#45: The first graduation (1926)

"With the middle of June came the usual commencement season, and it was a glad time among our college people. True, many appointments of a full-fledged college were lacking, but we had much to be thankful for. There were nineteen competent and loyal persons on the staff of administration and instruction. A class of fifteen completed our course of study and received our certificates of graduation from our junior college courses. There were one Russian and one Albanian, besides Armenians and Greeks. True, they were almost without exception refugees, but they were picked fellows and were disciplined by their experience of hard knocks. True, the resources of their school had been meagre, but they had been used to the full. Members of the class who went on to higher study elsewhere sooner or later did well, practically without exception. One who went to Boston University took his Bachelor of Arts degree with full credit in two years. Several in the graduating class had worked their way almost entirely and expected to fend for themselves without favor or fear after their school days were done. As the College was a growing concern, they expected to go on growing as its first graduates in Macedonia.


Mr. Getchell spent the early part of the summer in Constantinople, where he had the use of his own old account books, later continued by Theodore Riggs, including many deposits for safe keeping, and all these accounts left during the dreadful days of deportation were settled correctly. Mr. Compton, also, during the vacation took a trip back to Merzifon, sorted the properties which had been left behind and brought away some thirty-five boxes containing movables, and including about one thousand library books, some other equipment and apparatus, besides a good many personal effects of individuals who had been located at the old home.


During the early days of August, negotiations for the purchase of the five fields aggregating eighteen acres, constituting our main campus on the ridge back from the city and 500-600 feet above the level of the Aegean Sea, were completed and during the summer the deeds were deposited in our safe. The local habitation of Anatolia College was determined. The first evidence of occupation of this ground by our College was the construction of a three-strand, barbed-wire fence around it with a clumsy wooden gate, which bore the announcement that this was the location of Anatolia College. Sunday, September 19th, we were favored by a visit from Dr. and Mrs. Westervelt of Honolulu. Together we visited our new campus purchase and paused at the gate for a few moments, looking up over that rough and bare ground and then Dr. Westervelt led us in prayer. This, I believe, was the second such prayer ever offered in this place, on these grounds."

NEXT: Water! (1926)