Chapter 4 -- Eggleston Years
The Administration Of President Eggleston
Session of 1913-14. The Ed. Black property of some 60 acres to the south and east of the college, was acquired for college use. This property, although it has not been paid for, has greatly increased in value. New shop machinery was bought and installed in temporary quarters, the old pavilion being used as the main building.
Appointments: T. P. Campbell, dean of the faculty; L. S. Randolph, dean of the engineering department; W. K. Brainerd, professor of dairy and animal husbandry; F. L. Robeson, associate professor of physics; E. R. Hodgson, associate professor of agronomy; L. W. Summers, associate professor of animal husbandry (resigned December, 1913, and R. E. Hunt elected in his place); W. J. Schoene, state entomologist; and the following assistants: W. J. Barbour, forge work; F. T. Wall, geology; H. H. Bates, experimental engineering and assistant commandant; E. H. Knox, physics; J. M. Trimble, physics; J. B. Lucas, physics and chemistry. Promotions from instructor to associate professor: G. B. Bright, civil engineering; C. W. Holdaway, dairying. Dr. Reed returned from Europe, after a year's leave.
Two new county experiment stations were established, one at Martinsville and one at Charlotte Court House, the state department of agriculture having appropriated $7,500 for these and for the station at Staunton.
The first agricultural fair held at Blacksburg was in October of this year and was well attended. The defunct "Gray Jacket," later "The Skirmisher," was resuscitated under the name of "The Firing Line;" and the Monogram Club was formed, consisting of all students winning their letters in any form of athletics. During this session, two-thirds of the enrolled students were members of the Y. M. C. A., with Mr. R. W. Owens as secretary. The Maury Society won the loving-cup in annual debate from the Lee Society. The world's record in butter production was broken by a Holstein cow of the V. P. I. dairy herd. The farmers' winter course was attended by about double the number of the previous year. At a meeting of the corps in March, it was decided to build the long needed athletic house on the athletic field, and work thereon was begun immediately.
In April, Dr. S. W. Fletcher handed in his resignation as director of the experiment station, to take effect July 1, 1914.
The new Alumni Gate was dedicated on June 16. The gate was presented as the gift of the alumni by Mr. Allen Eskridge ('94) and President Eggleston received it on behalf of the college. During finals also, the corner-stone was laid for the new stone shops building, to be known as "The McBryde Building." Appropriate masonic ceremonies were observed. During the summer, the stone building, which had been erected as a chapel and auditorium, and which had also been used for the basketball games, was fitted up as the library, which was now moved from its old place in the Second Academic Building.
Among other provisions of the Legislature money was provided for a septic tank, to replace the obsolete one hitherto in use. An important event was the transfer by the Legislature of the demonstration work in Virginia to the control of the V. P. I., thus making Blacksburg the center for the direction of county agents, with control of the funds for carrying on the work. Sixty of the demonstrators spent three weeks in January at the college, taking the special course in agriculture. This was made a permanent feature of the demonstration work.
Attendance this session, 527.
Session of 1914-15. Lieutenant S. W. Anding was detailed by the War Department as commandant, succeeding Lieutenant Ware; and Professor W. J. Schoene was appointed acting director of the experiment station. Mr. J. P. Harvey, musical director, being incapacitated by sickness, Mr. H. H. Hill took charge of the band this session and served for eighteen months. Other appointments were: A. S. Jewett, instructor in rhetoric; D. S. Lancaster, modern languages; V. E. Ayres, mathematics and assistant commandant; T. K. Wolfe, agronomy and assistant commandant; E. A. Livesay, third assistant commandant; L. B. Bransford and A. B. Carrington, physics; F. T. Wall and H. L. Jennings, chemistry; C. W. MacKan, civil engineering; G. S. Ralston, horticulture at the experiment station; John R. Hutcheson, livestock specialist with the demonstration work; C. H. Hays, specialist in hog cholera, with the demonstration work; W. D. Saunders, professor of animal and dairy husbandry and farm superintendent; and T. B. Hutcheson, professor of agronomy. H. S. Stahl was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of biology. Resignations: Lyman Carrier, agronomy; W. K. Brainerd, animal husbandry; A. S. McGown, instructor in rhetoric, and L. P. Smithers, modern languages.
