January 19, 1869

Gambier, Ohio


Returning to Kenyon, to enjoy this interesting occasion, I was made happy this morning when I saw that we were favored with a wintry day, faultlessly beautiful. I was happy, but my happiness was suddenly dashed away as a friend stepped up to me with a paper, saying to me that at a certain point it would be proper for me to appear before the audience here assembled. But he kindly added that but a very few words would be expected of me.


If the President were not present, the few words would mainly be words of congratulation to the students, the faculty, the friends of Kenyon College, and the friends of education throughout Ohio and the land, that this important institution is to have such a President. If the students and faculty and friends were not present, the few words should be words of congratulations to him that he is to be at the head of a such a body of students. To those who are glad to believe and hope, reasonably and confidently hope for Kenyon College a bright future, I have to say that I do not doubt that you are now entering upon a period of prosperity, of success, not surpassed – I trust I may say not equaled – by any previous period in the history of Kenyon College.