following the practise of several years, September 16-18 were used for the registration and orientation of new students. On the last of the three days former students were registered, and on September 19 classes were organized and began work for the session.

The dormitory situation has been greatly relieved, but it has become necessary to provide additional dining-hall space. The only available space, and certainly the most logical for the purpose, is the auditorium on the second floor of the dining-hall building. This has been in use as an additional dining-room during the session, and should be conditioned for permanent use for this purpose before the opening of another session. This robs us of the only assembly-hall large enough to accommodate a majority of the students, and creates an urgent need, since it is very desirable that assemblies of the entire student-body should be held frequently during the year.

Student Enrolment

The enrolment of regular college students during the nine-months’ session, 1930-31, was distributed as follows, the figures in parentheses being for the preceding year:

Class Agriculture Engineering Business
Graduate 47 (53) 26 (17) 4 (1) 23 (25) 100 (96)
Senior 47 (52) 128 (123) 50 (50) 16   (9) 241 (234)
Junior 54 (46) 137 (122) 51 (41) 13 (17) 255 (226)
Sophomore 69 (59) 188 (165) 83 (81) 26 (22) 366 (327)
Freshman 120 (93) 364 (290) 104 (121) 51 (41) 639 (545)
Part-time ……… ……… ……… ……… 16   (12)
Total 337 (303) 843 (717) 292 (294) 129 (114) 1,617 (1,440)

The total includes 79 (73) women students, 242 (178) non-military men students, and 1,296 (1,189) cadets. In addition to these there were 42 (67) special dairying students enrolled in the winter course. Of this total enrolment in the regular nine months session, 1,371 (1,238), or 84.8% (86.0%), were from Virginia, and 242 (198), or 15.0% (13.7%), were from 24 (24) other states, while 4 (4) were from 4 (4) other countries. In the list of regular students from Virginia every city and county in our state was represented.

The summer quarter enrolled 364 (304) students, in residence at Blacksburg. Outside of the resident enrolment there were during the year approximately 81,000 men and women, boys and girls, enrolled for extension work in agriculture and home economics through our county agent and club system. Many thousands received intermittent instruction through correspondence, printed matter, demonstrations, institutes, etc., the recorded attendance at institutes and conferences passing 200,000. The summer courses for boys and girls enrolled 2,633.

Financial Aid For Students

This year the demands for financial aid for students were unusually great because of business conditions. This college has practically no scholarships but there are a number of loan funds. To meet the situation advantage was taken of the law permitting an addition of $10,000 to the state loan fund by borrowing; however it was arranged with the Governor to use temporarily other funds of the institution and thus avoid interest charges.

Special efforts were made by the officials of the college and by the Y. M. C. A. secretary to find jobs for students on the campus and in the town, whereby they might earn a portion of their expenses. A greatly increased number of students were provided for in this manner, and the placement service was systematized much better than in previous years.

A large proportion of our students are wholly or partially self-supporting, and are either borrowing from loan funds or doing work of various kinds in order to meet the expenses of attendance. Additional scholarships and loan funds are much needed.

Resignations Of Students

It is gratifying to report that the number of new students resigning during the first quarter of the current session is smaller than it has been during a seven-year period beginning in 1924. During the seven years 138 have resigned out of a total registration of 3,021, or 4.6%. The highest number in any year was 7.4% in 1926, and the lowest number up to this year was 4.0% in 1929. This year it is only 3.0%. Only 16 out of 528 new students left, and three of these left before the first day of classes.

A study of the reasons given for resigning reveals the following (some gave more than one reason): physical condition, 23; poor preparation, 23; finances, 22; dissatisfaction with courses or inability to get desired courses, 19; family reasons, 14; “rat system,” 11; general dissatisfaction, 10; military, 10; homesickness, 8; inability to do college work, 8; parents’ wishes, 6; to go to work, 5; requested to leave, 1.

Student Leaves

For several years we have been concerned about the large number of requests for leaves of absence on the part of students, particularly at week ends. With a view to reducing the number of such requests, the council of administration decided to send a formal announcement to all students and their parents soon after the opening of the session, explaining a new practice that would be followed in granting leaves of absence. This new plan provides that, except in cases of serious emergency, anyone of the following conditions will be considered as debarring the student from such a privilege: (1) a quality credit average of less than .75; (2) a loan obtained from any college loan fund; (3) being on probation for any reason, conduct, military, or academic; (4) an unsatisfactory conduct record. This plan, also, provides that a student whose quality credit average is less than 1.00 will not be allowed more than one leave in any quarter. It is believed that this new plan will produce desirable results, not only in the reduction of the number of such requests, but, also, in the improvement of the class work.

Improvement Of Instruction

This college, like many others, has been faced with the difficulty, largely resulting from limited funds, of providing suitable instructors for all of its classes. Usually the freshman group, which in our case includes more than 600 students, is the one which suffers most, the tendency being to assign the younger and less experienced members of the teaching staff to freshman classes. As a matter of fact, however, from many standpoints the freshmen need teachers of ability and experience more than upper classmen. Recognizing this, we have for several years been making an effort to put all of our freshman classes in charge of well prepared and experienced members of the faculty, although we have not yet reached the standard we should like to maintain. This year a conference of the heads of the various instructional departments was held before the opening of the session, and plans were made for the instruction of freshmen, which we believe represent substantial improvement over previous years.

The following table shows the number of students dropped and the number put on probation under the automatic rules, for the four classes, in each quarter and for the session, in 1929-30 and 1930-31. The totals for the year and the percentages computed therefrom do not represent individual students, because an individual may be put on probation in more than one quarter during the year, and in rare cases a student may be dropped more than once during a year. However these percentages are significant in a comparative way.