A Science Club was organized to stimulate interest in the various scientific fields, and to increase a sympathetic and broadening interest in the various lines of scientific work. Dr. Barlow was the first president of the club, which met twice a month. The board of trade of Blacksburg, which had been recently formed through the activities of Dr. Fletcher and Professor Carrier, elected President Eggleston as its chairman for the ensuing year.
The Christmas holidays saw the completion of the new field house, which was formally opened on January 27, 1915, and officially turned over to the athletic association with appropriate ceremonies.
During the latter part of January, Mr. Robert T. Ellett resigned as assistant treasurer and registrar, to take charge of the Ellett Drug Company, and Mr. Branch Bocock was appointed acting registrar.
The American Institute of Electrical Engineers authorized the formation of a student branch at the V. P. I. In March, President Eggleston was elected by the Legislature a member of the state board of education, but soon after resigned.
A women's auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A. was formed, and this did much toward improving conditions in the building. The steadily increasing football squad made it necessary to employ two coaches, one for the line, and one for the back field. Again, the basketball team made a clean record, winning every game played during the season.
During the summer, Messrs. Bruce Williams and C. H. Crabill resigned from the department of bacteriology, and Mr. J. T. Murray, of New York, was given direct charge of the bacteriological work of the experiment station, with Mr. Karl Quantz, an alumnus, as assistant plant pathologist. Mr. Harris resigned as assistant chemist at the station to accept a position in the Argentine, and Mr. J. T. Grissom was appointed in his place. At the July meeting of the board authority was given to re-establish the general science course, which had been abolished in Dr. Barringer's regime; and Dr. Newman was appointed dean of the academic department, Dr. Howard S. Reed resigned in August to become plant pathologist at the citrus experiment station at Riverside, California, and Dr. F. D. Fromme succeeded him.
Attendance this session, 490.
Session of 1915-16. Professor J. J. Davis was granted a leave of absence to take graduate work at Johns Hopkins. Mr. T. P. Campbell, Jr., a V. P. I. alumnus of 1909, was appointed registrar.
The freshman class this session was the largest in seven years. Mr. R. E. Denny was appointed general secretary of the Y. M. C. A. The following appointments were made: instructors: M. C. Harrison, rhetoric; E. S. Cardozo and H. P. Sanborn, modern languages; assistants: P. A. Pearsall, chemistry; I. Udy, experimental engineering ; F. A. Heacock, graphics; H. E. Thomas, plant pathology; A. Chinn, civil engineering; A. A. Ingham, horticulture; and Milton Cutherell, assistant to the treasurer and college book store keeper. P. V. Janutolo was promoted to be an instructor in chemistry; Bransford, in physics; Lancaster, in animal husbandry, and Wolfe, in agronomy.
The college sustained a great loss in the sudden death of Professor R. J. Davidson on the morning of Sunday, December 19, 1915. Professor Davidson had been connected with the college as professor of chemistry since July, 1891, having completed nearly a quarter of a century of service. Professor W. B. Ellett was appointed to carryon the work in agricultural chemistry.
In the November bulletin of the college was published a partial list giving the names of forty-four V. P. I. men then in service on the Mexican border, showing the aid given by alumni in defense of their country.
Mr. B. Ellison resigned as mess steward to accept a position as manager of the Blue Ridge Springs.
Through the energy of the registrar, Mr. T. P. Campbell, Jr., an efficient employment bureau was established under his care, to place V. P. I. men in more advantageous positions and to secure good positions for those desiring such.
At the April meeting, the board elected Dr. A. W. Drinkard as director of the experiment station, thus relieving Professor Schoene, who had been acting director for the past two years in addition to his duties as state entomologist. Mr. Jesse M. Jones was appointed director of the demonstration and extension work. Mr. H. H. Hill was obliged to give up the leadership of the band, and was succeeded by Mr. P. U. Janutolo.
During the spring the senior class built a concrete walk from the academic buildings to the library, the students themselves doing the work, with material furnished by the college. The rooms formerly used by the board, and later as a residence by Dr. Fletcher and family, in the wing of the library, were fitted up as living-rooms and office for the librarian.
