Collection, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1931.
During the series of talks on Swarthmore which
we have been having recently it has been suggested that I
should say SOMething on the spirit of Swarth~ore, so I am
going to talk to you today about Swarthmore Spirit. I do
not think I can illustrate the remarks I want to make better
than by recalling to your minds the situation of this
College exactly 50 years ago in 1881.
By 1881 the College had been in existence something
like a dozen years. By great sacrifices and by great
effort Parrish Hall had been built . Practically the whole
of college activities took place in that building, and in
September of that year it caught fire and was nearly destroyed,
exce'pt for the outside walls. The College had no endowment, r.
it had nothing but the building and the grounds, and the •
building was gone. It had insurance on the building equal
to about one half of its cost. Those were dark days for
the people who had built up Swarthmore, for ·they felt as if
there was danger that the work they had done was not gOing
to be finished.
There were at that time in the East several insti-tutions,
several colleges and universities, which were older
and which were richer than Swarthmore, and which, I should
say for 1881, had every prospect of h1ng more important
institutions than Swarthmore . In the fifty years which have
gone by several of those institutions, in importance, in
size of endowments, in the quality of work which they do,
the positions have been re~erBed. Swarthmore College rose
from the ashes, and the college paper--THE PHOENIX--which