TMC’s Seventh Annual Commencement (1896)

Tennessee Medical College … Commencement Exercises

The students of the Tennessee Medical college are now preparing for their final examinations, which begin within two or three weeks. The commencement exercises for the 1895-and [sic] 1896 session will be held at Staub’s theatre, Thursday evening, March 26th. There will be nineteen graduates in the medical department, and three in the dental department. The class is as large as that of last year and it is considered as one of the best classes ever turned out by the faculty.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, February 29, 1896, page 3


Graduating Exercises of Tennessee Medical College To Be Held March 26th

The following neat invitations have been issued by the Tennessee Medical students:

The candidates for degrees of Tennessee Medical college request the pleasure of your company at their graduating exercises, Thursday evening, March 26th., 1896, at 8 o’clock, at Staub’s theater.

These exercises are always a great success and the class of ‘96 expect to surpass all former classes in the way of graduating exercises.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 20, 1896, page 4


Society Notes

The graduating exercises of the Tennessee Medical college will be held Thursday evening at Staub’s theater. Handsome engraved cards of invitation have been issued.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 22, 1896, page 12


Annual Commencement of the Tennessee Medical College to Occur this Week

The commencement exercises of the Tennessee Medical college will be held in Staub’s theater next Thursday night. The occasion is being looked forward to with a great deal of pleasant anticipation on the part of the students who are to be dubbed “Doctor,” on that occasion. This being the first graduating class coming out under the three year regime the classes are necessarily small. he [sic] medical department will confer the degree of “M. D.” upon thirteen deserving young men, and three will receive the degree of “D. D. S.” from the department of dentistry. The commencement address will be delivered by Dr. Ben B. Cates and the diplomas will be awarded by the president of the board of trustees of the college. The complete program for the occasion is as yet in embryo, and will not be completed until to-morrow. It is safe to say, however, that the occasion will be one of the most auspicious in the history of the institution, and as it is now a school of medicine acknowledged by the state board of medical examiners, more than ordinary importance is attached to the advent of these sixteen young men in the medical profession. The faculty will hold a meeting this evening, at which time all examinations will be concluded and list of awards made out and diplomas signed.

The social feature of the commencement will be the banquet which will be served at Kern’s Wednesday night. The faculty, graduates and students of the college together with invited friends will be in attendance and a most enjoyable occasion is anticipated. Dr. J. H. Kelso will officiate as toast master, and to him has also been assigned the duty of arranging the general program and list of toasts for the occasion.

The full and deltailed [sic] program will be published later.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 23, 1896, page 2


Work Completed and Young M. D.’s Preparing for Commencement Exercises

The work of the Tennessee Medical college for the years 1895-‘96 is finished and the faithful have been rewarded. There are now thirteen more M. D’s. [sic], in the world, at least all examinations for this degree have been passed and the unlucky thirteen will henceforth be called Doctor when met on the street.

The class of the past year has been very gratifying to the faculty and a member of the faculty stated to a reporter last night that it was the best class they have had for years. In their examinations they acquitted themselves very creditably all making more than 75 per cent. There has been some hard working for first honors and there were four who were very close together. The first honors, however, were awarded to Mr. J. F. Scott, a promising young man of this city.

The cause of such a small graduating class is that this past year is the first of the three years course. Heretofore, it has been only a two year’s course and more would, of course, be turned out. There has been more students at the college the past year than ever before and the standard of the college is being raised year by year.

The names of the graduates of the Medical department are N. B. Adams, T. A. Crawley, W. R. Troneberger [sic], J. W. Jobling, J. W. Johnson, Ed Lonas, M. J. McCorkle, J. H. Scott, W. L. Wallace, J. F. Stansberry, J. A. A. West, J. D. Walker and Harry Wingert.

To-morrow night the annual banquet given to the graduating by the faculty will be held in Kerns’ parlors and a grand feast it will be. A number of the most prominent doctors of the city will be present many of them responding to toasts.

