#37: Venizelos' suggestion (1923)

"We were some three days in Tiflis, we three Anatolia men, eagerly observing and conferring. Representatives from a city Gymnasium came to call on us and urgently invited us to come and take over their school. They had kept it open till then, 1921, but could not reopen after that summer vacation. The Gymnasium had no support but student tuitions, and the students had no money left for tuition. There was almost no business in the city. But if we would come with, say, two or three Americans to manage the school and teach English, and perhaps $1,000 a year in cash, students would crowd in; their tuition money would pay the salaries of a staff of Russian teachers who would loyally work with us, and the school would be a success. How we wished we could accept their proposals! But the Bolshevik government would be repressive, restrictive, suspicious and arbitrary. It was not the thing to undertake it and we reluctantly turned away.


By degrees the conviction of some of us from the first, that a college belongs with its human constituency rather than with the location of its campus and material plant, came to prevail. The Armenian element had largely moved eastward from Asia Minor into the Caucasus area, but the larger Greek element with many Armenians and others, had moved westward. Modern Pilgrim Fathers, and families deprived of fathers, crossed the Aegean Sea; eighty to ninety percent of our Anatolia constituency were exiles, chiefly settling in the northern, that is the Macedonian, section of the country. October 26, 1912, the flag of modern and Christian Greece had again been hoisted over the famous White Tower in Thessaloniki, and the boundaries of Macedonia were outlined essentially as in the days of Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great, and as they stood later when visited by the Apostle Paul. Now for almost exactly 500 years, Macedonia had been ruled by Moslem Turks.


On the way I stopped in Paris to see Mr. Venizelos, who was then temporarily residing there. He knew in general about our vicissitudes with Anatolia College in Turkey, and as soon as introductions were over, he said, "We hope you will bring your good work to our country. We want American education, though I must say we cannot offer pecuniary support; we have too many requirements and too few resources in our Greek situation to do that; but we will give you any favors you want such as securing *terrain*, water supply, and exemption from customs duties, taxes, and the like. You had better locate in Saloniki; that's the best place for you; it's the most international". I inquired whether there was anything in the Greek regulations that would hinder or hamper us and he assured me that there was nothing of the sort. Then I asked for some letters of introduction to leading Hellenic citizens, and he said, "Better than several letters to various men is one letter to the right man. I will give you a letter to Mr. Anastasios Adossides, who was recently Governor General of Macedonia. You can rely on him".


October 14, 1923, was my sixty-second birthday and I was already awake that morning when Mr. Getchell, in whose home I was entertained, stepped into my room to congratulate me. He asked me what I was thinking about, and I told him about the relocation and rebuilding of the College. He said he knew *that* already. Together we had already visited Vodena, or Edessa, the upland eyrie of King Philip of Macedon and the old capital of the country, and we inspected there the campus already selected provisionally for favorable consideration. It was a wonderful site for a college, but Vodena was isolated from the main currents of travel, and influence, and human activity."


#38: Thessaloniki, Greek again (1923)

"Saloniki was in a chaotic condition. It was only a few years before when in 1912 the Turks went out of the government, the Greeks came in again and the city name was changed to the old form, Thessaloniki. Most of the intervening years had been a period of warfare between the two peoples, and there had been neither time nor opportunity nor resources to establish a new and stable government with the amenities of ordinary life. Officials seemed hard to reach and uncertain in authority though fully friendly. Venizelos street was a highway of bottomless mud.

About a mile square covering the principal business district of the city had been burned during the war. We could not then foresee that the Thessaloniki fire was to have an effect something like that of the great fire in Chicago in the early days of that wonder city, clearing the path and inspiring the people to redoubled progress. There were thirty-five refugee camps in Thessaloniki and its immediate environs, with an aggregate of 160,000 refugees. Ten thousand confronted bitter winter weather sheltered only in left-over army tents.

A tall minaret still towered over Saint Sophia, one of seventeen minarets in the city that I counted one day from the window of my room. St. Sophia in Thessaloniki was older than St. Sophia in Constantinople. Before long the government removed the tall minaret and placed over the doorway of the old Christian sanctuary two dates: 1430 in black figures, marking the establishment of Moslem worship in the building and government of the country; and 1912 in figures of gold marking the restoration of Christianity within the sanctuary and throughout Macedonia. By this time, most of the Turks had gone and the rest were expecting to go soon, on their way back to Turkey and Asia from which their forefathers had come."


