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asked for such a sum as will purchase those books most needed to illustrate the growth of our language, and also for an additional sum to purchase such a collection of histories, biographies, historical maps, charts, etc., as shall give to our students the same advantages that students of other institutions of the same grade as ours possess.
The whole amount expended for the Library, excluding period. icals for the Reading-room, and including furniture, books, maps, etc., as shown by the books of the purchasing agent, is two thousand, forty-four dollars and thirty-four cents ($2,044.34). This does not show the full value of the Library, since ;the donations from the General Government, the State government, agricultural colleges, and other institutions are, in many cases, very valuable. As an instance of valuable donations, the volumes embracing the census of 1880 may be cited; so that I may sasely say that our Library is worth three thousand, five hundred dollars ($3,500), although appraised at cost in the inventory of College property.
The Reading-room is furnished with the best periodicals from the metropolitan press, by purchase ; and the generosity of the the press of this State furnishes almost every student with his home paper free of charge. In this connection, I desire, in behalf of the students and officers of the A. & M. College, to tender thanks to the proprietors of the many State papers that are found weekly upon the tables of our Reading-room.
Finally, in order that our Library should develop as the wants and needs of our students increase, there should be a stated sum annually available for the purchase of books. The above report and suggestions are respectfully submitted.
W. H. MAGRUDER, Librarian.
Gen. S. D. Lee, President :
SIR-In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the Preparatory Department during the time in which I have had it in charge. Owing to the fact that my appointment as Principal dates only from last June, this report is necessarily more general and prospective in its nature than it would otherwise have been.
The design of the Preparatory Department is, as its name indicates, to give such thorough instruction in the elementary branches as will enable students to enter the College classes well prepared for an intelligent and profitable pursuit of the studies prescribed in the regular course. In some colleges, such a department is considered burdensome and objectionable; but in this institution such is not the case, for it is here considered a neces.
sity. The majority of the students who enter this College come from country districts where the common schools are few and inferior, and the school term entirely too short. The consequence is, a large proportion of them are not sufficiently well prepared to enter the Freshman class. Should they then be turned away from this, the only place at which, perhaps, they could gain an education? Had such a policy been adopted in the beginning, many of the best students in the present College classes would have been turned from our doors; and that class of our citizens for whose especial benefit the College was established, would thus, to a great extent, have been deprived of its privileges. Realizing this, the Legislature in the act prescribing the powers granted to the Board of Trustees required of them, the establishment of a first-class institution, at which the youth of the State may acquire a common school education, and a scientific and practical knowl. edge of agriculture, horticulture, the mechanic arts, etc.” Thus owing its existence to the same law by which the other Departments were established, the Preparatory Department here is not considered an unnatural outgrowth, but rather as an iinportant part in one grand whole. It was organized because it was needed ; and, in supplying a great need, it has proved that, in connection with the other Departments, it is an unfeigned blessing.
COURSE OF STUDY.
The course of study in this Department requires two years for its completion. In the Junior year, or lower grade, the following subjects are taught: Rudiments of English Grammar and Composition, Reading and Spelling, Practical Arithmetic, Penmanship, and Declamation. The studies of the Senior year are: English Grammar and Composition, continued, Higher Arithmetic. Algebra, Analysis, U. S. History, Penmanship, and Decla mation.
In addition to these studies, by a resolution of the Board of Trustees at their last meeting, instruction in Agriculture will be given to Preparatory students this year. This instruction will be given by graduates of the College who are now assistants in the Preparatory Department. Supplementary lectures will be delivered before the classes by the Professors of Agriculture and Chemistry. By this means, Agriculture, the distinguishing feature of the College, will hereafter be taught from the lowest to the highest class in it.
As indicated above, the Department is divided into two dis. tinct grades: the Senior, or higher grade; and the Junior, or lower grade. One hundred and twenty students have up to date, been admitted into the higher grade ; which is divided into four sections, according to the average class standing of students therein. Sixty students have been enrolled in the Junior, or lower grade, which is divided into three sections, in like manner as the upper grade. The entire Department is thus taught in seven sections numbering in all one hundred and eighty students.
INSTRUCTORS. Thinking that three assistants would be sufficient for the Department this year, the Board of Trustees at their meeting last June reappointed Messrs. J. H. Legan and J. M. White, as assistants, and gave the third place to Mr. L. B. Reid. But the num ber of students entering the Department at the opening of the session was so great that I was compelled to ask for more help. The President straightway secured the services of Messrs. B. Irby and W. L. McGee, making in all five assistants; one of whom, however, Mr. White, is engaged half his time with the Freshman class. To compensate partly for this loss of help, Mr. J. J. Huggins, assistant in the Agricultural Department, teaches for me one hour each day.
