The Opening of Williams Memorial Hall

Dedication of New Library and Administration Building, The Tripod, November 3, 1914

The Trinity Tripod devoted an issue to capturing the dedication ceremonies held on October 31, 1914. The text of the full article, which spanned several pages, reads:




Williams Memorial, Trinity's new library and administration building, the gift of the late J . Pierpont Morgan for 27 years a trustee of Trinity, was dedicated with exercises held in Alumni Hall last Saturday morning, October 31. The exercises, which were attended by a large gathering of undergraduates, alumni and visitors, followed the matriculation of the freshman class and a stated meeting of the corporation.

The Williams Memorial building was first occupied at the opening of the present college year. It cost about $150,000. Mr. Morgan made this gift to Trinity two years ago.

Addresses were made by President Luther who acted as master of ceremonies, Benjamin W. Morris, '92, the architect; Librarian Briggs; Dr. Arthur A. Hamerschlag, director of the Carnegie Institute of Technology at Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart, dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown, Conn.; and William N. C. Carlton, formerly librarian at Trinity, and now librarian of the Newberry Library at Chicago, Ill., the second largest of its kind in the country. Music was provided by the college glee club which sang "There's a College on the Hill" and "When the Sunshine Softly Falls." It was the club's first appearance of the year, and the applause was hearty.

President Luther spoke of the uses to which the new building would be put, remarking that generations of young men would there come in contact with great minds of history through its books. He hoped the students would continue to acquire with the ages, knowledge, wisdom and strength. He announced the gift, by Mrs. Gordon W. Russell of a painting now hanging in the library, of former President George Williamson Smith.

Benjamin W. Morris paid a tribute to the work of the building committee consisting of President Luther, Professor Henry A. Ferguson, and Rev. Francis Goodwin, and to the Central Building Company, which had proved itself honorable and efficient. He had two suggestions to make for the benefit of the college, first that a course be offered in the history of arts, paintings and sculpture, and second, that a permanent building committee be maintained with a view that in the construction of future buildings a harmonious whole might always result.

Librarian Briggs said he spoke with mingled feelings of joy, relief and satisfaction. He referred to the great debt which Trinity owed to former Librarian W. N. C. Carlton. There is developed in the library profession, he said, library science which makes possible new ideas.

Dr. Arthur Hamerschlag spoke feelingly of the life and labors of tlie donor, the late J. Pierpont Morgan, and of the services of President Luther through years of planning for a progressive, material and spiritual growth of the college. He said that the J. 'Ewing Mears' Sanitary Science Collection in the library was perhaps the best collection in America. He emphasized the importance to men of science in recognizing literature as a vital part of their life. In the great body of classical literature, he said, every engineer and every man of science can find inspiration so great that he will find great problems well within his grasp, and if he neglects them, his soul is dead.

Dr. Luther called upon Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart, as a former li-brarian, for a few words. Dr. Hart spoke pleasant words of congratulation to the college faculty and students and referred to the great difference in the types of the old school of librarians and the modern librarian, the former believing that "the best books should be locked up and the key thrown away" and the modern librarian the opposite.

William N. C. Carlton was introduced by President Luther, as doing "library missionary work in the remote West," but as feeling his allegiance, in his hearts of hearts, to be at Trinity. Mr. Carlton, in the course of a very able address, said the golden rule of the librarian was "Let as little as possible come between the man and his book."

The exercises were attended by many people of national prominence in addition to the speakers. These included Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Satterlee of New York, the latter a daughter of the late J. Pierpont Morgan; James I. Wyer, Jr., director of the New York State Library and ex-president of the American Library Association; Walton S. Danker, '97, of Worcester, Mass.; F. E. Haight, '87, of New York; Joseph Hooper of Durham, Conn.; Rev. George T. Linsley of Hartford; Conn., Dr. V. C. Pedersen, · '91, of New York; W. S. Rainsford of Ridgefield, Conn.; C. H. Tibbitts of Wallingford, Conn.; Rev. L. Webster, '80, headmaster of the Holderness School, Plymouth, N.H.; FrankL. Wilcox, '80, of Berlin, Conn., and the following college librarians: W. J. James of Wesleyan; H. L. Koopman of Brown; William C. Lane of Harvard; Robert Fletcher of Amherst; · Charles R. Greene of Massachusetts Agricultural College; and C. E. Sherman, '11, assistant librarian at Amherst.

Letters of regret from Mrs. J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., and J. Pierpont Morgan, widow and son of the donor of the library, and from Dr. George Williamson Smith, former president of Trinity, were read by President Luther."