#39: A casino's strange fate (1923-1924)

"December 18th our trustees held a meeting in Boston, and December 20th Mr. Getchell and I stood together and read the cabled message announcing the result. It was a bleak and bitter winter day, with a bitting Vardar wind from the snowy peaks of high Balkan mountains in the air. All around us were the charred remains of buildings burned in the great fire. Refugees huddled in sheltered nooks and corners or shivered along the streets almost too benumbed to remember whence they had come or whither they were hoping to go. The message by cable included the authorizing words, "Proceed plan temporary interim school", and we wondered! Could we do it? Dare we undertake it, two of us? What else could we do? "Let's go"! And before night we had rented a building to be the cradle of a reborn Anatolia College. The next day we planned with Mr. Carbonides, the manager of the Casino we had rented, for such partitions and reconstruction of the interior as would enable us to have a school with the separate classes in the building, and the following day work began.


We were fortunate in that about $150,000 were held in Boston as the property of the College, chiefly as endowment. While College activities had been suspended, although not all expenses had stopped, part of the income had been conserved as a fund for beginning reconstruction. We paid the rent of the Casino for a year in advance, deposited enough as a fund to cover two years more, and as the situation developed we were able to buy the building with its grounds before the three years' rental period was completed. The location in the Charilaos Quarter was at least as good as any other, indeed was doubtless the best in the city for our purpose. It was just at the terminal of the city tram line, and the area, three and one-third acres, furnished ample grounds for school purposes with room for games and sports. For our purposes, the Casino was not so bad. It was a roomy structure and was new, though of cheap construction, and after we acquired the ownership it was not unworthy of the name, "Tracy Hall". That was the cradle in which the reborn Anatolia College was nursed during its second childhood."


#40: New teachers (1924)

"Meanwhile, we had been making every effort to secure suitable teachers. Mr. Getchell came from his office at Rue Franque 5, at appointed hours to take care of College business again, and Mr. Brewster also came by appointment to teach certain Bible lessons. I estimated that I wrote fifty letters before finding the right man for one Greek position, but he became a reliable and permanent teacher and has been one of the faculty to this day.

The first new teacher was Mr. Savvas Theodorides, who had been one of our students as a ruddy-faced Greek lad during the irregular war years in Turkey. He had learned something of pharmacy by voluntary work for our doctors, and that probably kept him alive, for when he was drafted into the Turkish army, he made himself useful to the army doctors, and they spared his life. When Kiri Savvas came, I was the President of the College and he was the rest of the faculty, or staff, as clerk, translator, secretary, errand-boy, factotum, and then monitor and teacher.

Our reputation with the officials would depend very much on competent instruction in Greek. Rev. Aristidi Mihitsopoulos had been one of our students of Theology in Merzifon. He was now the capable minister of the Evangelical Church in Thessaloniki, manager of an entire orphanage amid the foothills of Mt. Olympus, and a man well-known and much respected. His counsel and help were of great significance to us strangers. One day he came to my room in the hotel, bringing a young man, Prof. Ioannes Papastavrou, whom he recommended as a teacher of Greek. Prof. Papastavrou was a real scholar, a graduate of the University of Athens, a very likeable man, and a respected teacher in the city. He became the approved head of our Greek Department from the beginning.

Pupils and their parents were chiefly anxious for the learning of English, and in this we were fortunate in finding Mr. H. R. Henwood, an English soldier, who had recently been discharged in Constantinople and who, having married a Greek wife, did not care to hurry away. He was an admirable man for our first classes in English, and in various ways, and his wife served helpfully as matron.

Mr. Nazaret Mikhlian, a graduate of the American Normal School in Sivas, was one among the throng of Armenians who were resettling westward of the Aegean Sea, a teacher by profession, choice and preparation, and he was engaged as teacher of the Armenian language.

