Volume XVII · Winter 1962 · Number 2
David Jayne Hill, President of the University of Rochester, 1889-1896
--AUBREY LAWRENCE PARKMAN
When Martin Brewer Anderson retired from the presidency of the University of Rochester in 1888 David Jayne Hill was unanimously elected president by the Board of Trustees. He was granted a leave of absence for one year to study abroad and thus did not assume office until September, 1889. Dr. Hill who came from Bucknell University where he had served as president for ten years remained in Rochester until 1896, when he left to start on the diplomatic career which was to take him to Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Germany as an official representative of the United States.
The papers of David Jayne Hill were deposited in the University Library from 1949 to 1956 by Walter L. Hill, Jr., Mrs. Otto Lorenz, and Mrs. Juliet Tillema Brace, '49. These papers provided the basic research material for Dr. Parkman's doctoral dissertation, David Jayne Hill. A section of this dissertation dealing with Dr. Hill's years in Rochester as president of the University follows.
Very little has been written about David Jayne Hill, and in the thirty years since his death he has fallen into almost complete historical oblivion. Yet in the course of what were in effect three separate and distinct careers, this vigorous American played a prominent and influential part in educational, diplomatic, and political developments of great significance to his times. The purpose of this dissertation is to present the life of David Jayne Hill and expose him to whatever credit or censure he may deserve for his contributions to the shaping of American institutions and ideas.
In the last decades of the nineteenth century a revolution took place in American higher education. At the close of the Civil War, colleges were still mostly small sectarian institutions with restricted intellectual programs handed down from antiquity that had originally been intended for preparing students for the ministry. With the reform of collegiate instruction in several of the leading older colleges and universities and the creation of new state universities and excellent private institutions, the small denominational college was compelled to expand its curriculum and make it more flexible, place greater emphasis upon professional training, and find new financial support, which in most cases meant the loss of religious control. Many small colleges were able to make these necessary adjustments only with great difficulty and in the face of strong opposition. I have sought to show how David Jayne Hill assumed the presidencies of two small sectarian colleges, infused them with new life, and began their development into modern and strong institutions of higher learning.
As the nineteenth century unfolded into the twentieth, men of good will in the United States and elsewhere optimistically looked to the development of international law and the judicial settlement of international disputes to erase the curse of war. Hill was among them, and the underlying theme of my treatment of his career as a diplomatist is his efforts, by conference, negotiation, and unofficial influence, to promote this worthiest of causes. I have also tried to add, helpfully, to the store of information relating to a number of diplomatic events or incidents with which Hill was intimately connected.
The last of Hill's careers was that of a propagandist. Conservative in his views, he saw progressivism, and especially the Wilson administration, as a threat to Americanism. So, too, he thought, was the Wilsonian inspired League of Nations, and the League's child, the World Court. Here I have tried neither to praise nor condemn his writings and influence from the point of view of a liberal or conservative, nationalist or internationalist, but rather to indicate the limitations and confusion of his thought on these crucial issues as demonstrated by his own words. It is always the hope of the historian that dissipation of the mists of the past will help to reveal the best roads of the future.
Educational conservatism was undoubtedly responsible, in part, for the fact that when Dr. Anderson ended his long administration the university was still struggling to hold its own, and barely doing that. There had been no material increase in the yearly attendance of students, its out-of-town enrollment was dwindling, and it was becoming chiefly a college for candidates for the ministry and for local boys who could not go elsewhere. Out-of-town enrollment was further discouraged by Anderson's persistent refusal to institute a dormitory system. The original trustees, advised by Dr. Francis Wayland, President of Brown University and the foremost educational reformer of the day, that dormitories led to more than half of the trouble in colleges, had stressed the desirability of students living with private families. Supposedly this safeguarded morals, enlarged the general tone of thought, and exercised a refining influence upon the manners of the student body. Since President Anderson fully shared these views, nothing was done during his administration to provide dormitories, despite the fact that compelling students to hunt for places to live was unlikely to attract them to the college, and that most out-of-town students eventually found quarters, not in private homes, but in boarding houses whose environment was scarcely preferable to that of dormitories. Furthermore, by the end of Anderson's regime, the university was faced with the rivalry of Cornell University and Syracuse University in the immediate vicinity of Western New York and of new colleges in the western states from which it had once drawn many students.
