TMC Fourth Annual Commencement (1893)

Commencement Exercises

The graduating exercises of the Tennessee medical college will occur March 28.  Since the organization of this institution, its commencements have been noted for their high literary character, and the public look forward to them with pleasant anticipations.  These exercises are intended to reflect the efforts of the college to attain the highest possible position as a medical institution.  There is in store at the coming commencement a superior entertainment, which the lovers of education will greatly appreciate.  The address of the occasion will be delivered by J. P. D. [sic] John, D. D., president of De Paw [sic] university of Indiana.  Dr. John is among the foremost educators of the United States and is a profound and eloquent speaker.  The faculty and directors feel proud that they can invite the public to hear so eminent an orator.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 5, 1893, page 9


The Medical College Banquet to the Graduates To-morrow Night.  Big Event at the Schubert To Be Followed Tuesday Night with the Commencement Exercises

The most important event which this week starts off with, is the graduating exercises of the candidates for degrees of the Tennessee medical college.

First comes a magnificent banquet, tendered the class at the Schubert hotel Monday night by the faculty.  The class numbers twenty-eight of as fine looking young gentlemen as can be met anywhere.  They will be tendered a famous banquet, and none will be able to appreciate it more thoroughly than these young men.  Only a few guests are invited.

On the following evening, Tuesday, the graduating exercises take place at Staub’s opera house, to which the public is most cordially invited.

This has become one of the most important institutions of the state and the south, and a most interesting and instructive program will be presented, which a great many people will not fail to enjoy.


Opening prayer — Rev. James Park, D. D.
Address — Rev. J. D. P. John, D. D., president of the DePauw university of Indiana.
Conferring degreees — Col. J. Van Deventer.
Charge to the graduating class — Prof. Wm. C. Bailey, A. M. M. D.
Awarding prizes.

The exercises begin promptly at eight o’clock.  The chief feature of the program will no doubt be the address of Dr. John.  He is one of the ablest divines and orators in the state of Indiana and has a considerable national reputation.

This class is the largest and most intelligent body of young doctors that the college has sent out of first, second and third classes.  The next session will commence the regular three years course, and it is flattering to know that the attendance will far exceed that of any former year.  In other words the Tennessee Medical college is growing and becoming more prosperous and each year it casts out into the world several of the best hustling friends who sound their alma mater’s praises on every hand.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 26, 1893, page 11


Received Diplomas.  Twenty-eight Doctors Go out into the World.  Fourth Annual Commencement Exercises of Tennessee Medical College Held last Night

The fourth annual commencement exercises of the Tennessee Medical college were held last night at Staub’s theatre.  Every seat on the floor was taken and a number were standing outside unable to gain admittance.

The exercises were opened with a beautiful orchestral selection, during which the class, numbering twenty-eight young men, marched down either aisle and took seats which had been reserved for them, amidst laud applause from the house.

Rev. James Parks [sic] opened with a fervent prayer for divine blessing on the young men about to step out into active life as doctors of medicine.

After a selection by the orchestra, Rev. J. D. P. Johns, president of the DePauw university, speaker of the evening opened an address that will long be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to hear him.

In a few preliminary remarks he expressed great satisfaction with the results of his visit to the Queen City.  He had heard much of its beauty, but when he saw it for himself he realized that the “half of that beautiful story had never been told (applause).”  “Just how they sent five hundred miles for me to come and deliver this address is to me a mystery, and ere I am done, you will doubtless agree with me that it is still more of a mystery.  I was once invited to make an address before a graduating class in dentistry, and was requested to choose a subject as far removed from the subject of dentistry as possible.  I accepted and spoke on “The Sun.” (Laughter.)

The speaker congratulated the faculty on their good sense in adding an extra year to the regular course, and predicted taht before they were ready, to drop that they would want to add the fourth.  He also gave some good advice o the young doctors to take plenty of time about getting out in the world, and to be sure they know something before they know it all.

He selected as the subject for his address “The Ethics of School,” meaning as they are practiced, and not as they should be and really are.

“What is, is.  Two and two make four.  They cannot make anything else.  This is a truth that does not rise and fall with the thermometer.  Coal burns, providing the circumstances are favorable.  Right is right.  The rightness of any particular act is contingent, but the rightness of right is eternal.  Right and wrong are independent and not with the will of the Lord.