Mr. John G. Racopoulos, one of our former students, a graduate of the Trebizond Greek Gymnasium, referred to by Mrs. Getchell as "her foster son", fortunately was available as business manager and for some lessons in Mathematics."


#41: White Russians (1924)

"Among our nearest neighbors was a camp of 600 White Russians, exiles like ourselves. There was a Russian restaurant, and for a time we all, students and teachers, took our meals there. The whole Charilaos section had been a French military hospital camp, with barrack-like buildings in rows of uniform size and design. Most of these one-story hospital wards were occupied by families now, but we succeeded in renting one and then another. The first became our first "hostel", with a long dormitory in one end and dining tables in the other. The second barrack building, when we obtained it, was used for our Self-Help Shop. Carpentry, largely for school needs, shoe-making, gardening, with grading, tree-planting, building roads and the like, on our grounds, furnished wholesome work to the students, helped them pay school bills, and helped build a school home. We were fortunate in having good water from the mountains, electric light, and tram service to our gates from the first day.

It was cold that winter in Macedonia, on about the latitude of New York City. I roomed in Hotel Majestic and never in my life suffered more with the cold. There was never a spark of fire in my room or in any place accessible in the hotel, except in one little stove in the dining room on Sunday mornings. For nearly 500 miles the banks and bluffs of the Vardar river seemed to act as a flume from the North, and bring the icy winds from the peaks and snow fields of the Scardus Mountains in the mid-Balkans down to our city at the river mouth on the sea shore. There were the coils and parts of a heating plant standing in the hotel corridors, but there were no workmen available to set them up and start the heating system all that winter. Many refugees dropped down of an evening and did not get up the next morning. But the Government served rations just as far as its slender resources could be extended, and widowed mothers often said they had not bread enough to satisfy hunger, and yet their greatest desire was an education for their sons who would thereby escape from street Arab conditions and soon become bread-winners. I never knew what it was to go "over the top" on a single double-quick charge, but by March we seemed to have climbed to the level of the first plateau or tableland, and to be moving along fairly steadily with about 50 students and a good teaching staff. There was no feeling of defeatism at any point or on any line.


Our Russian neighbors were in a pitiable condition of poverty, and one day they came to me saying that their teacher of English had left the city. They had no worthy salary to offer another instructor, but they would give all they could; were we able to supply them with a teacher twice a week? Miss Robins consented to undertake the service, asking no additional pay and asking no reduction of her regular duties. A Russian student volunteered to help as translator, and almost the whole Russian camp crowded in to learn a few words of English. As a return favor their choir sometimes came of a Sunday and gave us a sacred concert. The singers were of all possible ages and descriptions and robes, from shirtsleeves and boots to tattered army uniforms, and with the cheapest possible dresses for the girls; but they could sing,--sing the music of their great church heritage: they were Russians!"


#42: Orphans and refugees (1924)

"About half of our students were homeless and alone in the world. Several stayed during the summer vacation and served with the skilled workmen who built our dormitory. Refugee ships were still coming in so loaded that people could not lie down even on the open deck without more or less lying one on another. As a ship drew up to the wharf we could sometimes see haggard exiles looking shoreward, nudging one another, and then indicate some of us Americans, glad to feel that they had some friends standing by them in the land of their pilgrimage. Macedonian Turks filled the streets and lanes of our city, anxious for their turn to go, since it was "Kismet".

In September the attendance of boys at the Mission School for Girls was discontinued, and thirty-six were added to our boys at half tuition rates, that is, $20.00 each, for the first year. The Girls School carried on with increased efficiency for its real constituency. Of our 157 boys, about half were boarders and about half were Armenians, with about one-hundred applicants refused admission for lack of adequate facilities. The Armenians realized a condition of urgent need. Some other peoples and nations were disappointed with the outcome of the great war, but I do not think any would want to exchange places with the Armenians at that time. They were left without an independent country. In Greece and elsewhere they were foreigners; really intruders. They had not a national system of organized schools accessible and they appealed to their old Anatolia friends. There were thirteen regular teachers in our staff, including Mrs. Bertha Arnold, a lady of experience as a teacher, who came over to the Near East with her daughters and was available for some of our special classes. Mr. Hadji Kyriakos, a graduate of the International College at Smyrna, Mr. Samuel Arukian, from the School of Religion in Athens, joined our staff, as did others in due time whose names are included elsewhere in that list of teachers. Every student had an English lesson every day taught by a native English speaker.