Most important, however, among the factors responsible for the university's stunted growth was the disposition of the people of Rochester and of Western New York to think of it in purely sectarian terms. Admittedly it was a Baptist institution, but it was generally thought to be so conspicuously and so exclusively Baptist as to alienate from it the moral support and financial aid of most people who were not Baptists. Although President Anderson continually insisted that the university had before it no end that could not command the hearty cooperation of all lovers of higher learning without regard to class or creed, his words were largely ineffective. His social relations with the community were slim, and what few he had were almost exclusively with Baptists. According to Dr. Edward M. Moore, a non-Baptist trustee who became president of the board in 1892, the reply to requests for aid was repeatedly, "Oh, it's a Baptist institution--let the Baptists take care of it."
Dr. Anderson had been induced to come to Rochester by pledges that he would be released from all labor and responsibility regarding finances and the increase of endowment, and that he need have no fear of want of funds equal to the needs of the institution. For various reasons these promises were never met, and the main responsibility for soliciting funds inevitably fell upon him. If it had not, he would have assumed it anyhow, for it was not easy for him to depute or to share responsibility. Although it was personally distasteful to him, he pursued the necessary search for funds vigorously. Yet the gains in endowment and in property made during his administration were not impressive. Even the alumni, who held Dr. Anderson in lofty esteem, were largely deaf to his appeals.
"In looking back over the past of my administration," Dr. Anderson commented rather mournfully in his last report to the board of trustees, "I must confess to a feeling of sadness and disappointment. I have not realized my hopes and my reasonable expectations. But when I recall the difficulties of the situation upon which I entered on coming to this city, I am impressed with gratitude to God and to the friends of the institution for what has been accomplished in laying foundations upon which others under more favorable circumstances may build."
Such was the condition of the University of Rochester when Dr. Hill assumed the duties of its presidency in the autumn of 1889. Coming from Bucknell and expecting to find a less provincial environment, he was frankly disappointed. In the faculty there were several vigorous professors, men of unquestioned scholarship and ability, and the university possessed a spacious campus in the most attractive residential part of the city upon which were three substantial college halls. But its curriculum was too limited and rigid for the times, student enrollment seldom reached two hundred, Baptist diehards continued to make trouble, the alumni were little organized and ineffective in their support, local assistance was pitifully weak, and annual deficits were mounting. In sum, the prospects of the institution were dim. As William S. Kimball, a wealthy Rochester businessman whom Hill later persuaded to become a trustee, put it: "It was dying of dry rot."
During Hill's seven active years as the University of Rochester's president his most important contribution to it was not to nurture any tremendous tangible growth, for its really great strides were not taken until some years after he had ceased to direct its affairs, but to clear away many of the hindrances to its growth and to set it on a new path of development, thus making possible its later transition into an actual and a highly respected university. This was precisely what he had done, beginning a decade before, at the university at Lewisburg, but if he ever looked back at the discouragements and disappointments that he had experienced there, they must have seemed almost trifling when compared with the unexpected difficulties he encountered at Rochester.