On Sunday, June 11, Dr. R. H. Hudnall, after a long illness, died at his home on the campus. As a result of this, the department of English and rhetoric were consolidated, with Dr. C. M. Newman as head.
Governor Mann delivered the graduating address to the class of 1916, his subject being "Preparedness." Four hundred attended the final exercises, and at the alumni meeting a committee was appointed to consider the question of the erection of an alumni club house on the campus.
The General Assembly, having placed all the demonstration and extension work in agriculture and home economics in Virginia under the control of the V. P. I., Miss Ella G. Agnew, chief of the women demonstration agents in Virginia and director of the girls' canning clubs, was, on July 1, transferred from Burkeville to Blacksburg.
On July 3, more than eighty V. P. I. students reported for duty at the R. O. T. C. at Camp Lee, Virginia. Lieutenant S. W. Anding, commandant, was promoted to a captaincy in the army.
A notable feature of the Y. M. C. A. work during the session was a social service bureau, through which forty-seven or more students conducted an active campaign of religious work in the country districts and nearby mountains.
Mr. J. T. Grissom resigned in August as assistant station chemist.
During the session, Professor Vawter and the senior engineers installed an aerial and receiving wireless station, by which the weather reports and Arlington time were received.
Attendance this session, 505.
Session of 1916-17. During September the board refused permission for the establishment of fraternities or secret organizations at V. P. I. It also approved a course in applied physics, which had been recommended by the faculty. At the opening of the session, there were six county experiment stations conducted by V. P. I., and three by the college and the State Board of Agriculture jointly. For the first time in history, the college and town enjoyed the benefit of a Western Union Telegraph station, with office on the campus, in the field house.
Appointments: as instructors: W. E. Bowers, agronomy; C. L. Estill and T. C. Johnson, English; J. B. Lucas, chemistry; E. R. McKesson, mathematics and assistant commandant; C. R. Moore and P. H. Trout, physics; as assistants: W. B. Ellis, experimental engineering; T. J. Wells, electrical engineering; E. B. Burwell, geology, and C. B. Whitney, chemistry. The following instructors resigned: A. S. Jewett, V. E. Ayre, L. B. Bransford, E. S. Cardozo, and P. U. Janutolo. Mr. W. C. Stiles was promoted to an instructorship in animal husbandry, and H. E. Thomas, plant pathology and bacteriology. Professor Robeson was granted a leave of absence to study at the University of Missouri. Professor Davis returned to his work after a year at Johns Hopkins. Mr. Quantz was transferred from the department of pathology to that of horticulture. In December, Professor Smyth was appointed dean of the department of applied sciences, succeeding Professor Davidson. Mr. Quantz, Professor Starcher and Dr. Smulyan resigned.
On January 5, 1917, a unit of the R. O. T. C. was established. Juniors and seniors were allowed the privilege of taking this, but sophomores and freshmen were required to take the work. Men from the two higher classes entering the training corps were paid $9.00 per month and all classes had uniforms issued them for drills when training. Captain C. C. Carson and Sergeant Fisher were detailed to assist Captain S. W. Anding in the R. O. T. C. duties. It was a period of unusual activity in the military department. A large number of applicants, largely from the ranks of the alumni, presented themselves to Captain Anding for examination for commissions. To assist in the increasing importance of matters military, the War Department detailed in March Sergeant Bresnahan, who was considered the best drill sergeant in the army. On March 28, Captain Anding's term having expired, he was ordered for duty to Arizona, Captain Carson succeeding him as commandant.
In January, Dr. Barlow moved into his new house, and the old horticultural building which had been fitted for a residence for him, was turned over to the extension division as headquarters. Mr. C. G. Burr, state agent for boys' club work, established his headquarters at Blacksburg.
On March 3, the corps went to Washington to take part in the inaugural ceremonies of President Wilson. The appearance of the cadets and their bearing in the parade won for them most favorable comment from the highest sources.
Mr. Bowers offered a course in agricultural journalism during the third term, the first ever given here.