Some things are wrong simply because they are forbidden, and others are right simply because they are not forbidden.”

“Etiquette is a question of place on environment, but wrong is independent on anything.  It is simply wrong.”

“To tell a lie on the street is wrong, but if it is in the college, and told by a student, such a student deserves credit for shrewd and artistic exaggeration.  To cheat in market is wrong, but in the college it is highly commendable.”

“A street corner loafer who guys [sic] passers is looked upon with horror, but if a gang of gentlemen from college yell and hoot at ladies to attract attention, it is simply an effervescence of bouyant spirits and youthful energy.”

“Conscience is tender in spots, but please take notice that it selects its spots.  Have I not, to some extent, at least described the feeling of college men — of course they are men a long distance from here.  Tennessee men would not do such things as I have described.  (laughter.)

“A man buys a horse and pays for it in twenty-five dollar notes.  It is discovered that then of them is a [sic] counterfeit.  Of course the man is immediately arrested and placed behind the bars.  If a student on examination is given twenty questions, and answers ten and steals the rest, it is a good joke on the professor.

“To pick a man’s pocket or break into his house and rob him is a crime, but if a student in a medical college robs a grave of it s occupant, he (the student) looks upon it as simply an effort in the right direction to enlighten the world in the science of medicine.  To tie young men to bed-posts, raise a heavy sweat on him and then treat him to a shower bath in ice water is a huge joke, if it is spelt h-a-z-e, but if it is spelt, as it should be, m-u-r-d-e-r, then no punishment would be sufficient to mete out to the offender.”

The speaker closed with some sound advice to the young men about the graduate, saying that although he had not been honored with the privilege of making the charge to the graduates, still he took a deep interest in the young men and wanted them to succeed in the field of work they had chosen.  He warned them not to hang their diplomas on the wall and then hang their chances of success on their diplomas, but to get out and work.

His address was finished amid a storm of applause.

After an overture by the orchestra, Col. Jas. VanDeventer, president of the board of trustees, conferred the degree of M. D. on the graduates, in a very impressive speech full of words of congratulation and advice.

The charge to the graduates was made by Prof. Wm. C. Bailey, in a speech replete with good suggestions and timely advice.  He congratulated the young men on their perseverance in the work, and adviced [sic] them to be careful and use their judgement in all they did.

Prizes were awarded M. T. Dunaley, of Bristol, and T. B. Hill, of Montgomery, Ala.

Special mention was made of C. F. Dunlap, D. D. S., and J. H. Brantley, A. C. Smith, W. D. Davis and S. B. Hall, all of the “M. D.” class.

The audience was then dismissed with the benediction.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 29, 1893, page 1


Had a Grand Time.  Medical College Faculty Banquets the Graduates.  A Number of Witty Toasts Followed the Serving of an Excellent Menu — the Speakers

A happy scene was enacted at the dining hall of the New Schubert last night.  The event was a banquet tendered the graduating class of the Tennessee Medical college by the faculty.

There were some fifty plates set, and an hour or two was passed in discussing the merits of one of the choicest menus, served in the best style.

At the head of the table sat the presiding genius of the evening, Dr. A. B. Tadlock, and to his right sat Dr. J. C. Cawood, dean of the college, and to the left Chancellor Gibson, professor of medical jurisprudence.  Then followed others of the faculty:  Dr. C. E. Ristine, registrar; Dr. D. H. Williams, C. C. Yarbrough, B. D. Bosworth, R. N. Kesterson, dean of the dental department; C. M. Drake, W. C. Bailey, J. M. Masters, A. J. Cottrell, J. A. Keener, B. B. Cates, H. J. Kelso, and L. H. Lee.

Graduates in Medicine

J. J. Bishop, J. L. Brown. J. H. Brantley, T. J. Carr, J. J. Cooper, W. D. Davis, N. T. Dulaney, F. R. Geizer, Wm. Gaylor, S. B. Hall, G. R. Henry, L. J. Jenkins, A. L. Johnson, W. H. Moore, J. H. Russell, A. C. Smith, L. W. Trout, J. E. Vaughan, W. R. Williams, F. M. Williams, C. C. Yarbrough, L. Barr.

Graduates in Dentistry

W. G. Bristol, C. F. Dunlap, T. H. Bowen, V. Sewell, J. F. Wisnant, M. B. Williams and J. E. Warren.

There were no guests outside except two are [sic] three newspaper representatives.