For years the university had been a patriarchal institution, and the habits of three and a half decades were not easily erased. Although Martin Anderson desired with all the motive force within him that Hill should succeed better than he in the building of a truly great university, he inadvertently left to his successor an impediment of inertia on the part of those from whom Hill most expected support. Hill neither intended nor desired to fill Anderson's dictatorial role, nor was he incorrect in his assertions that the old collegiate system of patriarchal authority and responsibility was a phenomenon of the past. But his expectations of a change to what he termed a "constitutional regime" to unleash new forces among the trustees, faculty, and alumni, who would come forward voluntarily with new plans and assistance, were painfully slow of realization. The influence of Anderson's powerful personality lingered on, everyone waited for the new president to move, and would not act until he did. Some faculty members, accustomed to direction from above, interpreted Hill's desire for cooperative effort as "a want of Presidential Enterprise," and one professor resigned, apparently for a want of confidence in the new administration. The trustees continued to sit on their hands. And the alumni, for the most part, continued to feel a spirit of loyalty to Dr. Anderson rather than to the university. On the attitude of the alumni, the student paper, the Campus, published in May, 1893, an illuminating letter from one of the most influential and active, Edwin O. Sage: "Out of the more than one thousand who have graduated from the U. of R. between 1851 and 1890, the names of less than forty appear on the books of the treasurer as having contributed a single nickle [sic] to help the board of trustees to meet the many current expenses of the institution. An exception to this statement appears in the amount contributed to the Anderson Alumni Fund, in honor of the late president, in which enterprise nearly all of the living alumni were represented. . .
Gradually, however, Hill's new administrative policy began to bear fruit, and a more widespread sense of responsibility for the reputation and success of the university slowly became apparent. An early, though lamentably for several years an isolated, manifestation of this new spirit was the initiative taken by the faculty in appointing a committee, chaired by the president, to recommend a reorganization of the curriculum. Although the faculty had long been keenly conscious of the defects of the existing course of study, this appears to have been the first time in its history that it had assumed the responsibility of deciding a question of educational policy.
The initiative taken by the faculty was no doubt in response to the known position of the new president on the matter. Although conceiving the function of a college to be the communication of a liberal rather than a specialized education, and fully aware of the dangers of
immature specialization and of colleges yielding to false values, Hill also recognized the need for the University of Rochester to furnish greater preparation for the professional studies on which the majority of its graduates soon entered. Although as firmly convinced of the value of the classics as was Dr. Anderson--considering them a sort of condensed anthropology, giving a summary of the best human thought of ancient days--Hill held that there must be a reasonable balance between classical and scientific courses, for there was also a need to study things that would be of immediate practical value in life after college.
From the report of the faculty committee there evolved a new curriculum which presented a range of studies considerably more extensive and more advanced than had previously been offered. While a radical change for Rochester, the new program was conservative when compared with curricular changes then being made in many colleges. Rochester, in keeping with the educational philosophy of its new president, sought to extract the value of both the old and the new in education, thus in reality reviving the policy of its founders. In the Campus of May 1, 1891, Hill explained the principles upon which the new curriculum was based:
The growth of knowledge is so great, and the demand for accuracy so imperative, that it is simply impossible to indicate a plan of study, that can be completed in four years, which shall embrace all that every calling demands as an essential preliminary. We have attempted to solve this problem by devising four courses of study, each of which throws emphasis upon some special branch of liberal training, while all contain a certain proportion of language, mathematics, science, and philosophy, and sufficient to secure to every graduate a symmetrical training and at the same time a diversified knowledge. ... Our aim is, not to anticipate professional studies even to the slightest degree, but to recognize the claims which the professional schools have upon the colleges to equip graduates with those preliminary studies which must be completed before professional study is begun, if progress in it is to be easy, sure and successful.
The four alternative courses, which led variously to the degrees of bachelor of arts, of science, and of philosophy, differed chiefly with regard to the amount of classical language required. Of more importance, for most students continued to elect the classical course, some elective subjects were offered in the third term of the sophomore year, and the choice of electives was widened in the last two college years until, totally, they included about one third of the college course.
