[David S. Clark was a graduate of Mount Union College in Ohio in 1884.]
Address of Alumni Banquet Alliance June 21, 1905 President, Fellow alumni, Ladies + Gentlemen.
I represent the class of ’84, a class declared to be “fully up to the average if not a little better than any class that ever graduated.” We are glad to be here today in these hallowed scenes and in these classic walls where our honored Professors sat on us — or we sat under them, if that sounds any better.
We are but few. Not many of us here today. Our class was small in number at best. Three of those were brought in for graduation who had not been associated with the class in college work and could not be expected to have the same strong ties. And in the Alumni catalogue there are 4 asterisks on the margin opposite the class of ’84 showing that there are 4 who will never meet us again under the spreading trees of the campus nor strike glad hands in any alumni reunion on earth; and that any of us are here today is not because we knew better than they how to preserve life or were any more fit for it; but it is all of the mercy of God. That is the secret of longevity I know.
84′ The almanac says it is 21 yrs, but then who would believe an almanac? The almanacs are made to sell patent medicine and retail cheap jokes. The class of ’84 is still in the may day of youth, and the springtide of palpitating hopes.
The association and memories of college days are inexpressibly precious; we have come in part to renew them and revive them; but we are here for another purpose too; for our Alma Mater; for Mt. Union College; for the purpose that called her into existence; for the mission she has set for herself for the future that opens out before her; for the young manhood and womanhood of Ohio; for the education as a factor in social and national life.
The mission of Mt. Union College is one of the grandest on earth. The college for the people of the soil, the college for the self supporting student; the college whose endowment is the consecration of its teachers. The college whose subsidy is the consciousness of duty well done; the college whose inspiration is a shrine of devotion in the hearts of its children; that is the college we love.
The small college as the term is used, needs to make no apology for its existence. In fact the time has come when the subsidized university needs to apologize for its existence. The “uncrowned hero” of Mt. Union College has gone to the reward he got on earth, but he is only one of a score of uncrowned heroes whose reward may come only from the same source; Men whose abilities would command $5000 in many places giving their whole lives for an annual $800. That is the heroism of consecration.
We have learned to recognize the college as a factory of public sentiment and moral conviction. We Presbyterians plant denominational colleges all over the west because we know that those college will [be] serving public sentiment in all those sections into line for Xty + Presbyterianism. You Methodists do the same for Methodism. And the Lord bless all of them. These colleges are religious colleges, they exists for moral + religious ends. It is as hard to go thru some of them + not be a Xtn as it is to go thru some of universities + be after.
I wish for Mt. Union College the continued consecration of her noble teachers but with enlarged facilities + abundantly better support. I wish that D. K. Pearsons, the friend of the small college might
step over a few counties in Ky + W. Va. and light down on the corner of Stark Co. with a good wound million in his pocket. Or any other man or any set of men even if they were the alumni of Mt. Union College. We have come to think in these days that the millionaires ought to do everything, poor millionaires. But I want to tell you a story:
How Mutchmore Church was build.
When Dr. M. wrote a little book + called it The mites against the Millions. So the mites did what the millions didn’t.
Yes friends. the mites may yet do what the millions haven’t done and Mt. Union College be grandly endowed. Long may her dome rise toward the skies, and her sacred walls be the shrine of many loving hearts.