During the summer, Mr. and Mrs. Compton had finished their work in charge of the one Turkish orphanage, that is, an orphanage for Turkish children, maintained by the Near East Relief and they called to visit us on their way home to America for a furlough, needed and earned. Mr. Compton and I climbed the height of Kara Tepe together and I felt like Abraham and Isaac as we viewed the landscape and seascape o'er; with the city, the harbor, the Aegean gulf with various fringes of bordering land, and Mount Olympus on beyond. It was a thrilling spectacle but Mr. Compton would give no indication what their decision would be in regard to returning from America to the College after their furlough. The next March told the next chapter of the story."


#43: The final decision (1925)

"Our trustees in Boston had taken action authorizing and desiring me to make a special trip to America when decisions as to main questions seemed to us to be growing clearer, but it was March before my wife and I could leave for America, with Mr. Getchell again to act as President in my absence. On the first day of April, 1925, we reached New York, and soon thereafter were in Boston, where we expected first of all to meet our associates, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Riggs. Alas for the ways of Providence that are beyond our understanding! Theodore Riggs had suffered from an attack of tuberculosis when in College but seemed to have fully recovered in Colorado, and with training and experience both in law and in business, knowing the Near East from boyhood and admirably fitted to handle the business and legal matters for the College, had been stricken with influenza and his system failed to carry him through the process of recovery. April 11, instead of sharing in the counsel of my associate as to our common task, I was called upon to share in his funeral service, with a great burden of sorrow for his wife and their five little children.

Workers fall--but the work must go on. At 14 Beacon Street there was a friendly hearing for my message but not a finished plan. One of the officials warned me that I must be prepared for disappointment; trustees were always conservative and in any case would hesitate to effect a permanent withdrawal from Turkey and an entire rebuilding of the whole Anatolia enterprise. I saw individual members of the Board of Trustees and other supporters and friends as I might find or make an opportunity to do so; and the trustee meeting was called for May 26. Dr. James L. Barton, then as always a leading spirit, took an encouraging attitude, when some of our trustees representing a common attitude said, "I hae me doots". When the trustees met May 26 there were twelve voting members present. They listened to my statement and discussed some points with me. I had fifty pages in different documents ready for use on any point if wanted. When the vote was taken it was unanimous; twelve votes in favor of proceeding with the Anatolia College enterprise in Thessaloniki! I think I never was so tired in my life.

After the meeting one of our officers said to me with a confidential smile that the Trustees were chiefly relying on me to lead in efforts for funds with which to rebuild and carry on the institution. And that was my next task, always under their authority and with their cooperation and support. One of the Trustees, resident in another city, said to me, "You'll have to take the initiative, but a lot of us want to help you."


#44: New grounds (1926)

"With the breath of spring, work for promotion such as mine inevitably slackened in momentum and I heard the echoes calling from our Anatolia campus, so in March I went overseas again by the route we came ordinarily to prefer, via London, Paris, Geneva, and the Simplon Orient Express to Thessaloniki. College and Girls' School had been going very well in view of the actual facts and general conditions. Even yet, refugee multitudes by the thousand were expected to reach Macedonia, chiefly from up-country Balkan states and provinces, but this now was a fairly normal "exchange", with inevitable hardships kept to a minimum.


There had been increasing doubts in regard to the Kara Tepe ridge where for more than two years we had anticipated permanently rebuilding the College. There certainly were difficulties. It was remote from town for day pupils. The soil was thin and stony, and it would be difficult for trees and vegetation to take root and grow. There was no water near. No work had been done on the site except some preliminary surveying. On April 14th, as Mr. Brewster and I were walking from the Kara Tepe locality down to the city, our attention was attracted to the lay of the land on our present campus, along the edge of which we were passing, by the old British military road. We turned aside, walked carefully over the ground, considering the requirements of our eagerly sought campus, with transportation, water supply which was lacking and difficult outside of town, and the like, and felt our quest was ending. Others soon agreed, and from that time there was in general increasing approval and satisfaction with what our Trustee, President Thwing, when visiting us soon afterward, called "one of the finest locations for a college in the whole world". The plan was formed in May, 1926.