During Hill's administration the number of subjects taught at Rochester increased from twenty-four to forty-seven, and the number of courses offered from forty-six to ninety-five. These figures, taken from Hill's annual reports, tend perhaps to exaggerate the actual changes made. Nevertheless they are indicative of significant development. Separate departments of physics, geology, and biology were created, and the laboratory study of these subjects was introduced for the first time. In respect to the study of geology and biology, Hill made it clear that the university was not to be overawed by the book of Genesis and that he intended to encourage the free discussion of the theory of evolution. Astronomy was separated from mathematics, and English language and literature received greater emphasis. The old custom of conferring a master's degree upon any graduate of three years' standing who desired it was abandoned; an examination in a number of advanced courses, which were laid out in each department, was now required. Writing in 1894, Professor Gilmore placed his finger upon the most important innovation of all: "There has been a change equally great in the methods of instruction--the spirit that dominates the new college. Investigation has taken the place of dogmatism."
During the Hill regime the work in university extension, ultimately to become an important branch of the university directly serving the community, was begun. Although Hill was convinced that extension courses could never be the equivalent of the regular courses of a university, he was inclined to favor the movement, provided that no one deceived himself as to its actual value, because it would bring the university into closer contact with the city and thus help it to win friends and financial assistance. In response to increasing interest in the movement, the trustees, at their annual meeting in June, 1894, adopted a resolution favoring the prosecution of the work and authorizing the president to use the name, but not the money, of the university in the organization of it in Western New York. Although the participation of the university in the extension movement was at that time of no great significance educationally, it at least gave evidence of a new spirit of energy and enterprise on the part of the university's management. Even the student paper noticed that "recently a greatly increased activity has been manifested in the Board of Trustees, largely due to the influence of Pres. Hill."
Enforcement of student discipline, Hill soon discovered, was a more serious problem at Rochester than it had been at Bucknell. Dr. Anderson, a man of intensely moral nature, had performed this task with the utmost seriousness, but in spite of all his patient and paternal appeals
to the students, the college halls in his day seem never to have been entirely free from a suggestion of pandemonium, and frequently they fairly rocked from the impact of explosions of surplus vitality. Hazings, rushes, and scraps generally tore clothing to shreds, often broke up classroom recitations, and sometimes broke down classroom doors. The resulting publicity in the newspapers scarcely improved the university's relations with the city, especially when rushes erupted on the streets, as they not infrequently did, and the local police and courts were forced to take a hand. President Anderson's first advice to Dr. Hill after the latter had assumed his duties was that he would do well to prepare for All Hallows night before it came.
Anderson's method of combatting rushes and scraps had been characteristically personal and pugilistic. Old grads loved to tell how he would come charging into a throng of struggling boys, scattering them left and right with the two canes upon which he always depended in his later years. Naturally the boys were none too reluctant to start a row just to see him come into action. They loved him for it, but it was hardly effective as a means of ending college rowdyism.
Hill was more quietly effective. After several years a changed tone toward rowdyism could be detected in the student publications, deploring rather than boastful. "There is no doubt," reported the Campus on March 1, 1894, "that a new spirit has entered our university during the last few years, not a spirit of sullen obedience generated by strict discipline but rather a loyal, law-obeying spirit filling the students with deep desires for welfare of the college." In the student yearbook, Interpres, of the same year, the class of '96 boasted that two time-honored customs had been broken. "There has been no cane-rush between the present Freshman and Sophomore Classes; and we refrained on Halloween, from painting with bright colors the sphinxes standing guard day and night over Sibley Hall, or adorning the walls and walks with fresh and original designs, as did our predecessors." Writing to his successor several years later, Hill attempted to analyze the reasons for this change: "I think I may truly say that so far as order and college government are concerned my last two years at the University were pretty nearly ideal. I could not say this of the first three or four. The change was brought about very gradually and in a manner which I can hardly explain. One element in it I am sure was a constant appeal to the manliness of the students until at first the best and finally the worst, came to feel ashamed of many things that had formerly been common and which are common in most colleges." Hill's method was perhaps even more subtle than he himself had supposed, for the Interpres of 1897 attributed the change "more than all else. . .to the quiet and unostentatious influences of a perfect gentleman, whose genial sympathies have aroused the loyalty and whose courteous bearing has excited the emulation of the whole student body."