The calls for service abroad in the World War becoming more and more urgent, responses began to draw upon the personnel of faculty and corps alike. Early in May Professor Begg received his commission as captain of engineers and left for Fort Myer. From the corps, 64 men left for the officers' training camp at Fort Myer.
In spite of strenuous military training, athletics were not neglected, and on May 12 the Virginia Athletic Association held its meeting on Miles field, and V. P. I. won first place in the events.
The war call was being answered now so freely by the corps, especially by members of the senior class, that it was considered advisable to bring the session to an early close, and so on May 31 the session came to an end, the usual Commencement events being omitted, including the big alumni reunion which had been expected.
Attendance this session, 533.
During the summer school Captain H. E. Keller ('17) continued the valuable work of military training to all men on the grounds.
Mr. A. A. Ingham, assistant horticulturist, died suddenly in his room on June 13. E. R. Hodgson resigned to become specialist in agronomy with the extension division. G. S. Ralston, of the extension division, was appointed field horticulturist. During the summer Major Carson sailed for active field duty in France.
On August 3, C. B. Lambert ('14), on service in the aviation camp, while flying with an English instructor near Wheeling, West Virginia, fell to his death. He was the first V. P. I. boy to give his life for his country in the home field.
The State Farmers' Institute was held here on August 15.
The new shops building, constructed under the supervision of Mr. D. O. Matthews, and dedicated to Dr. McBryde, was first used for work in August. The simple but impressive modified Gothic front, with its sixty-foot tower, guards the main entrance to the shop, which extends 231 feet in depth and 210 feet in width. The several shop departments are separated by curtains of brick work, each department having its offices and supply rooms.
It is difficult to condense the facts which now brought V. P. I. to the front and vindicated her right to existence as a valuable asset in time of need to the State and Nation. The following items will briefly speak for themselves.
Out of 99 men entering the first Fort Myer camp, 94 received their commissions. Each of the 26 men entering the regular army school at Fort Leavenworth was commissioned. Of two entries at the first Plattsburg camp, one man received a majority and the other a captaincy; and the five men at the first Oglethorpe camp received their commissions.
Extracts from the August, 1917, Bulletin:
"V. P. I.'s military men are distinguished as follows: Fort Myer training camp, 120; Virginia National Guards, 21; Regular Army, 55; Engineers Reserve Corps, 6; Aviation Corps, 4; Signal Corps, 2; U. S. Marine Corps, 4; Ambulance Corps, 2; Navy, 7; Mosquito Fleet, 3; Fort Oglethorpe training camp, 8; Fort Ben Harrison camp, 3; other U. S. training camps, 16; National Guards of other States, 2; Coast Guard, 6. (This list is incomplete, but lists 259 men at this date in service.) "
Session of 1917-18. In spite of the war conditions, or possibly on account thereof, this session opened with 199 freshmen. The personnel of the upper classes was changed, owing to the number absent on military duty, yet many new men entered the upper classes, so that the total number of students was not materially reduced. The registration, of course, showed the effect of the war call. The hitherto popular courses of agriculture, and electrical and mechanical engineering showed a loss, while civil and chemical engineering showed a marked increase. It was notable also that the number in the R. O. T. C. course had greatly increased, and students excused from military voluntarily took up military training.
From the Roanoke Times, September 20, 1917:
"Lectures on food production and conservation are to be given at teachers' institutes throughout the State this fall, thanks to the public spirited and far-sighted extension division of the V. P. I." * * * *
The V. P. I. is making notable contributions to the country's cause in many ways, but the above plan promises to take a foremost place in the list of services rendered the Nation by the Blacksburg institute during the war. The people of Virginia should be very grateful to V. P. I. for what it is doing for them as well as for America."
Throughout the fall of 1916 and the summer of 1917, under the auspices of the American Red Cross, members of the faculty attended meetings at every precinct in Montgomery county, making addresses in behalf of war work, and forming chapters of the Red Cross. Dr. McBryde, as chairman of the Blacksburg chapter, was indefatigable in his interest in the work, and the ladies of the town and facutly [sic] alike were untiring in their devotion to the cause.
Mr. John H. Shultz, our mess steward, met with a tragic death on August 27, 1917. Mr. J. J. Owens succeeded him.