Having selected grounds for our main and permanent campus, the next thing was to acquire the property. Within what soon became and still is the main campus, there were five small, unfenced fields. Cotton with a red boll grew in one. There were some peas in another. Most of the ground was rather thorny and stony. We employed Mr. John Racopoulos as our agent, and I kept out of sight. One or two of the pieces were inheritances and owned by family groups of a score or more persons, any one of whom might forbid or delay the sale, for the sake of the few drachmae belonging to his small share. The middle piece of the five belonged to the Kapoujides Church, probably having been left as a bequest by someone who thought it might be well for him to insure prayers for the rest of his soul when he was done with this world. I asked the attorney who was passing on titles for us about purchasing the piece. He said, "You can't get it. This belongs to a Greek Orthodox Church. You are foreigners and Protestants". I asked him if he could not find some way to act as our agent and secure it, and he emphatically declined to undertake it, saying, finally, that if I could get the authority of the Metropolitan Bishop, we might acquire it, but he evidently felt that our chance was slim. Of course, I had to make the effort, and I was fortunate enough to secure the full permission of His Holiness for one of the little fields that we wanted. That was near the beginning of an acquaintance between us which grew and ripened with the years and resulting relations of mutual friendship and respect between Christian brethren. Through our Metropolitan Bishop, I learned to regard the great Eastern Orthodox Churches with great and increasing respect and good will."


#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."


#46: Water! (1926)

"On the last day of the vacation, a jubilant little party of us stood around a tank on the new campus and watched the turning on of water flowing from the mountains back of the city by gravity to our grounds. That was a really significant item in the development of our enterprise and represented the culmination of long and careful efforts. During the great war-storm, when British, French, Russian, Italian, and Yugoslavian soldiers, as well as the Greek army, were based on Saloniki, the question of water was provided for in part by the construction of water courses from the slopes of Mt. Hortiati to the city. The main supply skirted our grounds along a height not far away. Water for the city was rather inadequate, and it was a question whether they would allow any to be diverted for our use. In due time, however, careful negotiations were brought to a satisfactory issue and the municipal authorities allowed us to tap the stream on a height of ground and lead a reasonable amount, carefully calculated, into our campus. It proved later that water flowing from the mountainous background to the height above our campus by gravity would flow again by gravity from this height to the top floor of our highest buildings. Surely, we had much to be thankful for.

Similarly, during many months, we were working with the municipal authorities to prevent our Tracy Hall campus on the lower ground from being cut into by a broad avenue, which was included in their preliminary charts. A small and reasonable rectification or revision of the municipal plans carried the avenue near but not through our grounds, and a vote of appreciation by our Trustees in Boston was quite in place and the mutual friendliness apparently pleased both parties. By this time, we realized that the principal thoroughfare passing our campus was named Marathon street. What possible name could be better for an athletic field in Greece? So, Marathon Field came to be the accepted name of our athletic ground, and it was regarded as the best school athletic field in the city.


#47: Progress in Thessaloniki (1927)

"On May 1st, 1927, I left my family in Minneapolis and my work among widely scattered friends in America, to make another trip to Macedonia, which included the opportunity of meeting our trustees, secretaries, and friends in Boston on the way out and back. In Thessaloniki, progress was apparent at every point in the horizon. There was an increasing number of Greeks in the city who had made some money in the United States and came back to invest it where capital was more scanty and life more easy. One touch of America appeared in a movie picture announcement, not far from the College, entitled in English, "Jim the Devil". I was glad that that was not the only kind of influence from the land of my citizenship in the land of my adoption. It was encouraging to find four boys in four of our teachers' homes, born within the year; and while our teachers' salaries were often so meager as to make one feel very sober, during the ten years of this period some ten families of our College Staff each acquired a modest house as a home of their own.