There were additional reasons, however, for the new mode of behavior. One was the rapid discovery that an iron hand was encased within the president's velvet glove. Right at the beginning he informed the students that they must not be disorderly within the buildings and restricted the battlefield of their rushes to the campus. "And the manner in which he offered the suggestion," the Campus reported, "suggested to those concerned the advisability of complying with his restriction." Cutting up in daily chapel had always been a favorite sport in college--for which students could scarcely be blamed-- but Hill would have none of it. After several months of the customary behavior and the customary admonishments, Hill warned that he was referring to the matter of order in chapel for the last time and intimated that another course of action was open to the faculty. A few days later a sophomore, who did not learn easily and had stamped in chapel, quietly disappeared from the campus, only to return after a short compulsory vacation to find himself excluded from examinations. Several months later Hill suspended the whole freshman class from chapel until a suitable apology was made for its behavior.
With the exception of an occasional small fracas, everything in time began to run more smoothly. Of considerable help was a redirection of youthful energy. Once, after a rush of some severity in Professor Forbes's room, Hill requested the boys to settle their "little difficulties" on the campus. Accordingly, the class of '93 challenged the class of '92 to a game of baseball. Owing to the absence of dormitories, the lack of a gymasium, and the small number and comparatively scanty means of the students, it had been difficult to stimulate an interest in organized competitive athletics. Dr. Anderson had never encouraged them. Apparently he was not actually opposed to them, if anything, he was merely indifferent, being chiefly concerned with the moral and educational development of the students. Hill, in contrast, was a firm believer in organized sports and did all that he could to encourage them, not only to direct youthful animal spirits into harmless channels, but because he believed that no man was liberally educated, in the best sense, without the physical equipment necessary to a healthful life. With the cooperation of student leaders he initiated systematic training for interclass, and later intercollegiate, football, baseball, track, and other athletic contests.
In virtually every college the movement for the development of intercollegiate athletics was warmly supported by its alumni; in fact, it was usually the center of alumni interest. Among the alumni of the University of Rochester, however, this interest was very slow in developing, much to the disappointment of its president who looked to them in vain throughout his administration to provide a badly needed gymnasium. At the alumni dinner of June, 1890, Hill announced that an alumnus had offered to give $1,000 of the $10,000 required for the erection of a gymnasium, providing the remainder could be raised during the day. The response was practically non-existent, and that was as far as the gymnasium project got for the next five years. At the alumni dinner of 1895, the toastmaster was informed that a gentleman, not connected with the university, had offered to give $1,000 toward a gymnasium if it were the sense of the company that it was a prime necessity. A local trustee, Martin W. Cooke, immediately volunteered to give an additional $5,000 if a gymnasium was to be the thing toward which all effort should be directed. Hill, too, was willing to give $1,000 if a gymnasium was what was most wanted. It had been intimated to him, he said, that the alumni were not in favor of a gymnasium, and he requested that the matter be settled by a vote of those present. Almost incredibly, in view of the fact that most of the necessary money had already been offered, the vote indicated that the alumni were not warm enough in their support to warrant further consideration of the matter. The project was not revived until several years after Hill had left Rochester.
Chastising the alumni at every opportunity for their lack of spirit, Hill did not entirely fail in his efforts to prod them into taking a greater interest in their university. At the 1893 commencement, a year in which alumni attendance was larger than at any previous commencement and many graduates of years long past were back for the first time, they informed the trustees of their desire to be represented on the board by at least five of their number, elected by them. Although many members of the board were graduates of the university, the alumni, as such, had no representation. Both the trustees and the alumni appointed committees which were to cooperate in making arrangements to carry the request into effect. Although a plan satisfactory to everyone was not forthcoming for another decade, the following year the trustees requested the alumni to nominate a candidate for one of the two vacancies that had been opened in the board by deaths. Eventually, in 1904, the board amended its by-laws so as to give the alumni the privilege of nominating, through a ballot taken by mail, five trustees to serve for terms of five years each, one to be chosen each year. Ironically, after a decade of agitation, it was found impossible at times to get one-third of the alumni to vote, as provided in the by-laws, in order to nominate an alumni trustee for election by the board.
