#31: Starting again (1919)

The responsibility for reopening the College inevitably pressed upon us like an Old Testament "burden" or a Quaker "concern". Normal activities had been entirely suspended since May, 1916. Four times the month of June had come and gone without a college commencement. Four times the month of September had come and gone without ushering in the beginning of a new college year. President Grant had once said of specie payments, "the way to resume, gentlemen, is to resume". Because of the many handicaps in the situation everywhere within the months following the Armistice, and because first place was given to Relief work, Anatolia's reopening was delayed until October 1st, 1919. Yet the first academic function was held September 6th, and that was the presentation of his Anatolia diploma and Bachelor of Arts degree to Mr. Timothy Papadopoulos, now of Chicago. He had nearly completed his course in 1916 and during the interval had led the life of an educated young man as bandmaster for the Turkish Army, and a special tutor of English and other lessons to a number of persons. The exercise was as interesting as it was unusual. My academic robe for the occasion was the uniform of a Near East Relief officer. Indeed, the prime obligation of every American on the grounds was in care of the orphans, the sick and the throngs still dependent on Relief. My own duties were double, in Relief work and in the College. Most of the entire college plant was used for relief purposes.

The opening week of school was both solemn and cheering. Eight of our former teachers had perished by violence; others had died; yet others had been drafted as soldiers or scattered by protracted war conditions. Many students had gone, not only from college life but from life in this world. Contingents of our students had served, most of them drafted, in Turkish, Russian, Greek, Armenian, French and British armies, with more than forty volunteers in the army of Uncle Sam. Much of our material plant was wrecked beyond repair. Much space was assigned to Near East Relief orphans. However, it was possible to pick up and go on, and Dr. Tracy would have said, "there wasn't any other way to do". "The way to resume was to resume", specie payments or meeting other responsibilities.

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Students enrolled during the year numbered 166, all in the preparatory department; by classes, Fourth Forum 14, Third 22, Second 40, First 90; by nationality, Armenian 77, Bulgarian 1, Greek 75, Russian 1, Turkish 12. There were 77 boarders and 89 day pupils. These students, in the general conditions of impoverishment by war, paid into the treasury all that we could ask.

NEXT: Business as usual? (1920-1921)

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