Class Quarter Session of 1929-30 Session of 1930-31
Enrolled Dropped Probation Enrolled Dropped Probation
Senior  I     1 1   1 6
II     0 3   0 1
III       0     3       1     0  
   234   1 7 241   2 7
Junior  I     2 2   5 6
II     0 3   0 2
III       2     9       1     6  
   226   4 14 255   6 14
Sophomore  I     13 12   7 21
II     5 9   4 3
III       12     12       14     11  
   327   30 33 366   25 35
Freshman  I     12 73   4 50
II     9 34   12 26
III       16     30       17     26  
   545   37
639   33
All classes
and quarters 
   1,332   72
1,501 66

The number and percentage of students dropped and also the number and percentage put on probation shows appreciable improvement this year. This is very largely due to improvement in the freshman group, and it encourages us to believe that the efforts being made to improve freshman instruction are bringing the desired results.

Study Of Student Grades

It is universally recognized that there is little hope of ever being able to secure uniform standards in grading students in any institution, particularly in one where the faculty is comparatively large and the types of instruction are varied. However, for obvious reasons, it is desirable to endeavor to get uniformity as far as practicable. This is desirable from the standpoint of the students, their teachers, and the general reputation of the institution. Frequently, certain courses in an institution are criticized for being too easy, or instructors are said to be unfair one way or the other in their class requirements and in marking their students. It is necessary for a college to give constant care to the maintenance of high standards in all of its work, but it is, also, necessary to deal fairly with the students and see that they are properly taught.

For several years studies have been in progress in our registration office, which is under the direction of the dean of the college, with a view to pointing out variations in the grades of students in the different instructional departments and divisions. Recently a tabulation was made of the percentages of students passing in their classes in the various departments. It is recognized that the mathematics involved in preparing a table of this sort may be readily subject to valid criticism, but for comparative purposes it is believed that the results shown in such a table are significant. A copy of the study is included in this report. It may be suggested that a low percentage of passes might be due to any of several causes, such as lack of ability on the part of the students, poor teaching, unreasonable requirements, abnormally high standards, inherent difficulty of the subject, etc. I am inclined to believe that it is more often due to poor handling of the classes by the teachers than to anything else.

Percentage of Students Passing

Averages for five-year period, 1925-30, showing in parentheses the number of quarters included in each case.

Department Freshmen Sopho-
Juniors Seniors Average of
Agricultural Chemistry ……   ……   (4) 100   (14) 99   99  
Agricultural Economics ……   (9) 98   (6) 76   (13) 98   91  
Agricultural Education ……   (6) 100   (3) 100   (14) 99   100  
Agricultural Engineering (10) 99   (15) 99   (15) 99   (15) 100   99  
Agronomy   (5) 99   ……   (14) 98   (10) 99   99  
Animal Husbandry (10) 95   (5) 92   (12) 98   (10) 98   96  
Botany and Plant Pathology (4) 92   (9) 97   (11) 98   (15) 99   97  
Dairy Husbandry ……   (15) 98   (13) 100   (9) 100   99  
Home Economics (15) 97   (12) 100   (6) 95   (6) 100   98  
Horticulture   (5) 92   (15) 98   (15) 98   (10) 100   97  
Poultry Husbandry ……   ……   (5) 98   (6) 100   99  
Zoology and Animal Pathology (11) 89   (11) 90   (15) 94   (9) 100   93  
Average or percentages for Agriculture   95   97   96   99   97  
Applied Mechanics ……   ……   (15) 85   (15) 95   90  
Architectural Engineering (5) 97 ……   (5) 98   (3) 100   98  
Ceramic Engineering ……   ……   (3) 100   ……   100  
Civil Engineering ……   (15) 95   (15) 96   (15) 94   95  
Electrical Engineering ……   ……   (15) 90   (15) 98   94  
Graphics and Mechanism (15) 69   (15) 80   (8) 85   (6) 96   83  
Industrial Education ……   ……   (1) 100   (3) 100   100  
Industrial Engineering ……   ……   ……   (4) 99   99  
Mechanic Arts (11) 99   (15) 95   (14) 99   ……   98  
Metallurgy and Metallography ……   ……   (15) 99   (12) 100   99  
Mining Engineering ……   ……   (15) 97   (14) 100   98  
Power Engineering and Machine Design ……   ……   ……   (15) 98   98  
Wood Technology ……   ……   ……   (1) 100   100  
  Average of percentages for Engineering  88 90   95   98   95  
Business Administration (4) 85   (15) 82   (15) 96   (15) 96   90  
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (15) 77   (15) 83   (15) 86   (15) 97   86  
Economics and History (15) 89 (15) 94   (14) 95   (9) 97   94  
Education (11) 91   (12) 94   ……   (7) 100   95  
English   (15) 72   (15) 82   (15) 95   (15) 98   87  
Foreign Languages ……   ……   (15) 81   (15) 95   88  
Geology ……   (12) 89   (14) 94   (14) 92   92  
Mathematics (15) 78   (15) 82   (9) 93   (14) 100   88  
Physical and Health Education (3) 82 ……   (4) 96   ……   89  
Physics ……   (15) 81   (15) 86   (5) 92   86  
  Average of percentages for College   82   86   91   96   89  
  Average of percentages for All 88   91   94   98   94  

Comparative Study Of Freshman Grades

The 1930 annual report of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States, the regional accrediting agency of which this college is a member, contains statistics of interest to us. Certain portions which apply directly to our college are presented here.

The first table shows the percentage of the total credit-hours taken by freshmen which were failed last year, by graduates of high schools accredited by the Association, who enrolled in colleges in Virginia. From this it will be seen that, with the single exception of the University of Virginia, there were more failures at Virginia Polytechnic Institute than at any of the other colleges in this state.

It is also to be noted that our percentage of failures is far above that for the totals of all the thirty-one universities, all the eleven schools of technology, all the sixty-two colleges, and all the twenty teachers’ colleges in the association.

Among the eleven schools of technology we top the list in percentage of failures, and are far above the percentage for all.