The Toasts of the Evening

Dr. Tadlock proved to be a most excellent and entertaining toastmaster, and inspired the respondents to a great deal of brilliancy.  He opened the road to wit humor and some practical talk by saying he had been imposed upon by his confreres and had no time to prepare but the guests were in the attitude of the fellow who, after importuning his girl for a kiss for a long time, finally succeeded and fainted dead away.  She exclaimed in fright, “You did it yourself!”

He then called on the dean, Dr. Cawood, to respond to “Our Tennessee Medical College.”

The dean is just venerable looking enough to be handsome.  He is greatly loved by the students, and on this occasion he threw dignity to the winds.  He said he believed there was a similarity between him and George Washington.  George was first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, while he was first in the college, first in clinics and first on the list of toasts.  He was ever ready to stand up for the East Tennessee medical college, which reminded him of a story.  A minister called on all in his congregation to stand up for Jesus.  Who would?  None seemed inclined to respond.  Finally, a man considerably intoxicated arose with difficulty and said:  “I will, hic d–n [?] me if I don’t stand up for any one who hasn’t any more friends than he has here.”

Becoming serious, he said this college had a brilliant history.  The unprecedented number of forty-seven matriculated on its first year.  He referred to trying ordeals and self sacrifices the members of the faculty had gone through with, and how, nevertheless, by their zeal the college was growing grandly.  In times of adversity he had gone to his closet and prayed earnestly, and God had answered his prayers.  “You may smile to think, a funny old doctor like me should go into a closet, but let me tell you young gentlemen that no one can comfort like the God in heaven.”  He gave the young men some advice on going into the world as missionaries of good health.  They would meet with many disappointments.  Don’t go away with the impression that you can conquor [sic] all diseases.  You will meet with old doctors who will have no compassion for you.  Let your motto be “reverence and freedom.”  Have reverence for these old fellows, but insist on freedom of thought and opinion.

Dr. N. T. Dulaney, on behalf of the graduates, briefly thanked the faculty for their kindness in the past and for the splendid banquet tendered to them.

Chancellor Gibson responded to “The Future of Our School.”  He pleaded his extreme youth which gave him a sanguine temperament and made him prone to paint things he lived in rainbow colors.  The Tennessee Medical college was a professional necessity.  It illumined a dark space on the map extending from Richmond to Nashville and from Atlanta to Louisville.  It was like a city set on a hill which could not be hidden.

The chancellor then threw every one into laughter as he made the various members of the faculty the objects of his humorous sallies.

There was not one who would look on his diploma years hence, but would do so with feelings of pride, as it would come from an institution renowned from ocean to ocean.  He would not flatter, but it had been a matter of comment and common consent with the faculty and private citizens that this class was superior in grade to any class yet graduated, and they would be constant and splendid advertisers to the college.

Dr. Bailey spoke on “Hunting Microbes,” one of his specialties.  He was humorous for awhile, and then serious.  There were various instruments used in the study of microbes; among them was good judgment, mental application, reading, studying the constitution of patients, etc.  He complimented the class as being the proudest he had ever had anything to do with and hoped they would maintain their record for all time to come.

With a terrible scowl on his face, Dr. Tadlock exclaimed, “C. E. Ristine, deliver us,” and he most certainly did.  The doctor greatly aided digestion by delivering his guests of some hearty laughs on matters the boys appreciated.

“The distribution of the ‘family’ artery” was very wittily responded to by Dr. Drake, coupled with some very excellent practical advice.

“Our Dental Carpenters” was responded to in a pleasant vein by Dr. Kesterson.

The great wit of the faculty is Dr. Masters.  He carries a sort of Methodist elder countenance, but his dry humor is rich and unexpected and he had them whooping all along the line as he responded to “All in Your Eye.”  He predicted all could stand examination before any board.

Prof. Hill responded to “Cutting Eye Teeth” in a very brief manner, and Clerk Olof [sic] Olfson [sic] brought down the house in fine style.

Dr. Tadlock closed the program with some good talk and all departed with one of the pleasantest events of their lives indeibly [sic] fixed on their memories.

At a faculty meeting held in the parlors after the banquet a vote of thanks was tendered Manager Finch for the royal spread he had prepared for the occasion.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 29, 1893, page 8

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