"The School for Girls" had vacated its old abode on Rue Franque, where American mission work had been started long before and carried on for years, and it now occupied a new and far better site between Allatini Street and the Aegean Seashore. The ground was limited and the building, while good of its kind, was only the "konak" or mansion of a Turkish official, who had left with the rest of his people. There was the inevitable urge of growth in whatever has vitality. The School had outgrown its permit, gradually dropping its lower classes and adding classes higher up, until the permit for a common school had been outgrown and did not apply to the actual courses of instruction followed. So, the School was ordered closed, by meticulous officials and with legal right. A good deal of discussion, planning and some discouragement was finally terminated when, by a sort of side door route, it was found that if the College permit could be stretched so as to cover the Girls' School, it would be satisfactory to the officials of Greece. Provisional plans toward this result were agreed upon among us locally, and within a year when Boston could take unhurried action, this arrangement was confirmed. As one result, Miss Mabel Emerson was added to the Board of Trustees, and the Girls' School and College began to move toward a merger which could not be stopped half way. When it was announced in manager meeting that the Government in Athens had revoked the order closing the Girls' School, our feelings were expressed by our youngest member, who took a flying leap over the chairs and table with which the room was furnished.


As a city, Thessaloniki was struggling forward. Paving of main streets had begun, although such municipal improvements proceed slowly unless there are large, capital resources available for taxation. Parks and parking were taking shape. There never had been a sewer in the city until these years following the war, but by this time an urban system was fully half built. Millions were said to have been expended in building in the business area, which had been burned during the war. A "Free Zone" had been established in the harbor to provide transportation and trade facilities between Yugoslavia and the Aegean Sea, free from Greek custom duties or other regulations. Forty-five ten-ton freight cars each way were reckoned as average normal daily traffic."


#48: Macedonia (1927)

"The area and boundaries of Macedonia were very nearly the same as in the days of Philip of Macedon, who first put his little country "on the map" and of his son, Alexander the Great, who conquered the world and wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. Slavs at different times had over-run considerable parts of the province, but no Slav power ever ruled in Saloniki, neither Serbian nor Bulgarian. The term Macedonia was sometimes used by extension and as a geographical expression for southern Serbia, but that region was never truly Macedonian.

The Slav plowman and the Greek seaman met at the Free Zone in Thessaloniki, but many of the refugees from Pontus, Thrace, and other provinces were naturally tillers of the soil and wanted land. This urged the Government undertaking of two great reclamation projects. The Vardar River came down from the mid-Balkan area and just beyond its source began the Maritza, flowing northward, reaching the beautiful "blue" Danube below Belgrade. These waterways formed an almost straight north and south wrinkle on the face of Mother Nature from the Danube to the Aegean Sea, which had been followed by colonists and conquering hosts at intervals through all the ages. This now had become part of a main line of railroad travel and traffic from the English Channel and Paris to the Aegean Sea. But the untamed river breaking through the mountains had washed down and spread out the detritus in vast, marshy flats, chiefly productive of mosquitoes and malaria. The "Vardar Reclamation Project" was planned to provide about 20,000 twenty-acre farms and was a national enterprise of noble proportions undertaken by the "Foundation Company" of New York. Of course, it was the work of years.

Just over the ridge east of Thessaloniki, the Struma River followed an almost parallel course from the Balkan mountains to salt water, and the Monks-Ulen Company undertook a similar vast reclamation project among the marches and swamps of the Struma, only a little smaller than the Vardar project. Thessaloniki was also on the line of the old Egnatian Highway, running east and west, connecting not only the banks of these two streams, which were about one hundred miles apart; indeed, the Via Egnatia was first built to connect Rome and Constantinople, and it still serves this purpose. These projects were of exceedingly great commercial importance for the agricultural development of the region, for the commercial and industrial possibilities, and for the supply of food for the people without their needing to buy too much of foreign countries. Incidentally, a good many of our Anatolia boys secured employment with one or the other of these two great American companies. Thessaloniki was recognized as "the nearest port to the heart of the Balkans".


#49: Back and forth (1928)

"Work in America held me as long as possible in the spring of 1928, but I reached Thessaloniki and the College campus again on the morning of June 17, which was Baccalaureate Sunday, and I preached that day to our College audience from the words, "As Jesus passed by, he saw a man".