Appointments this session included: Major W. P. Stone, of the U. S. army, retired, commandant; E. R. McKesson, instructor in civil engineering; E. W. Diggs, graphics; V. L. Vaughn, physics and mathematics; S. A. Wingard, assistant in plant pathology; S. C. Harmon, assistant agronomist; W. G. Harris, associate chemist, experiment station; F. S. Glassett, assistant agronomist. Resignations: Professors C. E. Vawter, P. H. Trout, H. E. Thomas, and C. B. Whitney. Promotions: F. L. Robeson to the chair of physics and head of this department; C. P. Miles and J. J. Davis to full professorships in modern languages; W. M. Brodie to a full professorship in mathematics; M. C. Harrison to an associate professorship in English; T. K. Wolfe and D. S. Lancaster to associate professorships in agronomy and animal husbandry, respectively. The following members of the faculty were absent on military duty: R. B. H. Begg, G. B. Bright, H. P. Sanborn, W. C. Stiles, C. B. Moore, C. L. Estill, W. E. Bowers, S. E. Dietrick, G. G. Coleman, E. B. Burwell, A. P. Moore, and W. R. Ellis.
One hundred per cent of V. P. I. men entering the Engineer Reserve camps received commissions.
During the fall, this college was put on the United Press wire, insuring the transmission of athletic scores to all papers using the service.
During the winter the, following changes occurred: O. C. Cox, veterinary department, and T. J. Murray, bacteriologist, resigned; Mr. A. B. Massey succeeded Mr. Murray.
On February 21, Dr. J. E. Williams was elected a member of the State Board of Education. In March a bill to allow V. P. I. to issue bonds to the amount of $400,000 passed the House, but was defeated in the Senate.
In April, the college was made a member of the American University Union, which had its headquarters in Paris.
During May, C. P. Miles resigned as graduate manager of athletics, and C. A. Bernier was appointed athletic director.
Colonel George H. Jamerson, an alumnus and former commandant, was appointed Brigadier General.
Extracts from V. P. I. Bulletin of May, 1918:
"V. P. I. has at present 2,790 of its alumni under arms, more than Yale, Harvard, Princeton, or any other institution of like standing, North or South; and a prominent editor of Washington says, 'Incidentally, it gives the Federal Government evidence that the money it has invested at Blacksburg was wisely used and will be repaid many times over.' "
L. S. Randolph, professor of mechanical engineering and dean of the engineering department, handed in his resignation to take effect September 1, 1918, thus completing a quarter of a century of service here. At this time, he was the fourth in seniority of appointment of the living members of the faculty.
Professor Louis O'Shaughnessy was elected in June, 1918, to the chair of civil engineering, to enter upon his duties at the beginning of the next session.
Owing to war conditions, finals were shortened to two days, May 26 and 27. On the morning of the 27th Hon. R. Holman Willis presented a service flag to the college on behalf of the alumni association. The rector, J. Thompson Brown, received the flag for the college; and Miss Alice Hoge pulled the cord which unfurled the flag with its 740 stars. Before the end of the war the flag contained 1,700 stars, not a few of them being gold stars.
Attendance this session, 519.
In March, the college offered to take a certain number of enlisted men for instruction in the useful arts. Accepting this offer, the Government sent on May 31 a detachment of 220 men. These men were quartered in Barracks Nos. 3 and 5. They were under the command of Major John C. Skuse, assisted by Lieutenants Stanrod, Bell, and Taylor. Later, a surgeon, a dental officer, and a quartermaster were detached to service here. The officers of the college in charge were Dean Campbell, as director; Professor Parrott, bench work and carpentry; Professor Conner, machine work; Professor J. M. Johnson, forge and foundry; Professor Robeson, radio work; Professor McKesson and Mr. D. O. Matthews, concrete work. Aiding in this work, from outside of the college, were Messrs. Nickle, of Pennsylvania, in radio work, Barker, of Richmond, and Wilson, of Roanoke, assisting in mechanics. Professor Drinkard gave a series of lectures on war issues. The first detachment left on July 27.
