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Tom Marshall's The Burro '03

BRIEF HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
BY MARK WALKER, B.S. '97

North Hall and Shop Buildings
North Hall and Shop Buildings

It is not generally known that the first attempt at founding a University for Arizona was made in 1864, at which time Governor John M. Goodwin, in his message to the first Arizona legislature, recommended that the legislators take steps to enable the Territory to accept the gift of 30,000 acres of public lands which the "Morrell bill," passed by Congress in 1862, made available to each State. However, in the rush of business the members omitted to accept this grant of land, but they did provide for the establishment of a University to be managed by a Board of Regents consisting of the Governor, the three Judges of the Supreme Court and three resident property holders of the Territory, the latter to be appointed by the two Houses of the Assembly in joint session.

The Board of Regents were to select a site and locate the University any time after one year and prior to January 1st. 1866. The Legislature chose Gilbert W. Hopkins, William Walter and Richard McCormick as the three elective Regents. During 1866, however, Mr. Hopkins was killed by the Apaches and the second Legislature appointed Daniel H. Stickney in his place. There is no record of any meeting ever having been held by this board nor any action taken, and for nearly twenty years the matter lay dormant.

Old Main

In 1881Congress made a grant of 72,000 acres of land to Arizona and the same to other Territories to support a University or institution of learning. In 1882 the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Arizona made a selection of these lands and in 1883 we read in the message of Governor Tritle to the twelfth assembly: "

The question of the establishment of a Territorial University has been agitated somewhat through the Territory. There being no money in any fund out of which the expenses of such an establishment could be paid and properly officered. I would consider any action on the premises as unwise at this time." Accordingly nothing was done till 1885 when the thirteenth Legislature passed a bill appropriating $25,000 to found a University at or near Tucson. It is an interesting historical fact that the people of Tucson did not set out to get a University. They wanted the capitol located at Tucson and failing in this, Mr. C. C. Stevens, a member of the Council from Pima county, introduced the aforementioned bill. The measure passed the council without trouble but met with violent opposition in the House. Fortunately for Tucson, however, Mr. S. M. Franklin, now one of our most prominent lawyers, and at that time recently graduated from the University of California, appreciated the opportunity, immediately championed the cause and after heroic efforts culminating in a magnificent speech before the crowded House succeeded in effecting the passage of the bill.

On March 12, 1885, the Governor sent to the Council for confirmation the names of the first Board of Regents. Of this number, however, Mr. J. S. Mansfeld of Tucson was the only one who took interest enough in the matter to qualify and it was only through the efforts of Mr. Mansfeld and Chas. M. Strauss that others were appointed who did qualify. On November 27th, 1886, J. S. Mansfeld, M. G. Samaniego, J. S. Wood and Chas. M. Strauss met in Tucson, organized as a Board and elected John C. Hanby Chancellor and ex-officio president. After various delays the Board succeeded in letting a contract for the erection of a building now known as University Hall -but then designated as the School of Mines, and on October 27th, 1887, ground was first broken with appropriate accompanying exercises. The work of building progressed slowly, partly on account of lack of funds. On July 1st, 1889, Mr. S. M. Franklin was appointed.

A sketch of campus, Catalina Mountains in the distance
A sketch of campus, Catalina Mountains in the distance

Professor of Agriculture and Superintendent of Experiment Stations, thus enabling the new institution to secure the Hatch appropriation of $15,000 per annum, and later the Morrell fund of $15,000 per year, with an increase of $1,000 every year for ten years. On September 1st, 1890, Professor F. A. Gulley was appointed to the position filled by Mr. Franklin. who resigned on the appointment of his successor. The main building was still unfinished and the University did not open for class work until October 1st, 1891. During the first college year thirty-one students registered, only four of which were from outside towns. Six professors and two instructors constituted the faculty. Professor Gulley was in charge of the institution as a whole and the work of instruction was conducted mainly along the lines of an agricultural college. A one-year preparatory course was instituted with Professor Hall as principal.

About the first of the year the two cottages designed for professors' residences were completed and occupied by Professors Gulley and Collingwood while other members of the faculty roomed and boarded in University Hall. Later the mill annex was built and the machinery installed. During this period the "Literary Society of the University of Arizona" was organized; crimson and gold were adopted as the college colors and' a college pin was chosen, having the letters " U. A." combined as a monogram, the A being formed of crimson enamel and the U of gold. The first college yell was as follows:

Rah! rah ! rah! !
Zip! boom! Bah
U. A., U. A.,
Rah! rah! rah!!

