#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.
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?
to "NEOTURKISH ANATOLIA"