Per Cent of Credit Hours Failed by Freshmen from Southern Association High Schools

Per cent
(1) University of Virginia 33.0
(2) Virginia Polytechnic Institute 25.7
(1) University of Richmond 25.1
(3) Virginia Military Institute 24.4
(3) Hampden-Sydney 22.3
(3) Randolph-Macon 21.2
(3) William and Mary 18.5
(4) Farmville Teachers’ College 18.1
(3) Emory and Henry 16.9
(3) Mary Baldwin 16.6
(3) Randolph-Macon Women’s College 14.8
(3) Hollins 13.2
(3) Roanoke 13.2
(1) Washington and Lee University 12.4
(3) Sweet Briar 11.1
(3) Bridgewater 10.3
(3) Lynchburg 9.7
(4) Harrisonburg Teachers’ College 8.0
(4) Fredericksburg Teachers’ College 7.3
(4) Radford Teachers’ College 6.2
(1) All 31 Universities 20.7
(2) All 11 Schools of Technology 19.6
(3) All 62 Colleges 14.6
(4) All 20 Teachers’ Colleges 10.8
Schools of Technology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute 25.7
Texas A. & M. 23.3
Georgia School of Technology 22.0
Clemson 21.1
Texas Tech. College 20.3
North Carolina State College 18.5
College of Industrial Arts 17.4
Louisiana Polytechnic Institute 16.9
S. W. Louisiana Institute 16.2
Alabama Polytechnic Institute 15.5
Mississippi A. & M.   15.4
  All Schools of Technology 19.6

The second table gives the percentage of freshmen receiving the grades of A, B, C, D, and E and F, respectively, in English, French, history, mathematics, and science. It also gives this information for all freshman subjects combined, which includes not only the five subjects tabulated separately but also all other subjects taken by freshmen last year. First is a group of seven institutions similar to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and also the percentages of totals for all eleven of the technical schools of the association. Following this are data for certain other Virginia institutions and for the totals of each of the groups which these institutions represent. Lastly is given the percentage for each grade and subject for all graduates of high schools in the association who attended higher institutions in the association; and also the percentage of failures in each subject for all graduates of the ninety-eight Virginia high schools in the association who attended any higher institution in the association.

Percentage of Freshmen from Southern Association High Schools Receiving Various Grades in College Subjects

1A B C D E&F 1A B C D E&F 1A B C D E&F
  (Per cent) (Per cent) (Per cent)
Alabama Polytechnic Institute 1.1 18.3 22.6 35.8 22.3 2.9 14.3 28.6 40.0 14.3 2.9 20.7 26.5 36.2 13.7
Clemson College 3.4 12.9 21.5 27.2 35.0 5.3 15.8 21.1 36.8 21.1 3.2 19.3 33.9 24.6 19.0
North Carolina State College 3.1 21.7 29.5 25.2 20.3 30.0 20.0 45.0 0.0 5.0 0.0 16.1 26.1 36.6 21.1
Georgia School of Technology 2.4 15.1 32.9 35.2 14.4 2.2 23.5 17.3 27.0 30.1 3.0 21.8 36.1 31.6 7.5
Mississippi A. & M. College 1.8 14.6 28.8 38.8 16.0 1.6 17.2 32.8 21.9 26.6 …… …… …… …… ……
Texas A. &. M College 5.8 29.2 52.4 10.8 1.8 40.0 20.0 40.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 29.3 39.0 12.2 17.1
Virginia Polytechnic Institute 1.0 12.4 25.5 28.2 32.8 18.8 12.5 12.5 18.8 37.5 14.0 17.4 25.6 29.1 14.0
Percentage for 11 Southern Technical Schools 3.2 18.2 32.2 27.9 18.4 8.3 23.6 25.7 19.7 22.6 4.0 18.4 31.9 29.5 16.2
University of Virginia .8 11.1 26.2 38.4 23.5 6.6 18.2 21.2 29.9 24.1 2.0 13.9 11.8 16.8 55.4
Percentage for 11 Southern State Universities 6.2 18.9 31.7 22.9 20.3 13.0 19.7 25.0 19.8 22.4 7.7 17.6 30.0 23.4 21.3
Washington and Lee University 7.1 33.6 37.0 16.4 5.9 2.0 37.2 29.4 16.7 14.7 15.4 21.5 40.0 18.5 4.6
Percentage for 11 Southern Non-State Universities 4.4 18.7 32.9 27.3 16.7 10.0 22.8 25.2 23.7 18.3 8.0 22.5 32.4 24.1 12.9
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 14.7 35.2 34.4 4.4 11.4 17.5 24.7 33.7 9.6 14.5 10.8 25.4 34.6 15.4 13.8
Percentage for 11 Southern Colleges for Women 4.8 22.3 39.4 22.2 11.2 9.6 22.9 32.7 19.5 15.2 4.8 18.6 35.6 23.1 17.9
Radford State Teachers’ College 4.2 17.8 47.2 16.8 14.0 25.0 25.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 17.2 34.5 31.0 17.2 0.0
Harrisonburg State Teachers’ College 11.4 17.8 34.3 22.3 14.2 15.0 20.0 35.0 20.0 10.0 9.0 20.1 40.7 20.1 10.1
Percentage for 11 Southern State Teachers’ Colleges 6.6 21.4 36.3 19.8 15.8 22.7 30.2 27.3 11.9 7.9 7.9 23.8 41.8 15.8 10.7
Percentage for All S. A. High School Graduates in all Institutions 6.3 25.4 35.6 19.0 13.7 13.1 25.3 28.3 17.6 15.7 8.4 24.0 34.9 19.9 12.8
Percentage for All Virginia High School Graduates in all Institutions 16.4 14.6 17.8

1Grades Indicated by Letters.