Dr. H. J. [sic] Kelsoe [sic] has been selected toast-master. The toasts and those who will respondt [sic] to them are as follows:

The Doctor – Dr. J. C. Cawood.
The Student – Dr. Charles P. McNabb.
Beauties of Medicine – Dr. J. L. Howell.
Our Colleges – Dr. N. B. Adams.
Functions of Dentistry – Dr. Werbush [sic].
The Patient – Capt. Wm. Rule.
Judge H. H. Ingersoll will also respond to a toast, yet to be selected.

The banquet will be very elaborate and the fact that Kern is to serve the edibles is a sufficient recommendation that it will be o.k.

On Thursday night they will have the regular commencement exercises at Staub’s theater.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 24, 1896, page 8


Doctors Feasted. Elegant Banquet at Kern’s Hall last Night. A Feast of good Things that Was Greatly Enjoyed by Students, Faculty and Guests

The seventh annual banquet of the Tennessee Medical college held last night in Kern’s parlors was a thing of beauty if not a joy forever. It was one of the grandest banquets ever given to the medical students of the college and throughout the evening the jolly crowd of M. D.’s and those who intend to become M. D.’s were bubbling over with merriment.

The board was covered with good things which were greatly enjoyed by all present and after the menu had been srved [sic] and cigars passed the jolly time began with the toasts.

At intervals in the toast the Cambria quartette [sic] furnished excellent vocal music and the audience was so much pleased with the selections that they were repeatedly encored.

Dr. C. P. McNabb was the first to respond to a toast entitled “The Medical Student.” Dr. McNabb was somewhat humorous in his address on the student, showing what was necessary for the success of a doctor. He admonished those who have not yet received their degrees to work earnestly, do so much each day and in that way achieve what is worthy of a man who has M. D. after his name.

Judge Henry H. Ingersoll responded to “The Physician in Letters.” He said that the most that could be said of a great many men’s lives both lawyers and doctors was that they were born, lived and died but otherwise with the true spirit in both professions. He said the difference between a lawyer and a doctor was a lawyer fights against lives while the doctor fights against deaths. That the battles of a lawyer were fought before great assemblys [sic] while that of a doctor took more courage because they were fought in secret. He said a doctor did not appear so much in letters as lawyers and preachers yet far back in the golden age when Pericles lived the doctors were learned men. The practice in olden times was compared with that of the present day and a review made of the star’s medicine from the most ancient time up to the present. He spoke in glowing terms of the calling of the doctor and said he never saw a true doctor but what he was filled with gratitude and respect for him.

J. A. Keener, D. D. S., next responded to “The Power of Will in Dentistry.” He stated that whatever man has done can be done again if the will is present to do it, that the success of a man depended on his willingness to work. He said there was no such thing as luck in medicine; that a man could have what is called good or bad luck just as he pleased.

The question he said was not how much talent a man has but how much will he can muster. Any one to succeed, he said must pay the price of success-work.

The functions of dentistry were responded to by H. H. [sic] Weibush [sic] the first honor man in the dentistry class of ‘96 who hails from the Lone Star state. He said he was not supposed to make speeches like the Tennessee boys but surely he made an excellent talk. He spoke of the troubles of the dentist, how they were aroused from their couches in the dead hours of night by the groans of patients with aching teeth and concluded his speech by reciting the following poem:

An Aid to Misery

My toothache ‘tis of thee
Dread pain of misery
Of thee I sigh.
Pain that my nerves must dread
Pains for which tears are shed.
For my poor aching head.
Let grief be shown.

O quickly give relief,
Or in my awful grief
I shall be lost.
I see an angel coming
It is a dentist running
To scare away this humming
Of hell’s dread host.

Ha, Ha, blest skill divine,
How soon relief is mine,
When he appears.
All fear I now dismiss,
I am in heavenly bliss,
Fo [sic] rheavenly [sic] balsam’s kiss,
All pain away.

