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

full, and the Dining Room was again “taxed to its utmost.” A pressing demand for ample
accommodations was evident in every department. Principal G. P. Hott reported that several classes in
the Music Department had to be scheduled during hours usually assigned to recreation. He also said that
he could not see how the growth of the School could be maintained without additional buildings. In his
report to the 1893 Conference he emphasized the need for additional space [1893 Minutes, p. 17]:

The field of usefulness of your institution of learning is broadening; indeed, the field seems,
even now, white for the harvest. There has never been a time when it was so easy to secure
students. A few years ago 100 students was thought to be all we should aspire to reach, but we
have passed beyond that number. And why should we not go further? We can have two to
three hundred if we want them. But to have them we must arrange to accommodate them. We
now room but one half our boarding students, yet all our rooms are full. What should we do?
Build, build!

Two weeks after Conference, a special meeting of the Board was called to discuss the
proposition of the Virginia Conference that its Treasurer loan to the Institute such sums as they may
have for the erection of buildings for the use of the Institute. The Board asked the Conference Treasurer
to arrange for the loan. It is now evident that this action was never adopted because it was 8 more years
before additional buildings were erected.

In 1893 the number of students reach its peak for the century (140). The Institute was again
unable to accommodate all of the students, and many were forced to seek boarding and rooms in private
homes in Dayton. The Department of Music organized a 15-member orchestra and reported that their
five pianos and seven organs were in constant use. In 1893 there were 110 music students [Zynodoa
1975, p. 6]. The Institute purchased a double-bass viol for the use of the orchestra. The Library then
had over 1,000 volumes for the use of the students. Principal Hott reported that no further plans on
buildings had been made owing to the anticipated changes in management. Both Prof. and Mrs. Hott
had been very ill during the Fall Term and Prof. Fries was in charge of the School for that period.

In 1893 the first honorary degree was granted. The faculty reported that Charles B. Tatum, the
first graduate, was now Professor of Literature and History in the South Female Seminary in Florence,
Ala. He had been highly recommended and commended by the Principal and fellow faculty members of
the Seminary, and therefore the Faculty of Shenandoah Institute requested the Board of Trustees to
confer on Prof. Tatum the honorary degree of Master of Arts. This request was granted. In 1895 this
same degree was conferred on Charles A. Funkhouser, Class of 1890, who was then Professor of
Mathematics at Ken-Mar College, Hagerstown, Md.

Liquidating the Debt. From 1893 to 1900 the Board tried by various means to reduce the debt
on the Institute. Apparently, the dream of erecting new buildings was shelved until the debt, which was
then slightly over $2,000, was erased. The anticipated change that Principal Hott had reported and that
had stopped further plans for building was the 1893 resignation of Prof. J. H. Ruebush, who had headed
the Music Department since 1886. He had been responsible for its almost phenomenal growth. The
Board accepted his resignation with reluctance and the following resolution was unanimously adopted27:

Whereas Prof. J. H. Ruebush has, for the past 7 years, effectually and efficiently conducted the
Music Department of Shenandoah Institute, and whereas he is now to sever his relationship
with the Institute, therefore be it Resolved, 1st, that we, the members of the Board hereby

27 Minutes of the [Conference] Board of Trustees, 1893.

Miller, et al., on History of S.C., 1875-1950 15
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