1A B C D E&F 1A B C D E&F 1A B C D E&F
  (Per cent) (Per cent) (Per cent)
Alabama Polytechnic Institute 15.9 19.3 19.7 24.9 20.3 2.4 20.0 27.7 35.4 14.5 5.8 19.6 23.9 32.7 18.0
Clemson College 11.5 21.3 24.6 20.8 24.7 5.0 13.0 31.2 26.1 24.6 6.6 16.5 27.9 24.5 24.5
North Carolina State College 12.0 16.9 23.7 22.8 24.5 6.9 14.1 21.6 28.3 29.1 7.3 17.6 25.6 25.7 23.8
Georgia School of Technology 4.7 19.1 17.8 27.6 30.8 3.7 21.8 22.0 28.4 24.0 3.7 18.8 22.8 30.1 24.6
Mississippi A. & M. College 3.1 22.2 27.2 25.3 22.2 0.6 21.2 36.8 24.3 17.0 1.6 19.9 32.4 27.7 18.4
Texas A. &. M College 8.3 14.0 29.3 10.5 38.0 8.6 16.6 32.1 8.5 34.3 7.8 18.8 35.8 9.7 27.9
Virginia Polytechnic Institute 16.7 22.5 18.4 16.8 25.5 7.7 20.7 27.2 21.3 23.2 10.1 19.2 23.3 21.6 25.8
Percentage for 11 Southern Technical Schools 9.2 18.1 23.8 21.4 27.5 5.1 18.1 29.6 22.5 24.7 6.0 18.4 28.3 24.0 23.3
University of Virginia 10.0 17.3 15.3 19.6 37.8 2.2 10.2 22.6 29.6 35.4 3.5 13.0 21.5 28.6 33.4
Percentage for 11 Southern State Universities 11.1 16.4 20.7 21.0 30.9 5.7 16.6 28.5 24.0 25.2 8.0 17.5 27.2 22.5 24.8
Washington and Lee University 4.2 25.0 22.9 23.3 24.6 10.8 26.7 39.8 15.9 6.8 8.0 27.7 33.3 18.4 12.7
Percentage for 11 Southern Non-State Universities 9.1 17.4 25.3 24.1 24.1 6.9 19.6 31.5 24.4 17.6 7.2 19.8 29.6 24.8 18.6
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 17.0 27.3 26.7 10.2 18.8 8.7 44.7 31.3 8.0 7.3 14.1 30.1 31.8 9.0 15.0
Percentage for 11 Southern Colleges for Women 13.0 24.2 31.6 16.1 15.1 4.7 20.2 32.8 25.2 17.2 6.5 21.6 35.1 21.8 15.0
Radford State Teachers’ College 5.2 57.3 36.5 1.0 0.0 6.1 32.7 36.4 16.8 8.0 5.9 30.9 41.5 13.2 8.5
Harrisonburg State Teachers’ College 7.3 23.8 43.3 20.1 5.5 3.0 23.0 42.4 19.1 12.6 7.9 20.7 39.1 20.3 12.0
Percentage for 11 Southern State Teachers’ Colleges 12.6 26.5 31.9 15.1 13.9 6.6 20.4 36.2 22.0 14.7 8.4 22.5 36.3 18.8 14.0
Percentage for All S. A. High School Graduates in all Institutions 12.5 20.4 25.8 19.3 22.0 7.3 21.3 31.8 21.4 18.2 14.5
Percentage for All Virginia High School Graduates in all Institutions 20.7 21.0 17.6

1Grades Indicated by Letters.

Annual Military Inspection

It is gratifying that the annual inspection of our military units, by a board of three officers sent by the War Department, this year resulted in the best report we have ever received and the very highest rating that can possibly be given. On all of the 170 items in both theoretical and practical instruction we received the rating of “excellent.” All three officers made the statement in their reports: “General rating of the unit -- Excellent,” Other remarks added were: “A remarkable improvement has been noticed in the entire system of instruction. Great interest is shown by the entire student body and the results justify the work of the instructors.” “The appearance and conduct in and out of ranks is superior when compared with students of ten other R. O. T. C. units with which I am familiar.” Major-General Sladen, in charge of the corps area, wrote as follows: “The Commanding General desires to express his appreciation of the conditions existing at Virginia Polytechnic Institute which are responsible for the high standards maintained in the military department in securing the general rating awarded by the inspector ."

Richmond Engineering Branch

In my report to the Board for 1929-30, attention was called to the arrangement made by our Engineering Extension Division with the Virginia Mechanics’ Institute of Richmond for conducting college courses in engineering. While this arrangement is, of course, in an experimental stage, yet it promises valuable results. A group of 33 students was enrolled in September for the freshman year in engineering, and the reports indicate that these students have gone about their work in a serious way, and the results have been quite satisfactory. It is hoped that next year the second year’s work in engineering may be given, thus completing the proposed standard junior college of engineering, from which students may come to Blacksburg to complete their work in two more years.

This appears to be a fortunate and promising cooperative plan, and we are indebted to the authorities of the Virginia Mechanics’ Institute for generously placing not only their modernly equipped building at our disposal, but also, giving us the services of some of the members of their faculty without cost to us. This plan is meeting the needs of young men in Richmond and vicinity whose limited means do not permit them to go away to college for four years. It will, also, assist employers in that area in securing technically trained workers and in increasing the efficiency of their present employes, and it may to some slight extent assist this college in meeting the demands of increasing student enrolments. It seems probable that next year there will be from 70 to 100 students taking the courses of the freshman and sophomore engineering work at the Richmond branch.

Norfolk Engineering Branch

The Richmond arrangement with the Virginia Mechanics’ Institute, by which the work of the first and second years of engineering curricula is done there, has proved so successful, that we undertook to establish a similar plan in Norfolk in cooperation with the College of William and Mary, which has for some years maintained a branch in that city, having now its own building and equipment. The attitude of the latter institution, like that of the former, has been quite generous, and we believe that this promising development also will prove successful.

Our chief purpose is to provide a means whereby young men of limited finances, who cannot afford to go away to college, may complete two of the four college years in their home community, at comparatively little cost, and perhaps be engaged at the same time in gainful occupation. Incidentally, it has occurred to us that this plan if developed far enough may assist materially in relieving the ever-increasing demand for additional facilities at Blacksburg, our plant here being always crowded beyond its capacity. However, a Norfolk editor has seen in it results which are perhaps more important and far-reaching, as indicated by the following quotation from the Ledger-Dispatch:

“What it will, or may, lead to in the way of avoiding duplication on the part of state-supported institutions and of extending the sphere and scope of those institutions, to the advantage of the people of the state, there is no means of estimating. It would seem, as has been said, to have unbounded possibilities.”

Winter Short Courses

During the last few years, the winter short courses which we have been offering in certain agricultural departments appear to have aroused increasing interest. For this reason, it appeared advisable to offer such courses and expand them somewhat. During the months of January and February, therefore, short courses of from four days to two weeks each were offered in veterinary science, testing dairy products, butter making, ice cream making, cow testing, dairy farming, dairy and poultry feeding. These short courses were dated so that some of them could be taken during the same period, or so that they could be successively taken, covering the entire month of February. It is hoped that they have proved valuable for our veterinarians and our dairy, creamery, and poultry interests.