In the absence of Dr. J. L. Howell, who was to respond to the toast – The Beauties of Practice – Dr. J. M. Masters was called on to respond extemporaneously. Dr. Masters made a very humorous talk but it was also filled with good advice for the young doctors. He explained how the physician of the present day had to be educated so as to keep pace with the times and compared it with the qualifications necessary for a good doctor fifty years ago. The rapid advance in medicine was dwelt on at length ad he said that it was probable that in the near future that food would be taken into the body by a hypodermic process and there would be no use for a stomach. He gave a menu for the meals of the day which was very humorous and caused a great deal of merriment. The X-rays and their probable help in the science of medicine was also brought out very forcibly.

Dr. N. B. Adams, one of the graduates of this year’s class, also responded to “Our College.” Mr. Adams made a very eloquent speech in which he paid some very high tributes to the college, its advantages and the able faculty. His was something of a farewell to the old students, how the present graduates were on the threshold of life ready to step out and paddle their own canoe. His remarks were very appropriately closed by the following poem:

We’ll wish the time to speedily fly,
We hope the time’s already night,
When we’ll then share of these joys,
To T. M. C., we’ll send our boys.

Dr. Cawood made a very interesting talk in response to the toast, “The Doctor.” His talk was filled with good advice to the graduates just starting out. He urged them never to stoop to low gravelling [sic] things which so many men who call themselves doctors, practice.

The trials and troubles were arrayed before the class by the able dean, showing how sometimes they would be tempted to abandon the practice, but that perseverance and earnest work would always win.

Capt. Wm. Rule, the last on the list of toasts, responded to “The Laity,” and made a very short but interesting, talk on the people who suffer from the practice of the doctors.

After the toasts were through with, Mr. Olof Olofsson was called upon by the toastmaster to make a few remarks.

Mr. Olofsson made a very neat speech full of wit and eloquence and having the Sweedish [sic] brogue, he simply captivated the audience.

In behalf of the graduating class, Mr. Olof Olofsson, the clerk at the college, presented the dean, Dr. J. C. Cawood, with a beautiful gold-headed cane. A part of the presentation speech was in the Swedish language and the manner in which he delivered it was the humorous feature of the evening. The inscription on the cane was “J. C. Cawood, from Class of ‘96.” Dr. Cawood in accepting the present made quite an appropriate speech of thanks to the students.

Dr. R. N. Kesterson, dean of the Dental department, was also presented with a gold-headed cane from the graduating class as an appreciation of his work during the past year.

Mr. Olof Olofsson was also presented a high silk hat, from the members of the faculty, as showing their appreciation of the able way in which he had fulfilled his duties as clerk of the college during the past year. Mr. Olofsson thanked the gentlemen by placing the hat on his head and making a few remarks in regard to the way he had endeavored to fulfill his duties.

The names of those resent [sic] was as follows:

Cambria Quartette [sic] – W. J. Lewis, first tenor; D. J. Davis, second tenor; W. P. Richards, first bass; R. P. Richards, second bass.

C. E. Lowes, M. G. McCorkle, H. C. Evans, B. B. Cates, R. N. Kesterson, Harry J. Kelso, J. M. Masters, M. D.; Wm. Johnson, H. Weibusch, Ester Faley [sic], W. S. Nash, M. D.; John J. Stanberry [sic], J. W. Jobling, J. L. A. West, W. J. West, M. D.; Emerson Boynton, W. R. Franborgos [sic]; W. L. Wallace, T. U. Crawley, Michael Campbell, Henry H. Ingersoll, H. A. Wingert, Wm. Rule, N. B. Adams, J. A. Keener, D. D. S.; R. M. C. Hill, M. D.; E. E. Easley, Ph.G.; M. H. Lee, M. D.; Joseph L. McCarty, M. D.; Dr. Olof Olofsson, Sweden; Dr. J. E. Scott, Jr., Chas. H. Davis, Dr. J. T. Walker, Charles P. McNabb.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 26, 1896, page 5


An Immense House Witnessed Graduating Exercises of Medical College. Degree of “M. D.” Conferred on Thirteen Bright Young Men. Eloquent Speeches

Perhaps the largest concourse of people that has ever assembled in Knoxville for a college commencement was gathered in Staub’s theatre last night to witness the seventh annual commencement exercises of the Tennessee Medical college. Every seat on the first floor and balcony was occupied and many were standing, thereby lending additional interest and enthusiasm to the exercises of the evening. At 8:15 o’clock Clark’s orchestra peeled forth the sweet strains of the “Fairy Glen” overture, at the conclusion of which Dr. R. N. Kesterson, who was master of ceremonies introduced Dr. W. A. Harrison who pronounced the divine invocation.