On August 1 a second detachment of 225 soldiers arrived, all recruited from the District of Columbia. Forty-three additional men arrived a few days later, and twenty-eight men had been held over from the first detachment for further instruction. These, with the officers in charge, made a total of 302 soldiers at this time. During the stay of these two detachments everything possible for their comfort and happiness was done by the town and campus people and by the ministers and the local Red Cross.
On June 3, seventy-four V. P. I. men reported at the training camp at Plattsburg, New York, remaining during the full period to July 3. When the second camp opened on July 22, about twenty V. P. I. men attended until its close on September 16.
A department for training teachers of vocational agriculture was established in June.
It is not possible in a short summary such as this to go fully into the magnificent war record made by students and alumni. Mr. H. H. Hill, the secretary of the alumni association, has carefully prepared the full record and it will doubtless be issued later in printed form. But we cannot pass on without calling attention to the fact that it was a Tech man who led into action the first Americans who took part in the actual fighting in France. Major J. W. C. Stevens, of the class of 1916, at that time a captain in the 26th U. S. Infantry of the regular army, led his company in the first engagement of American troops, near Soissons. And who can forget that among V. P. I. immortals stands high the name of Captain Lloyd Williams ('07), of the U. S. Marine Corps, who was the first Tech man to lay down his life on the battle field. When his command, newly arrived at the front, where desperate fighting was going on, received from the French commanding officer the order to retreat, Captain Williams's famous reply was, "Retreat? Hell, No! we've just come!" Surely, the spirit underlying these words should ever be a stimulus to every man facing a difficult situation, and will ever be remembered as embodying the true V. P. I. principle of "Do, or die."
Session of 1918-19. During the preceding summer, for the benefit of the regular army encampment, the Y. M. C. A. had established a most elaborate service. A red triangle banner was displayed in front of the building, and Dr. Newman was appointed camp secretary of the post. The National War Work Countil [sic] sent athletic goods, games, writing materials, etc., and in addition to superintending all these details, Dr. Newman arranged a weekly program of song meetings, motion pictures, Bible classes, and other features. A canteen was established and liberally patronized. This work was continued by the National War Council when the Student Army Training Camp was established. This was practically a continuation of the work done for the army detachment. As his teaching work now interfered with the superintendence of this Y. M. C. A. activity, Dr. Newman was appointed supervising secretary, with Mr. P. N. Deering as associate, assisted by Mr. Miller and Mr. Drewry. In November, Mr. Deering was elected general secretary of the Y. M. C. A.
On account of the summer training detachment, the opening of college was postponed to October 1, but all new students were required to report on September 1, for special military training. The S. A. T. C. was formed on October 1, but the fatal epidemic of influenza rendered it inadvisable to assemble the students in class-rooms while it lasted. The whole of October was given over to out-door military exercises for those physically fit. The college was saddened by a number of deaths from influenza, which occurred among the members of the corps.
The following U. S. Army officers were detailed for duty with the S. A. T. C.: Major J. C. Skuse, of the U. S. Infantry, as commanding officer, assisted by twelve lieutenants and two captains, including a post surgeon, dental surgeon, unit supply officer and quarter-master, all of the regular army.
Preparatory courses were offered in accordance with the Government regulations in the army service branches of the engineer corps, signal corps, chemical warfare service, quarter-master service, ordnance service, medical corps, navy, infantry, artillery, machine gunnery, transport and tank service. A naval unit of fifty students was established.
First Armistice Day, November 11, was duly celebrated, and the corps paraded through the town and back to Miles Field, where a review was held.
The educational instructor of the Government pronounced the S. A. T. C. at V. P. I. to be far above the average in the quality of work done, and the nature and extent of courses offered. The signing of the armistice was the signal for the demobilization of the S. A. T. C., which took place between December 5 and 12.
After much discussion, the faculty decided to start anew the regular session on the morning of December 31, and to continue it for six months with no holidays, to be divided into three terms of two months each.
"Major Skuse was detailed as commandant, with Captain J. P. Gammon as assistant. In February the R. O. T. C. was reorganized and most of the cadets became members.