Physical Plant

During the summer our dormitory No. 8 was completed. In addition to the 42 rooms on the top floor, six rooms have been developed in what was formerly storage space on the first floor. Therefore, the building now provides a total of 106 bed rooms and two small reception rooms. It has been completely equipped.

Arrangements having been made with the Governor to provide $24,000 for connecting the Agricultural Hall, the Extension Division Building, Davidson Hall, and the new Dairy Husbandry Building to the central heating system, this work was completed before the opening of the session, and the separate heating plants at the Agricultural Hall and Davidson Hall were abandoned. In connection with the heating lines, electrical wires were put under ground in the area of these buildings. Fortunately there was a balance left after the work had been completed, and $978.98 was, therefore, restored to the support funds.

The new mechanical engineering laboratory building has been completed, and the equipment installed. Not all of the required equipment has been secured, but it is coming in from time to time. A large amount of equipment has been secured through gifts, as a result of the interest of some of our alumni and their influence with the firms with which they are connected. This is a great help to us, inasmuch as this type of equipment is quite expensive.

Progress on the new Dairy Husbandry Building has been quite satisfactory, and apparently the work has been well done. However, this building is not quite ready for occupancy, as it will take a considerable time to install the rather complicated equipment. We feel that this will be a splendid addition to our plant, and will give us approved modern facilities for our important work in the handling and manufacturing of dairy products. We have found that not only did the general contractors complete their contract in a most acceptable manner, but they also saved to the college $1,216.22 in the cost of the work. This is by reason of the fact that in submitting their bid on a competitive basis for a lump-sum contract, and even after the contract was awarded to them as the lowest bidder, they offered us a cost-plus-fee contract with a guarantee that the final cost would not be more than their lump-sum bid.

The group of conditional appropriations, which have not yet been authorized by the Governor, includes an amount for an addition to Davidson Hall. Such an addition is very urgently needed, particularly in our department of chemistry, which has become greatly overcrowded by the large increase in the number of students and, also, the increasing variety of activities carried on in the department. A somewhat similar situation exists in our department of physics, for which the conditional appropriations provide an amount for the erection of a separate building. The plans for both of these projects are reaching completion by our architects, and we are ready to proceed with the construction as soon as authorization is secured. It appears, however, that such authorization will be delayed at least six months longer, which will mean that we will not be able to take advantage of the additional building space at the opening of the next college year. We are so greatly pressed for additional chemical laboratories that it seems desirable to make every effort to secure at least sufficient funds to build a portion of the proposed addition to Davidson Hall in time for occupancy in September. I regret that at this time there are no funds in sight for such a purpose, yet we are hoping that something may develop in time to meet this most urgent need.

The Quadrangle Aerial View



A large amount of valuable equipment for the mechanical laboratory has been donated by various firms through the influence of our alumni. The largest of such gifts is two carloads of machines from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, secured largely through the efforts of Mr. E. W. Smith, recently vice-president, and Mr. F. M. Waring, engineer of tests.

At a recent meeting of the Virginia Coal Operators Association, a resolution was passed expressing appreciation of the interest of this institution in the coal industry of Virginia, as evidenced by our activities in the research field and the establishment of work in combustion engineering. They also decided to establish at this college a combustion engineering fellowship with a stipend of $750 a year.

Fire Insurance

In 1924 a great improvement was effected in the protection of the property by fire insurance, through an annual appropriation of $6,000 for this purpose. Since 1924 the estimated insurable value of our buildings and contents has increased approximately 80%, but there has been no increase in the amount available for insurance premiums. In order to more adequately protect the buildings and equipment added in recent years, and also to more nearly comply with the standards of the State Corporation Commission, our agents advised a revision of our insurance schedule as of January 1, 1931. This has been done as carefully as possible with the information available, and the results are shown in the following tables:

 Insurable Value of

Insurance Carried
Percentage of Insurance
to Value
1924…… 1,642,340  847,00051.6
1931…… 2,945,5001,050,80035.7

Insurable Value of

Insurance Carried
Percentage of Insurance
to Value
Type of PropertyValueInsurancePercentage of Insurance
to Value
Non-fireproof buildings1,325,600620,61046.8
Essentially fireproof buildings283,90065,45023.1
Fireproof buildings1,041,000211,00020.3
Contents of non-fireproof buildings544,500258,70047.5
Contents of essentially fireproof buildings10,0005,50055.0
Contents of fireproof buildings  500,000120,00024.0
    Total for all property$4,000,000$1,435,00035.9

It seems desirable to increase the amount of insurance carried, particularly on the better type of buildings; and it is suggested that a request be made for the budget of the 1932-34 biennium to include an increase from $6,000 to $7,500 for insurance premiums. Prior to an increase it would be advisable to make a reappraisal of all of the property.

Need For A Hotel

There has been for many years great need for an apartment hotel in Blacksburg. This college is second in size in Virginia, and is located in by far the smallest community of any of the state institutions. This is in many ways a severe handicap, and one of the worst features of the situation is the lack of a reasonably good hotel. It is most difficult to properly entertain visitors, and it even prevents us at times from securing desirable members of our faculty. A hotel with a number of small apartments would undoubtedly be a success, if it be properly operated, and it would meet one of the greatest needs of the college. We have been considering a number of possibilities, but to this time we have been unable to achieve our purpose. It seems proper to call the situation to the attention of the Board and to solicit your interest in finding a solution for a constantly perplexing problem.