At the time of Hill's arrival in Rochester the question in which the people of the city were perhaps most intensely interested in connection with the university was coeducation. With Miss Susan B. Anthony in town it could hardly have been otherwise. Five or six years before, the ladies of the Ignorance Club had actively agitated the question and had even gone so far as to solicit subscriptions to cover the increased costs to the university, but President Anderson's firm opposition had quenched the movement for the time being. Now it was flaring up again under the leadership of the three principal women's societies of the city, the Ethical Club, the Ignorance Club, and the Women's Political Equality Club. For some time past there had been a trickle of young women into the university for special study without college credit: several young ladies had been permitted into the chemical laboratory, a few others had been allowed to take special courses, and still others had been allowed to attend President Anderson's lectures on the history of art. But the university was in no way prepared for their general admission when this was requested in a petition presented to the trustees in 1891 by representatives of the women's clubs. Aware that the college's classrooms were already overcrowded, the ladies asked to be advised how large a sum of money would be necessary to enable the university to admit young women on equal terms with men.
The reaction to the request was mixed: the trustees were said to be almost unanimous in their desire to provide for the education of young women; the president of the board, however, had commented the year before that the demand for coeducation came from a body of women who were interested in several movements upon which he did not look with favor; the faculty was willing to admit the girls; the alumni were opposed; President Hill, while not bluntly opposed to the idea, was by no means cordial to it. "The truth of the matter is," he wrote to the secretary-treasurer of the university some years later, "the parents of daughters in Rochester, who wish for them a college education and cannot afford to send them away to Vassar or Wellesley or other Institutions, are very anxious for economic reasons, to have them enjoy collegiate privileges at home. Then the coterie of people who adulate Miss Susan B. Anthony consider it an opportunity to their propaganda movement for women to force the University of Rochester to open its doors. Now there you have the whole force of the co-educational movement in Rochester, and it is easy to estimate how productive to the University it is likely to be."
Hill was not opposed, however, to seeing a co-ordinate college for women established, provided that funds could first be raised to meet the already existing requirements of the university and to furnish the additional facilities necessary to make such a plan feasible. In reply to this not unreasonable attitude, the determined ladies stoutly asserted that once the university had opened its doors to women the people of Rochester would take a warm interest in it and contribute liberally to its support. At a Chamber of Commerce meeting for the discussion of university extension, which Miss Anthony turned into a discussion of coeducation, she rather boastfully proclaimed: "If you will open your college to women, we will raise all the money you want."
Hill was not impressed. From his own experience in fund-raising he knew by now the market value of such enthusiasm. Besides, long before Miss Anthony had clasped the cause to her bosom, others had tried to establish higher education for women in Rochester. Back in 1851 a movement had been started to establish a "Female College," and the very grounds on which the University of Rochester later established its first campus had been offered as a gift to its trustees, but the movement had failed. Again in 1873 several public-spirited men, including Dr. Edward M. Moore, who later became president of the university's board of trustees, and Lewis Henry Morgan, the eminent anthropologist, had canvassed the city to raise a subscription fund for the higher education of women. Although a definite plan never emerged, the idea had been to locate a women's college in the vicinity of the university and have the same professors teach in both institutions. Again the movement had failed from lack of popular support. In 1881 Lewis Henry Morgan had died, bequeathing, in memory of two daughters who had died young, his residuary estate for the education of women at the university. But the life interest of his widow and son made this money unavailable for nearly three decades.