The speaker of the evening, Rev. J. Francis Davies, D. D. was then introduced and for more than an hour he held his audience spell bound with his eloquent thought and appropriate words of admonition to the young men who were about to enter upon the broad arena of life as “repairers of the body.” Dr. Davies begun [sic] his remarks as follows:

“There is a close analogy and resemblance between the preacher and the doctor. The preacher is supposed to do all he can to prepare people for heaven and the doctor is supposed to send them there. It is quite a job to help folks pack their trunks and secure their tickets and checks when they are about to begin a journey. The preacher performs this function relative to the hereafter and the doctor furnishes the train and the track upon which it is to travel. The resemblance between the two professions is not a matter of smiles, it does not all end here to-night. The preachers repair men’s souls and the doctors repair men’s bodies. It is a high vocation to be either. To repair men’s souls and do good work requires a student of human nature; to repair men’s bodies requires a student and man who understands the body. The preacher should know physiology and the doctor should possess a knowledge of psychology. The average preacher thinks too much about the soul, and the average doctor gives too much attention to the body. They should merge their interests and thereby greatly facilitate their usefulness, which is destined to follow concerted.”

The speaker continued his remarks, basing them upon the relations between preacher and doctor and their powers of usefulness and influence and closed with an eloquent appeal to the young men to let come what may, they would concentrate their efforts and lives to the service of God, not only while practicing their professions, but at all other times.

Mr. Joseph Hicks varied the program by rendering a trombone solo entitled, “Silver Star.” At the conclusion of this interesting number the graduates arranged themselves upon the stage and in a most appropriate speech Judge H. H. Ingersoll, president of the board of trustees of the institution conferred the degree of “M. D.” upon thirtten [sic] young men, and of “D. D. S.” upon two graduates of the dental department.

The graduates in medinice [sic] were: N. B. Adams, T. U. G. Crawley, W. R. Fronabarger [sic], C. E. Lones, J. F. Scott, jr., J. F. Stanberry [sic], J. D. Walker, W. L. Wallace, J. Q. A. West, and H. K. W. Wingert, of Tennessee; J. W. Joblin [sic], of Ohio, William Johnson of Kentucky; and M. G. McCorkle of California. The dental graduates were, H. W. Weibusch of Texas, and Ester Foley of Kentucky.

In awarding the diplomas Judge Ingersoll impressed upon the young men the duty which was thereby devolved upon them, and after reciting the regulations of this great domain relative to the duties of a physician, admonished them that they were to keep it in mind and never violate even in the slightest iota. The young men were surrounded by the members of the faculty who occupied seats upon the stage.

The “Salute to Atlanta” by Herbert, was beautifully rendered by the excellent orchestra after which came the charge to the graduates by Dr. B. B. Cates, which was as follows:

For some occult reason the honorable registrar and committee on arrangements have seen fit to inflict me upon you during this August occasion; and whatever shortcomings may arise in the performance of this duty I warn you beforehand on their broad shoulders rests all responsibility. Because when they leveled their microscopes upon a field rich in resources, fertile in great men, profound in learning and wide of experience they passed them all by and hit upon one who gratefully acepts [sic] the honor, yet feels inadequate to the position.

“An occasion of this kind, this festival of successful season in a student’s life, is an important landmark. It is his Alpha and his Omega, his beginning and his ending. It is the time for severing old ties, the closing of an interesting chapter. And it marks the beginning of a new career, when he goes out prepared to cure all diseases; to override all obstacles.

“He will scarcely become settled for business before he wonders why all the good people do not break their necks in their haste to drink at his fountain of learning, ere he has been in the profession five years he will wonder why any of the good people ever had the courage to send for him at all.