In the second year the enrollment was thirty-eight, of which number five were students from outside towns. The faculty was increased to eight professors and four instructors. While the work of the University was broadened a little, especially in mining, yet there was an effort to confine the instruction within the limits of an agricultural college. It was, however, found necessary to add a second year to the preparatory course. During this period the cottage for the president was completed. At the beginning of the third year Dr. Comstock was placed in charge of the whole institution; the registration was fifty-seven, out of which number seven were from other places. The faculty was decreased to seven professors and two instructors. The futility of attempting to confine the course of instruction within such narrow limits had now become apparent and much more latitude was given to the students in choosing their work.

Library Reading Room
Library Reading Room

In the fourth year the registration was forty-seven, of whom eleven came from outside towns. The faculty was increased to nine professors and one instructor. During this year provision was made for some of the young men to room in University Hall while the young ladies roomed in Cottage No. 1, in which the dining hall was situated. At the close of the year three persons received the degree of Bachelor of Science. The Board of Regents at this time designated sage green and silver as the University colors and a college pin in the form of a cactus leaf in green enamel, bearing the letters U. A. in silver, was chosen.

During the fifth year the Reverend Howard Billman occupied the President's chair and made vigorous efforts to extend the influence of the University with the result that the registration reached one hundred. of which number forty-five were from outside towns. The faculty was enlarged to ten professors and four instructors. During this year the narre of the literary society was changed to "Philomathian." The erection of the stone dormitory being delavpd through lack of funds a small wooden building, afterwards called "Liberty Hall" was erected for the accommodation of male students. During this period the system of employing students in various kinds of work about the grounds and buildings was very much extended. By this time the agricultural course was nearly a dead letter. A general or literary course had been provided and this with the courses in the School of Mines afforded ample facilities for the needs of the times.

Tennis courts and part of football field
Tennis courts and part of football field

The enrollment the sixth year reached 151, with eighty students from outside places. The faculty was made up of nine professors and five instructors, and provision for a three years' preparatory course was made. This year the stone dormitory known as North Hall" was available for the residence of male students. At the close of the session three persons were graduated and the Alumini Association was organized, During the seventh year the enrollment reached 156, of whom seventy-five were from other towns.

The faculty was enlarged to eleven professors and four instructors. President Billman resigned and M. M. Parker succeeded him. Four students were granted the degree of Bachelor of Science at the close of this year.

President's residence
President's residence

In the eighth year the student body numbered 153, of which sixty-six were f r o m outside places. The faculty consisted of ten professors and seven instructors. During this year a secret society called the "Lescha" was organized. One person was graduated at the end of the year. During the ninth year the registration reached 161, of which 76 were non residents of Tucson. The faculty was increased to twelve professors and ten instructors. "South Hall" was in process of construction during this session and became available for occupancy by the male students at the middle of this year. The only serious trouble in the history of the institution occurred this year, whereby eighteen students left the college in rebellion against the faculty, which upheld the decision of one of the professors. The action of the rebels, although designed as hurtful, really helped the University rather than injured it, as will be noticed by the increased attendance. Four students were graduated this year.

Down the drive, Tucson Mountains in the distance
Down the drive, Tucson Mountains in the distance

The tenth year saw the enrollment reach 225, with 117 from outside taking advantage of the increased dormitory facilities. The requirements for admission to the sub-collegiate course were raised. This year "North Hall" was used for the first time as a ladies' dormitory. The faculty was made up of twelve professors and seven instructors. During this year the Copper Queen Mining Company gave $8,000 for the erection of the manual training shops. The twenty-first Legislature authorized the issue of bonds to the extent of $25,000 to provide a building for the library and museum. Two fraternities, the Delta Phi and the Epsilon Pi Eta, were organized. There were four graduates.

South Hall
South Hall

At the beginning of the eleventh year President Parker resigned and Professor F. Yale Adams was appointed acting president. The registration was 215, with 113 from other towns. The faculty remained the same in number as in the previous year. During this year a new dining hall was built, and about the close of the session was ready for use. A chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon was organized. A committee consisting of three members of the faculty, three members of the alumni and three members of the student body selected marine blue and silver as the college colors. The degrees of Bachelor of Science and of Philosophy were granted to nine persons.

A sketch of the drill grounds
A sketch of the drill grounds

The twelfth year opened with Professor F. Yale Adams as full president. The registration of students amounts to 220, with 108 from outside towns. The faculty is composed of twelve professors and ten instructors. During this year Prof. James Douglass and his associates of the Copper Queen Mining Company gave $5,000 to provide a building for a gymnasium. The twenty-second Legislature appropriated $2,000 to equip the gymnasium and $5,000 to furnish the library and museum building. Two new literary societies were organized, the "University Club" and the "Chrestomathean." the latter confining its membership to the preparatory department. (One sub-collegiate class was dropped this year.) There will be at least six graduates.

Professor's residences on the campus
Professor's residences on the campus

In concluding this brief history thanks are expressed to President Adams. Professors Hall and Woodward, Messrs. S. M. Franklin and S. P. McCrea for information afforded the author.

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