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Volume 6 Relation of U.B/EUB Virginia Conferences to Shenandoah University Dec. 26, 2013

That in their (the Board’s) opinion, it is not in the interest of the Church and School to employ
Mrs. A. P. Funkhouser as teacher in the Music Department of the Institute…and also that the
students boarding in the Institute be so restricted as not to be allowed to take any instruction
from any party not in the employment of the Principal.

This action shows that, although the Conference adopted the lease plan of operation, making the
lessees responsible for all current expenses, yet the Board of Trustees had the power to make the
Principal run the School “in the interest of the Church.”

In 1885 the Board decided to elect the faculty of Shenandoah Institute itself, rather than have the
Principal appoint them. The understanding was that the salaries of the faculty would amount to
90 percent of the proceeds of the Institute for the scholastic year.24 The Executive Committee was
delegated to operate the School.

The Executive Committee reported that they had studied the present condition of the School’s
property and “in view of the present financial pressure of the country and the difficulty to collect funds,”
they recommended that any plans for building be deferred. A special course of study for teachers was
recommended to be offered with certificate to those completing the course of 2 years’ study.

Prof. J. N. Fries was elected Principal for the year 1885-86. He reported the gross earnings for
the year as $1,400. That year was one of the best in the institution’s history up to that time. There was
an increase in attendance in all the departments. The cost of boarding on the cooperative plan was about
$5 per week. This was a new plan that was put into effect because of the inability to elect someone to
run the Boarding School according to the terms set by the Board.

By 1883 four separate curricula were offered. A 1-year course was to prepare students for the
Seminary proper; the Seminary courses included the Classical and Scientific curricula, which required
4 years for completion, and the English curriculum, which could be finished in three. A business course
was added in 1887, as was a pre-medical course. In 1889 special courses were offered in phrenology,
surveying, and telegraphy. Also offered was a teacher-training or “normal” course; and theology was
added in 1887. [Zynodoa 1975, pp. 3, 5]

Students were subject, even then, to rising expenses. In 1883 the total expense—including
books, board, fuel, light, fees, and tuition—ranged from $50 to $167 [per student]. By the end of the
century, however, board, fuel, light, and washing expenses alone rose to $85.25; tuition was billed in
addition. [Zynodoa 1975, p. 5]

The years 1886-90 were ones of increased activity and interest in Shenandoah Institute. The
Board of Trustees decided to build a new ($2,000) building close by the original Ladies Dormitory #1.
This new 35-ft x 46-ft building, completed in 1886-87, was of brick construction and contained the
Chapel, recitation rooms, and dormitories for the young men. The Executive Committee, with the

24 Apparently, there was no controversy over the “90-percent” rule associated with the lease the Conference gave to

Shenandoah Institute during the 29-year period of its use, 1884-1913. However, the Board of Trustees found it

impossible to maintain the buildings and grounds and pay for the tuning of pianos, insurance, printing of catalogs and

advertising, and new furniture with the remaining 10 percent (amounting to $100-250 per year). More importantly,

committing 90 percent of the income from students to salaries meant that there was no source of revenue to pay for
major changes, acquiring new facilities, nor erecting new buildings—nor even to pay the interest on money borrowed for
such items. Thus, the “90-percent” rule caused the Virginia Conference, time and again, to reach deeply into the pockets

of its 20,000 members to pay the debts incurred by the Trustees to put necessary facilities in place for the increasing size
and expectations of the student body.—The Editor.

Miller, et al., on History of S.C., 1875-1950 12
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