“As he goes on he will realized more than ever that he is not so wise as Socrates; that the fame of wisdom sets high in the heaves, and the way to it is like the bridge over the waters of eternity in the vision of Mirsza: beset with pitfalls to catch the unaware, while the byways are strewn with the wrecks of expectation and blasted hopes.

“The moral of which is, go slow, woo unceasingly the fickle goddess of fortune and remember success while it must be pursued unreleentingly [sic] goes by favor.

“The physician’s calling is by necessity a peculiar one. His coming and his going are not heralded by the blare of trumpets or the gathering of people.

“You hear the love and esteem in which a doctor is held – till he sends in his bill, of the wonderful sacrifices and fatigues he endures, the great good he does – till he seeks payment.

“However, a conscientious physician in his researches after truth trying to unravel some mystery that has vexed his colleagues and baffled the skill of so many great men, day by day adding a little to the literature of medicine: I fancy when such a one comes to lay aside his calling and take a retrospect of his life he has cause for much satisfaction.

“We do not build towering monuments to commemorate the achivements [sic] of our great masters; but should you view the lives of our teachers and investigators, you will find their names come down to us from early times; some as writers of great books; some as discoverers of great truths, or their labors have been rewarded by their names being attached to certain important parts of our economy.

“Did any one every [sic] study anatomy who did not read the torcular [sic] Hereophilii the hiatus Falloppi, the ganglial Meckel? Who can read of John Hunter without thinking of Hunter’s canal?

“All named in honor of the men who by operations or dissections first directed attention to these parts.

“How many when speaking of the ligature know the surgeon is indebted to Ambrose Pare for first demonstrating its use in controlling hemorrhage from injured blood vessels? or again when speaking of the stethescope [sic] know of the great diagnostican [sic] Lannee?

“Again, take the field of investigation! Wh when reading of Harvey, does not connect his name with the discovery of the circulation of the blood? Can any one ever estimate the monies the value to medicine, much more the thousands of lives saved annually through the researches of Jenner?

“The healing art antedates historic times, and its history teems with accounts of certain mysteries surrounding those who followed a physician’s calling, and a doctor was reverenced as something above the ordinary.

Among the ancients a god presided over all diseases and Apollo was its titular deity. In the middle ages people believed in charms and incantations to drive away evil spirits; the efficacy of the Royal Lonch [sic] and the virtue that attached to being the seventh son of the seventh son, or, better, the ninth son of the ninth son.

“Those were days of ignorance and superstition and priests led the minds of the people chained to their belts. However the discovery of the microscope and its use as a [sic] aid in diagnosis worked a new era in medicine. It was the turning point that marked the great revolution in physic, when man’s back was turned on all the dark past and with face to the new day he exclaimed, ‘Rejoice O father of medicine for science is now free!’

“In point of truth this age has not entirely emerged from the pall of credulity for in this enlightened period of the nineteenth century – ye gods! I blush to say it, this era of inventions, investigations, discoveries, and progress there are those who still have a sublime faith in jugglery as a therapeutic measure. As an instance of which I call your attention to the various faith cures, wearing onions under the arms as a protection against small pox – worse than the disease – and rings for rheumatism. Nor, indeed is it practiced only amongst the lowly, but among men of affairs, of extensive business acumen and even with those learned in some of the professions.

“Formerly physicians were satisfied to know a little of the principle branches of medicine – such as surgery, practice, some therapeuties [sic] and a little pathology. Chemistry was to them an unknown art. They cared absolutely nothing for the collateral sciences. Such things did not belong to the curriculum of medical colleges.

“How is it today? Listen and I will tell you. The investigation of Pasteur and Koch in bacteriology; of Kolliker, Schaeffer and Piersol in Normal Histology; of Virchow and others in Pathology and the graving interest in Biology have made students eager to acquire a knowledge of those branches so essential to rounding out a physician’s resources.

“The addition of the collateral sciences has also worked a revolution in the curriculum of our medical colleges; resulting in added years and longer terms, so that the physician now and of the future will be sent out better euipped [sic] to combat disease than his predecessors.