The condition of the College looked good, with Dean Compton in chief charge and a class of 13 to graduate creditably that week with the motto "Argonauts". A good record in interschool athletics during the year was a fact cheering to the students. Government officials and other friends, whom I met as soon as possible, were cordial and appreciative. The Girls' School was soon officially recognized as carrying on under the College permit, and was gaining a highly worthwhile constituency. An item not unimportant, was the report that farm crops for the year 1927 were good, "very good". We moved forward soon to complete the purchase and occupation of twelve acres of bench land for our athletic field on the upper campus and another small piece on the slope leading down to it to fill out the upper campus. Three rooms were built during the summer as a cheap addition to London Lodge, enlarging by a little the provision required immediately for the school in Charilaos.


In July, our son, George, and his wife had finished their work with the Near East Relief on the island of Syra, and accepted the invitation of College authorities to join in the effort to build and administer the College. Mrs. White and I started to leave our college campus again, October 29th, with fresh enthusiasm for work beyond the Atlantic Ocean. The Self-Help Shop was nearly finished, and they arranged to live in it during the months while the first house on the new campus was in process of construction. On our way to the train, which left late in the evening, they asked us to stop in at the Shop, and there served us a cup of coffee and the first light refreshments ever served on our upper campus.


Work in Thessaloniki was essentially set up for the academic year. There were 208 students registered for the six College classes and 92 in the Girls' School, which was already recognized as included under the College permit, while still supported by the fine women of the American Board. The College budget was right around $40,000.


During this season, on the invitation and arrangement of friends, I made my first trip to the North Pacific Coast. Some persons in that region were already among our contributors, especially the Coleman Brothers of Seattle. Mr. A. L. Tertsagian, at home both in Seattle and in Cashmere of the apple country, had taken a creditable place in the state of Washington. He gave a significant luncheon in Seattle for our work, but he had located his home and business amid Wenatchee apple orchards where he was building up an extensive business in apples and "aplets", this latter being a delightful confection which he had invented, somewhat on the model of "Turkish Delight". Another time when I was visiting Cashmere our former student invited me to a luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce where I was asked to say a few words of greeting. When a banker, who was the chief speaker, rose, he began by addressing me personally and saying that our Anatolia graduate was what he said he wanted to be: he was one of the best *citizens* in that part of the State of Washington. It is significant in this connection to recall that, whereas a good many young men of those earlier College years left the Near East because it was all so uncertain for the future, there is now good hope that our young graduates can go out to render such service for their own communities and countries as some of their earlier brothers and predecessors had done in America."


#50: Commerce and agriculture (1929)

"When we reached Thessaloniki, May 25, 1929, Mrs. Elsie White, who was our landscape gardener, led us out into the garden to pick roses, not a seed or any living vegetation having been planted anywhere on those grounds when we left for America, October 29th preceding. There are the sun and the soil for some of Nature's best work in Macedonia provided human efforts are supplied in a skillful and industrious way, especially in adding water.

Government officials, as well as the College constituency, seemed generally to be increasingly favorable toward the College as intimacies increased. When I met the superintendent of education for Macedonia, who was charged with the responsibility of supervising our institution, it was heart warming for Mr. Compton as well as myself to hear him say, "We regularly report to Athens, Anatolia is the only foreign school that conforms to all the government regulations. Your attitude of respect for the laws won't hurt you". A class of 24 completed our course and received their diplomas at the commencement season.


One evidence of general development in the province was the gradual construction of better roadways, as we clearly realized when a new highway was built on a direct line between our lower and upper campus grounds. On the next slope above the College, also, a government "vineyard nursery" had been established to supply grapevines to the new settlers and others in Macedonia at cheap rates and free from diseases. The blight, phyloxera, a few years before, had almost destroyed the grapevines in that part of the world. The purpose of the nursery was to furnish roots of American stock, free from disease, grafted with different varieties of grapes, liked and wanted in the Near East. Near to the American College was the wayside announcement of "American grape wines". They were supplied in astonishing numbers and at equally remarkable low cost, usually from a quarter million to a half million vines for the planting season every spring, distributed at a price of about one cent per tiny vine.