The advocates of coeducation were determined. Failing to receive favorable action on their petition, which the trustees buried in committee, they set about to create a situation by which they would force the trustees into compliance. A young lady of firm convictions, Miss Helen E. Wilkinson, was selected to champion the right of her sex to higher education. After two years of special preparation in the work required for admission, Miss Wilkinson, in the autumn of 1893, became the first young woman to request to be regularly enrolled in the university. She announced that she had come to stay and acted in every way as if she fully intended to do so. The policy apparently mapped out for the young lady by her backers was that she should win prize after prize at the university, thus demonstrating to the world the intellectual superiority of women.
The executive committee of the board of trustees, after several months of indecision, finally directed the registrar not to enroll any more women until provisions were made for their accommodation. They yielded to the inevitable, however, and compromised to the extent of allowing the young lady to attend recitations and to enjoy all the privileges, short of a degree, that were accorded to male students. The class of '97, in a burst of enthusiasm, elected its feminine representative its secretary, and the boys took turns talking with her during the intermission periods. Soon, however, the novelty wore off, the feeling toward her on the campus apparently changed to one of indifference, and the young lady came and went without attracting much attention. No provisions were forthcoming for the accommodation of young women during the remainder of Hill's incumbency, and there were no more coeds.
In 1898, two years after Hill had departed, the trustees voted to admit women to the university whenever the women of Rochester had raised the necessary funds, estimated at $100,000. Two years later, the women, who had once been sure it would be very easy to raise $300,000, rather humbly informed the board that although they had done their best they had been able to secure only $40,000 and there was no possibility at all of raising more than $50,000. Although Hill, now a trustee, and several other trustees were opposed to any modification of the conditions that had been set, the board voted to admit women the following September provided $50,000 was secured by that time. At the last moment Miss Anthony pledged her life insurance to complete the necessary sum, and in the fall of 1900 women were admitted as regular students into the university. Eventually a co-ordinate College for Women was established along the line which Hill had once envisaged.
Long before the ladies discovered it, Hill had learned how difficult it was to raise money for the university. Within weeks after arriving in Rochester he had opened a campaign to raise the ambitious sum of one half million dollars. To Dr. Anderson he wrote hopefully: "I believe that, if we can secure the large sum I have named, we can have and hold the educational leadership of our denomination in this country. We have some natural advantages over Brown and if we can get that start now I do not fear for the future. . .I have little hope of doing much within a term of years unless we can do something now. There are tides that determine opportunities and I believe this is a tidal year. I am very anxious to test our strength this Winter." Anderson's reply was "God knows, there is need enough of the sum, and even of double the amount."
Hill tried hard, and so did Anderson, who sought to tap for him the wealth of New York City, but the "test of strength" was a failure. During Hill's seven years at Rochester he was never able to raise the sum he had once optimistically hoped would be rapidly subscribed. Despite his constant efforts, the increases in endowment never were enough to sustain even the very modest growth of the university. In June, 1893, as chairman of a committee on the improvement of the university's finances, Hill reported to the trustees the necessity for decisive action in the near future, either in the direction of increasing resources or of diminishing expenses, and warned that any important reduction in expenses would involve the crippling of the university's efficiency. Two years later, in his annual report, he informed the trustees that since 1888, although the university had received over $357,000 in gifts, the growing demands that had been placed upon it had created a small annual deficit which had accumulated to about $20,000. To sustain the work of the university at the level of efficiency which had by then been reached, at least $100,000 of additional endowment was required immediately, and unless it was soon obtained the work which should go on expanding would have to be reduced. Such was the financial condition of the university as Hill's administration was nearing its end.
Student enrollment had never been so large; educational policy had been liberalized and instructional facilities had been expanded; student, alumni, faculty, and trustee interest had deepened; in short, a new spirit had entered the university. It was thriving in every way except financially; in this most vital area Hill had not been successful.