Water Supply

When a contract was made between the college and the town in 1911 for the former to supply the latter with water, it was anticipated that the time would come when the spring on the college property would not supply sufficient water for the needs of the entire community, and a provision was included whereby the town might be cut off in case of shortage. In November, 1919, I called to the attention of the Board the need for some means whereby a reasonable amount of water might be stored for emergency purposes, but on account of the large amount involved, as well as some misgivings with reference to the source of supply, no steps were taken toward meeting the need. In the spring and summer of 1926, we experienced a dry season and were threatened with a shortage of water. In July of that year a bulletin was issued urging economy, and the Board directed me to notify the town authorities that it appeared advisable for them to seek another source of supply. Apparently, little was done on the part of the town authorities, since nothing tangible resulted, and about a year ago I again notified them that we considered it necessary that they take some action. However, this brought no results, and during the past summer and fall we have been experiencing the same situation as that of 1926, intensified by the growth of population of the campus and town, and by the length of the drouth period. The matter was taken up again with the town authorities, and I was given assurance that they would take active steps in trying to locate another spring, or to provide some means for helping the situation. Request was made that all consumers of water on the campus and in the town assist in conserving the water supply, and it appears that very satisfactory response was given to this request.

However, the problem is not a temporary one, and with the growth of the college and town it must become more and more pressing. It seems imperative that steps should be taken to locate another source of supply, at least for the town. To this end, Professor F. J. Sette, our specialist in sanitary engineering, has made a study of the whole situation as to the present and future needs, and as to the possible additional water supplies near enough to be used.

As an aid in studying the water situation and with a view to using them for other purposes later, if it seemed advisable to do so, the budget appropriations included an amount for the installation of meters at all of the residences on the campus, and, also, at the principal buildings of the college. These meters were installed and the first readings were taken as of May 1, 1930. They were again taken on October 1, 1930. A study of these readings indicated a very wide range of usage among the 36 residences on the campus. In view of the difference in amount consumed at the various houses, and also with a desire to provide an incentive for the reduction of the amount of water consumed, it was decided to make a charge for the water used in these homes on the campus, beginning November 1, 1930. The plan is to submit bills quarterly. Based on meter readings thus far made, it appears that the average consumption at these houses is approximately 6,000 gallons per month under ordinary conditions. The rate charged was, therefore, divided at 18,000 gallons per quarter as follows: (1) to 18,000 gallons per quarter, 15 cents per 1,000 gallons; (2) more than 18,000 gallons per quarter, 30 cents per 1,000 gallons. The idea was to put a premium upon the smaller amount, since the object is to encourage economical use of water rather than to increase the revenues of the college. Computed on a basis of the amount consumed during the five months from May 1 to October 1, 1930, a period when probably a higher average consumption was maintained than during the other months of the year, the smallest user would pay 21 cents a month and the largest user $5.06 a month, the average being approximately $1.00 per month. This is not considered to be an exorbitant charge and the rate compares quite favorably with that charged in the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg.

It must be noted, however, that the largest share of the total water used is not that of private homes, or the town in general, but is that used for various purposes of the college, including the power plant, dormitories, laundry, dining hall, creamery, barns, etc.; and no matter what precautions are taken to conserve the supply, it is altogether probable that in a few years the reasonable demands will have increased beyond the capacity of the present source.

It is not merely a matter of whether we will have another dry season or not, for even in a normal season the capacity of our present source is altogether too low to be safe, and to provide for our future growth.

The normal supply is about 325,000 gallons per day, and recently a minimum of 203,000 gallons was reached. The normal consumption is about 255,000 gallons per day, but by rigid economy we have kept the consumption within the supply, which was of course necessary since we have no reserve supply. Several times there has been no water in the pipes for a few hours.

The consumption in 1930 was divided approximately as follows: Town 52,000, campus 143,000, leakage 60,000, total 255,000. The town and college are both growing at the rate of approximately 10% per year. A fair estimate of the consumption for 1940 seems to be: Town 100,000, college 286,000, leakage 80,000, total, 466,000.

It seems certain that it will be dangerous to wait longer than 1932 to begin the construction of a new water plant. Recognizing the emergency we are facing, our engineers have been studying possible additional sources. While further study will be necessary before reaching a decision, with such information as we have at present it appears that there are three suitable sources, as follows:

Capacity in million gallons per day.1 to 1-1/2More than 21 to 1-1/2
Distance from Blacksburg in miles5 to 5-1/23-1/23
Estimated cost of pipe-lines, pumps,
filters, land rights, etc.
Operating cost per 1,000 gallons8.93 cents12.43 cents6.72 cents

It is important that we secure a supply of 1,000,000 gallons per day, if we are to provide for the future. The town of Blacksburg has informed us that it will be impossible for them to join us in the cost of such a plant. They recognize that we have the right to cut them off from our supply, and they are considering the possibility of boring wells or using some other means to meet their needs, but even though they should do so it will not solve our problem, as the town’s consumption is only about 20% of the total. They prefer to continue to purchase water from the college, and it is desirable for us that they do so, because we should be in position to control the purity of the water and the income will assist considerably in the cost of operation.

While, of course, the figures here given are merely preliminary estimates, and more detailed surveys must be made, it appears that it will be necessary to seek at least $150,000 for providing at the earliest possible date an adequate water supply.


The institution closed its last budget year in excellent financial condition. As is our custom we have operated well within our income. It is a source of gratification to us that during the present college administration we have never had to go to the General Assembly with a deficit, yet we have been able to use for capital outlays a comparatively large amount of our own revenues derived from sources other than the state treasury. Our practise is to operate on a safe margin and have a working balance at the end of each year.

A consolidated balance sheet as at June 30, 1931, is included here. This shows an increase of $26,577 in the total assets as compared with the preceding year, and a decrease of $16,727 in unencumbered investment in physical plant resulting from counting off for depreciation.