In September, the annual International Commercial Fair was held, an institution which had now become quite an affair. Merchants from different countries gathered, Japan being usually the most remote, and for about a week were meeting one another, advertising their respective bargains, learning market needs, and planning for a full tide of business. The "Field of Mars", which had been used as a military parade ground, was assigned permanently for the purposes of the Fair. When Mars turns merchant, it is usually a very good thing for all concerned."


#51: Fruitful interactions (1930)

"It was very interesting to visit our fellow teacher at the University and see what he was doing. There were about a thousand students in the institution, nearly all of them young men. Many were refugees and very poor. Some had no fire in their rooms by which to study during cold weather. Many boarded themselves, with the most meagre facilities for preparing food. The Club occupied a rather roomy house rented and furnished by the University. There was room for study, games, reading, and writing, and the varied interests of the students, with a good cafeteria furnishing food at barely cost prices, and all under carefully strict regulations as to all conduct. Mr. Iatrides carried this work on for more than two years and then was invited to accept the position permanently at full time service and with the rank and rewards of a university professor. I rather thought he would go, but he chose to continue with the College and we rejoiced. This record chiefly for American readers who cannot adequately recognize able and loyal overseas Greek associates.

I timed my visit to America that fall with some reference to a national meeting of the Ahepa, which was held in Boston soon after we landed. A-H-E-P-A was a rather ambitious organization of Greeks in America (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), among half a million Hellenes who had migrated to Hesperia. This was a very important and useful movement. Its members were Greek- Americans, wholly loyal to the country of their adoption and desirous of promoting Americanism in every respect, including loyal citizenship among the members. At the same time, they were as proud of their classical heritage as were representatives of other nationalities whose fore- fathers had settled in this country. The group gatherings in different American cities where they could enjoy a degree of social life, talk in their mother tongue, confer and promote some community enterprises in the way of philanthropy, education, business, picnics, and excursions, including usually one annual trip of those who could go on a visit to the old country, were a cheerful and useful feature of their life in the country of their adoption.

Some of the leaders at this annual meeting in Boston gave me a cordial welcome and at one point in their program, one of them asked me to take a few steps with him. He opened a back stage door, and I found myself on the platform of a large hall filled with men, everyone standing, and with hearty applause they welcomed the transfer of the College from Turkey to Greece and welcomed me as its representative. Afterward, I frequently addressed chapters of the Ahepa in different cities, always with cordial and courteous treatment and often with some gift or gifts for American education in Macedonia."


#52: Summer (1931)

"The good Lord had been kind enough to bury quantities of beautiful bluish Macedonia marble in the soil within two miles of our campus and higher up, making a "down haul" for our building stone. Several different villages with their groups of stone masons, small capitalists or contractors, and officials were interested in quarrying and delivering our building stone, but were all at odds among themselves, until one day they came to Mr. Myer and said, "Mr. Myer, won't you please take this quarry business and run it? We can't agree among themselves, but we can all agree with you. If you'll take charge, we'll all work with you, and we'll all be happy". Myer quietly did so and really splendid marble stone was furnished on our campus, rough-cut, for about one dollar per cubic meter.


Arrived again in Thessaloniki, I went to see our able and friendly Governor General with my son as my companion and interpreter, for I had not learned colloquial Greek. His Excellency received us standing and we did not sit down during the interview. My son, on my behalf, made statement of our purpose to build and desire for permission. The Governor touched a bell and before this brief statement was fairly finished another man was standing near. The Governor said a few words to him and then turning to us again, remarked, "This is our chief engineer. He officially handles for us such matters as you have brought to my attention. I have just told him that we all know of the land which you own and where you want to build your College plant. We will be grateful if, for the sake of good and full understanding, you will keep us informed of what you are doing, but as for permission, I tell the engineer that I have given it to you. If that is satisfactory, you may proceed".


During the summer the children of the Charilaos community were granted the use of our athletic field as a play ground, supervised by a young Russian athlete employed for the purpose. The many children had a great time that summer enjoying our large field and we hoped to make that the beginning of social service in our neighborhood, but the time for that was not quite ripe yet. Some of us often dreamed of turning the Quadrangle into a Social Settlement or Neighborhood House, but the reach of dreamers often exceeds their grasp."