These young gentlemen are all graduates of this College, thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the institution, and deeply interested in its welfare. They are all earnest and diligent in the discharge of their duties; ever ready to receive suggestions, and to aid me in any way.
Realizing the importance in school work of thorough, systematic supervision, I have, with the approval of the President, taken regular charge of but two classes, in order that I may devote as much of my time as possible to this important part of my duty as Principal. This supervision is performed by daily visiting the rooms of my assistants, sometimes hearing their classes for them; and by frequently exchanging my own regular classes with them. Besides, I hold weekly with these instructors what might be called teachers' institutes. At these meetings, we discuss the progress made by classes and individuals, the best methods of teaching the subjects then before us, the proper management of classes, and other subjects of interesting and profitable nature connected with our work.
The Department is well supplied with blackboards, maps, and globes, all of which are in constant use.
But to one need in this line, I would here call your attention. In order to teach the metric system of weights and measures successfully, a set of apparatus is necessary; and I now remind you of this necessity, hoping that you can make arrangements to procure the needed apparatus before the session closes.
In conclusion, Mr. President, it gives me pleasure to add that the Preparatory Department is now in a flourishing condition. The attendance of students upon recitations is excellent; a studious, energetic spirit seems to pervade the entire Department; deportment is good; and I have every reason to believe that thorough work is being accomplished.
· Principal Preparatory Department. A. AND M. COLLEGE, Miss., Nov. 15, 1885.
REPORT OF WRITING MASTER.
AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE, Miss.,
November 23, 1885. Gen. S. D. Lee, President :
Dear Sir: As Penman, I would report that during the two past sessions only the Freshman and Preparatory classes received instruction in my Department-something near two hundred students each session--improvement was usually good, with some few exceptions.
During the two past months of this session, some two hundred and sixteen students have been in attendance, which number is about as many as we can well accommodate in the room that we have at present. Besides these, there are a great many students who have been excused on account of insufficiency of room.
Preparatory classes practice writing from the Common School Series, and study the theory of penmanship.
Freshman classes write from the Business Series, and practice Roman letters, Italics and Free-hand Script.
Considering the fact that we are so badly crowded, we are starting off this session as well, if not better, than in any previous one. Discipline is very good, and students are generally disposed to learn.
We are in great need of a larger and better equipped room.
If it is not out of order just here, I will suggest that Short-hand and Type-writing might very easily be added to this Department, and with very little extra expense. Respectfully submitted,
W. H. GIBBS, Penman.
REPORT OF SURGEON.
A. & M. COLLEGE, Miss., 2
November 25, 1885. Gen. S. D. Lee, President : SIR:
I have the honor to make the following report, in regard to the duties that devolve upon me as Surgeon of the College.
First, I have to act as Sanitary officer; second, to meet the students at my office every morning at 7:30, and grant excuses to those that are unable, on account of sickness, to perform the duties of that day. My office hours are from 7:30 to 8:30 a. m., and from 1:30 to 2:30 p. m.
I am to decide when the peculiar state of the weather requires, in the interest of health, the ces. sation of any duty to be performed by, or required of the students; to look into the subject of diet at Mess Hall; also to do whatever else is required of me, as health officer, by the President. I am paid a fee of five dollars ($5.00) for each student that matricu. lates; the said fee is collected of the students. The sanitary condition of the place is perfect under the present system. There is no possible chance for the soil, and thereby the water, becoming contaminated with poisonous gases or germs emanating from the offal, and other necessary filth that would follow so large a number of students as we have here. There is a well trained nurse at the hospital, whose duty it is to be with the sick all the time, and to carry out my directions in giving medicine and looking to the diet, etc.
The hospital stands upon the best drained site on the grounds, with a gradual slope from all sides. The building is well constructed, and arranged with four (4) large rooms, capacitated for six (6) beds each, and has good fire places. Also four small rooms, all of which are furnished with bedsteads and other necessary furniture including a gasoline stove for the purpose of warming food for the sick, heating water, etc. I am satisfied with the present facilities; the sick students here get every attention any one could wish for. In fact, when I first took charge, it was a difficult matter to get the students to the hospital, but now they are glad to go there, and seem to consider it more of a home than a hospital.
The health of the students is better than it has ever been, notwithstanding we have more in attendance.
W. H. BARR, Surgeon.
November 28, 1885. Gen. S. D. Lee, President :
I respectfully submit the following report of the Steward's Department:
We have a large and comfortable building, with sufficient room for three hundred and fifty students. Also, a large store room, kitchen, and room for bake oven ; two-story, with society rooms overhead.