Consolidated Balance Sheet

As at June 30, 1931

(Exclusive of Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension Division)

I. Current:
 Cash in hands of Treasurer$134,316
 Imprest Cash:
   Student Loans$42,088
   Workmen's Compensation18,42160,509

 Accounts Receivable:569
 Supplies Inventory 62,952$258,346
II. Endowment:
 From Land Grant Act of Congress, 1862  344,312
III. Funded Debt:
 Buildings and Equipment Sinking Funds 33,760
IV. Physical Plant:
 Land (731 acres at $400 average)$292,400
   Less Depreciation Reserve, 10%311,2502,801,250
 Central Heat Distribution System$ 120,000
   Less Depreciation Reserve, 3%3,600116,400
 Electric Service Distribution System$ 25,000
   Less Depreciation Reserve, 10%2,50022,500
 Water Supply System$ 28,800
   Less Depreciation Reserve, 10%2,88025,920
 Sewerage System$ 107,670
   Less Depreciation Reserve, 3%3,230104,440
 Departmental Equipment and Library$ 924,000
   Less Depreciation Reserve46,200877,800
 Livestock 55,0004,295,710
I. Current:
 Reserve for Imprest Cash$60,509
 Reserve for Accounts Payable31,768
 Reserve for Supplies62,952
 Reserve for Allocation in 1931-32103,117$258,346
II. Endowment:
 Reserve for Land Grant Fund 344,312
III. Funded Debt:
 Buildings and Equipment Bonds, 1900 75,000
IV. Physical Plant:
 Debt on Black Farm Land$17,176
 Balance Owing on Professors’ Houses11,894
 Borrowed Under the Noell Act Plan645,974
 Equity of Town in Sewage Disposal Plant47,000
 Unencumbered Investment in Physical Plant3,532,4264,254,470

Working Budget For 1931-32

Since the state changed its fiscal year to begin July 1 instead of March 1, it is somewhat more difficult to make up the working budget, inasmuch as we must complete the same, at least in tentative form, prior to May 1 on account of the employment of members of the staff for the following year. The best we can now do is to base this budget on the actual receipts and expenditures from July 1, 1930, to April 1, 1931, and on the estimated receipts and expenditures from the latter date to July 1, 1931. This has been done and is here submitted.

It will be seen from the budget statement that the current year’s operating budget will probably be closed with a credit balance of approximately $36,062. Anticipating this the Governor authorized us to use $15,000 as a supplement to the $150,000 appropriated for the new Dairy Husbandry Building and its equipment; and to use $16,021 for making heating connections for the agricultural group and Davidson Hall to the central heating plant. The latter amount will be reimbursed to the operating funds if and when authorization is given for the use of the conditional appropriations made by the last General Assembly. These two amounts leave $5,041 in the estimated balance for the current year. The Governor authorized us to meet the unusual demands for student loans this year by transferring temporarily from operating funds to imp rest cash the sum of $10,000. While this is to be repaid out of the first returns from borrowers, yet even if it be charged against the estimated credit balance for this year, there will result a book shortage of only $4,959. Moreover, with operating funds we have quarried stone to the value of $5,826 for use in the proposed Physics Building and the addition to Davidson Hall, this amount to be reimbursed when the amounts appropriated for these buildings are released.

The budget proposed for 1931-32 shows $13,072 as an unallocated balance, which is a margin of protection against a possible shortage of institutional receipts or an emergency excess over estimated expenditures.

Budget Estimates for Operation -- July 1, 1931-June 30, 1932

(Not including the Agricultural Extension Division and the Agricultural Experiment Station)



Agricultural Teacher Training11,90916,40012,00015,630
Mechanic Arts3,77725,0003,80022,320
Summer Quarter10,20512,80010,20014,000
Dining Hall218,763168,800218,750171,000
Tailor Shop59,38647,60059,35047,700
Dairy Husbandry91314,30090011,770
Animal Husbandry3,01714,1003,00010,680
Heating and Power Plant62143,40060042,600
Electric Service28,07310,00028,1009,700
Plumbing, Sewage, Water3,35610,8003,3509,150
Buildings and Grounds7,88867,5007,00070,500
Building and Equipment Loans……3,750……3,750
Noell Loans23,64926,93827,87527,875
Room Fees45,058……40,825……
Registration Fees20,359……20,350……
Tuition Fees42,885……42,850……
Laboratory Fees15,918……15,900……
Maintenance Fees31,144……31,100……
Federal Appropriation33,333……33,333……
Land Grant Fund14,986……14,986……
State Appropriation307,775……300,590……
  Total Operation$988,450$952,388$982,359$968,787
  Building and Equipment Sinking Fund1,0001,0001,0001,000
  Noell Sinking Fund15,09015,09017,59017,590
  State Loan Fund1,5001,5001,5001,500

State Development Service

Extended reference to our efforts to promote the agricultural and industrial development of Virginia has been made in the president’s reports for 1927-29 and 1929-30, now available as printed bulletins. The latter also contains reports from the deans and other officials of the institution, giving much information concerning our activities. Attention is called to the reports of deans and directors of the various divisions included in this report, especially that of the dean of engineering.

State development service is carried on through our Agricultural Experiment Stations, our Engineering Experiment Station, our Extension Division of Agriculture and Home Economics, our Engineering Extension Division, and other departments of the college. As our research and extension efforts have grown from year to year, new needs and opportunities constantly presenting themselves, we have become more and more firmly convinced that it is a clear function and a positive duty of this institution to cooperate in the most serviceable way possible and to the fullest extent of our facilities, in the endeavor to develop in the wisest and most productive manner the agricultural, industrial and commercial resources, and possibilities of Virginia. While the accomplishments of the last four or five years represent but a beginning, yet they are sufficient to inspire hopes for much greater and more valuable achievements in the years soon to come.

Drouth Relief

Immediately after the Governor appointed the Drouth Relief Commission, the college staff, especially those members connected with the Agricultural Extension Service, were urged to assist in every possible way in meeting the unusual needs of our farmers. The director of our Agricultural Extension Service was appointed by the Governor as a member of the able Commission which has been performing a valuable service in this connection, and he has given a large part of his time in the effort to assist in this important work.

Our county farm and home demonstration agents have been very active in all sections of the state in assisting farmers to take advantage of everything offered in the way of drouth relief. They have assisted in marketing excess livestock and in purchasing feed with reduced freight rates. Several hundred cars of cattle have been sold and permits have been issued for reduced rates on 10,000 car loads of hay and other feed stuffs, involving a saving of approximately a million dollars. Assistance was also given to small farmers, not able to buy in car load lots, in pooling their orders; and in some instances local bankers and county officials were induced to purchase hay at reduced rates to be sold to farmers later when they were able to purchase it. These agents assisted in securing government loans for seeding fall grazing crops, more than $50,000 being secured for this purpose. The home demonstration agents have assisted the Red Cross and other welfare agencies, and have helped farm women conserve their food supplies for winter use.