“I am neither a prohpet [sic], nor the son of a prophet, but I hazard the opinion that the day of specialties in medicine has about reached its noon, for before the end of the next decade each physician will be treating all diseases that come his way.

“This is a condition and not a theory and in substantiation of what I say, I need only point to the graded curriculum of some of our great universities. It is a good thing. Indeed it is the best thing, because it solves the problem better than legislation of the survival of the fittest, an he who is not equipped to meet this growing demand must necessarily lag behind.

“In the days of Rome’s greatness it was customary to preserve the ashes of their distinguished dead in urns; these were religiously kept in their homes and the story of their deeds handed down by tradition even to the present day.

“In or own time we love to cherish the names of our celebrated masters. And in recounting the achievements of our own – America’s – great physicians and scientists, our blood tingles with pride as we say, go stranger! Learn the histories of Rush, Homer, Wistar, McDowell, J. Marion Sims, Gross, Agnew and that great man who belongs to no nation, no people, no clime; but is the common heritage of all mankind through all the ages – I refer to Joseph Leidy.

“While we are justly proud of the achievements of modern medicine and the rapid strides by which our profession is advancing let us not forget to honor the names of those great men of our calling who have gone before, for they were great and good men – nor speak lightly of their mistakes. But rather let us hold sacred their memories, ever mindful of the fact that with the light before them they did the best they could, and that while not with us and that in their day they were the leaders and exemplars of the healing art.

“This, perhaps is the last time all of us shall meet together on this earth. Because you will each return to your homes in distant states, may be some to foreign fields.

“And before I say farewell I wish to urge each of you to carry away an affectionate regard for your Alma Mater. While we all cherish the hope that you will occasionally think of us, remember that the faculty is but a shifting scene; that the college is supreme, the central figure in the great work of imparting medical instruction. It rises higher and towers above any one of us, nay, above all of us. No one man or set of men is essentian [sic] for its existence [sic]. That when we who now are but its officers to do its bidding shall have passed away, there will be others to take up this work.

Again, remember that whatever prominences you may attain to in your different fields will reflect for good upon your Alma Mater and that its future usefulness for good rests with you.

“And in conclusion permit me as the representative of the board of directors, on behalf of the faculty and trustees of the Tennessee Medical College to say I stand here this day as their agent, to turn down the page of your past history, to break down all barriers and extend to you greetings and a warm welcome into the ranks of the noblest calling vouchsafed to man.

“Go forth, therefore armed with the seal of your Alma Mater. Keep your faculties unfettered, your senses ever alert; ally yourselves to no sect or ism. Glean whatever wisdom you can from the great, the lowly, the rich and the poor. Be your own eyes and ears. Take no man’s word till you have proved it. Never forget that unwritten proverb, that your tongue is the cause of two thirds of all your trouble.

“And at last let me wish each of you much practice, great renown and the successful ending of a career to crown a prolonged and honest effort.”

At the conclusion of Dr. Cate’s [sic] address Messrs. Jones and Hicks favored the audience with a cornet and trombone duet. The honors were then announced and the prizes for the most efficient were awarded by the honored dean of the institution, Dr. Cawood. The honors received by graduates of medicine were four in numbers and were as follows: Faculty medal, J. F. Scott, jr., Knoxville.

Honorable Mention: C. E. Lones, J. W. Jobling, N. B. Adams.

Rewards of merit were also given for the most efficient work in the department of dentistry and they were received as follows: Faculty medal, H. W. Wiebusch.

Special Medal for best specimen of mechanical dentistry, awarded to J. L. McCarty, Kentucky.

This concluded the program as arranged for the occasion and after the benediction was pronounced by Rev. J. H. Frazee, the audience dispersed and the newly made doctors were made the recipients of many congratulatory remarks, and words of well wishing. A large number of beautiful flowers were received by the young men and these were especially prized by them as they represent the material manifestations of the well wishes of their friends.

Thus another successful year of the flourishing Medical college passed into history.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 27, 1896, page 8

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