Professor Pritchard was appointed dean of the engineering department; Associate Professor Lancaster was made professor and head of the department of agricultural education; W. T. Ellis, professor of power engineering and machine design; A. B. Massey, associate professor of plant pathology and bacteriology; A. G. Smith, instructor in horticulture; F. L. Bruce, W. E. Pritchard and J. Duff, instructors in English; F. S. Glassett, instructor in agronomy; J. I. Smith, graphics, and several additional assistants were appointed. Promotions: Associate Professor Hunt to professor of animal husbandry; H. S. Stahl, to professor of biology; instructor McKesson to associate professor of civil engineering. Instructors Estill, Vaughn, Harmon, and Diggs resigned.
Ensign M. C. Harrison returned from the navy on January 1, and also Mr. W. G. Harris, who had been absent for a year on military service. Professor Lee returned from the ordnance department in February.
The farmers' short course was not given this winter on account of the danger from the epidemic of influenza, which was again raging throughout the State.
At a meeting of the corps, it was decided to wear the blue and gray cadet uniform next year as a dress uniform, and the olive drab, issued to all members of the R. O. T. C., for work and drill. Sergeant Bresnahan, after a two-years' absence, returned early in April; and Lieutenant Ketchum, of the U. S. engineer corps, was assigned.
The Commencement of 1919 was held in July. Instead of the familiar blue and gray, the corps was clad in khaki for the drills. Many military heroes were present among visiting alumni. An incident of great interest, not merely because it was unique, was the presence of a president, an ex-president, and a next president of V. P. I. During the latter part of the session, President Eggleston had announced his intention to resign, to take effect on July 1, as he had accepted the presidency of Hampden-Sidney College. The board had, therefore, on June 12, at its Richmond meeting, elected Julian A. Burruss, of the class of 1898, to succeed President Eggleston. The final exercises were honored by the presence of Dr. McBryde, President Eggleston, and President Burruss, a fact which excited much pleasant comment.
Attendance of regular students this session, not including the special army detachments in short courses, 477.
On July 1, as part of the exercises, the monument erected by the class of 1919 and dedicated to "Our Dead Heroes in France," was unveiled by Mrs. A. B. Moore. The Hon. George Bryan, of Richmond, made the address on the occasion. This monument contains the names of the dead, and no V. P. I. man passes thereby without saluting.
Governor Davis was present at the finals, and made an address to the graduating class. During the exercises, President Eggleston was presented with a gold watch by Cadet C. E. Whitmore on behalf of the corps; and Dean Campbell presented the retiring president a silver service on behalf of the faculty and others of the college.
Director Jesse M. Jones having resigned, Mr. John R. Hutcheson, assistant director of the extension division for two years, was elected director, at the June meeting of the board.
On July 1, President Eggleston relinquished the presidency after having served for six years.
When President Eggleston took charge of the affairs of the college conditions were somewhat disturbed. Misunderstandings and outside interference had developed a state of unrest and suspicion not conducive to the best working together of all of the forces of the college. With infinite tact and grace of manner, a sympathetic attitude toward all, and a delicacy in holding the reins of government, Mr. Eggleston soon caused unrest to disappear among faculty and alumni; and perhaps the greatest praise that can be given his administration is to say that when he resigned, to the great regret of his faculty and against their earnest protest, he had developed a condition of harmony and confidence that spoke better than words of his character as a leader and a gentleman.
Among material improvements during this administration may be mentioned the new shops building known as the "McBryde Building of Mechanic Arts;" the new field house; ten new residences for college employees; the acquisition of the Black property; the lease, with privilege of buying, of the Houston farm of 176 acres; additional concrete walks along the most-used thoroughfares; the moving of the library from its cramped quarters in the Second Academic Building to the stone chapel; and a number of other material improvements.
Additional and increased appropriations from the State were secured largely through his influence, and the meagre salaries of the faculty were increased—the first increase in twenty years. The office of dean of the faculty was restored; the two-year course in agriculture was systematized; and the department of agricultural education was created and provision made for the erection of a building therefor.
The war training camps at the V. P. I., and the consequent development of military training, also the record made by V. P. I. men, culminated in the publishing by the War Department in June, 1919, of the name of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute as one of the twelve "Distinguished Colleges" in the United States.