Our agents are working on a program including the following: aiding in the purchase of additional supplies for livestock; helping to cull herds and sell unprofitable animals; helping to plan a cropping system for quick and cheap production of feed; helping to plan for cash crops early in the season to provide money for taxes and other necessary expenses; furnishing outlook and marketing information to prevent over-planting of perishable crops; helping to plan home gardens and other sources of home food to lessen cash outlay and prevent disease resulting from improper nutrition; and helping farmers to take full advantage of all relief measures which may be made available.

Reduction Of Tobacco Acreage

Considerable attention was given in the newspapers to a communication from the Governor of North Carolina to the Governor of Virginia urging that steps be taken to secure a reduction in the acreage of tobacco. This matter was referred to us, and we were glad to be able to report that for several months our extension division had been actively at work in this direction, with some promise of success. These efforts are being continued.

Service To Our Forestry Interests

The Commission to Study the Condition of the Farmers called attention in their report to several needs relating to forestry in Virginia, which should have our serious consideration:

1. Soil surveys as a basis for efficient utilization of land. A special appropriation was made by the General Assembly to begin such surveys under the direction of our Agricultural Experiment Station. These surveys should be followed up by our Agricultural Extension Division with instruction as to the utilization of the land. Provision should be made for a continuance of the surveys until the entire state is covered.

2. Management of farm forests as an integral part of the cropped area of the farm, since forest products are a crop like other farm crops and should be as efficiently and intelligently managed. This calls for the development of forest-mindedness among our people and interest in the protection, development and profitable use of our forest resources. This, in turn, calls for suitable instruction of agricultural students, county agents, agricultural teachers, and farmers.

3. Marketing of forest products, especially from small areas, or from mixed species, a problem similar to marketing other farm products. This calls for contacting producer and consumer, and especially for guiding and protecting the farmer. The farm forestry specialist of our Agricultural Extension Division has been studying farm forestry profits and ways of increasing them, and our professor of wood technology has about completed for publication a study of the marketing of farm woodland products. Such studies should be followed up by our extension force in their work with our farmers.

4. Enlarged forestry educational facilities, including a well-organized and equipped department of forestry, to fit integrally into the other departments of education for future farmers, and farm and forestry advisers. This does not imply a school of forestry for the preparation of professional foresters, but merely the supplementing of the technical instruction now given in the agricultural college by practical courses in the elements of forestry, farm forestry management, marketing of farm forestry products, etc. Such instruction should certainly be provided for at this college as soon as possible and required in the work of at least some of our agricultural students.

5. Research in farm forestry as in other agricultural fields. Such research is now being conducted in a large number of the Agricultural Experiment Stations, and certainly the Virginia station should not longer neglect it. The federal authorities supervising the work of these stations seem disposed to encourage forestry research, and a very large number of such projects are now under way, representing a great variety of subjects. It would seem that our station could make a valuable contribution to Virginia forestry through research relating to farm wood-lots and their management, our native woods and their decay resistance, preservative treatments, species tests, pathological conditions, economic questions, etc.

6. Engineering phases of the utilization of forestry products are important and must be handled in a technically equipped institution. Our department of wood technology is now offering courses in the properties of woods, wood fibres, and wood industry methods. Some research has been conducted in the preservation of woods and the uses of woods for various industrial purposes. A statewide survey of wood-using industries was published, and a study of the marketing of farm woodland products is nearly completed. Technical service has been supplied to a number of wood-using plants.

7. Other services could probably be developed to advantage, such as research and technical advice for farmers and other forest owners, especially where comparatively small areas are involved, for communities, institutions, and individuals in the use and care of trees for shade and decorative purposes, etc.

It seems to be unquestionably a function of the state agricultural college to supply service to its state in all of these directions, and it is hoped that the Forestry Commission now at work will be convinced of the possibilities here offered and assist us in developing them for Virginia.


At this time, particularly because of unusual conditions existing in the business world, there is a tendency to check up, to see how far we have gone, what results we have produced, what mistakes we have made, and what we are heading to in the future. There is fully as much reason for an educational institution to do this as there is for a commercial or industrial organization to do so.

If I may be so bold as to suggest it in this time and place, Virginia, with all the fine accomplishments to her credit, has made mistakes in the development of her system of education, particularly as it relates to the so-called higher institutions. When ways of correcting these mistakes have been indicated various influences have been promptly brought into action to defeat the purpose. Not only so, but apparently the end is not yet, for are we not even now in danger of making what to my mind would be a stupendous and costly error, by adding to the already greatly overburdened list of institutions to be established and supported from the public treasury? Ignoring the dearly bought experiences of the past and heedless of the lessons to be learned from the business world, we have pushed aside opportunities to cooperate, unite, or consolidate, and are apparently disposed to increase rather than reduce the dissipation of our energies and of such resources as may be available.

So far as this institution is concerned, not only have mistakes been made at various times, but what is perhaps more serious, opportunities have been passed by or only partially used. For I have an abiding belief that Virginia has had the opportunity during the last half century to develop the truly outstanding technical school of the Southeastern states; and the extraordinary development of Virginia industrially and commercially in the last five years has enormously enlarged this opportunity and increased the need for full realization of its possibilities. Perhaps it is not even yet too late to do this.

As to how it may be done, my own views, reached with the valued aid of my colleagues in the faculty, have been stated from time to time in my reports to the Board, and are to be found in the published annual reports. These reports, to which I would respectfully refer, have now been published for each year of the present administration, from July 1, 1919, to July 1, 1930.

The development of a great institution is, however, a matter of gradual progress, and it is difficult to forecast future conditions and needs, and to plan for meeting them. Perhaps a ten-year period is not too far into the future to look, and it is to the 1930-1940 decade we have been directing our study for the formulation of plans in all directions. Fulfilment can come only through the united and unceasing labors of many, including Board, faculty, alumni, students, and numerous others now interested in or to be enlisted for this great enterprise.

Respectfully submitted.


June 30, 1931.