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Oh no, "nothing has happened to Dean Burton that hasn't happened to most other men."
He told me himself a little something about that trip to North Greenland many years ago.
"Well, our steamer came very near to being crushed, when two gigantic icebergs crashed together a moment after we had passed between them," he said, as though that was not a real adventure, “and the sight of the great glacier, five miles wide, the centre of which was moving at the rate of five miles a day, was thrilling. A view of one of these great ice sheets is as good as a moving picture show. There is something going on every minute."
Let's see now if Dean Burton hasn't, as he says, "done anything other men couldn't do as well or better" than himself. In 1900 he organized an expedition to observe a total eclipse of the sun at Washington, Ga., and the following year he led an expedition of Technology men to Sumatra to observe a similar phenomenon.
He became connected with the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1879, when he was chosen after a difficult competitive examination to be a topographer. In 1880 he volunteered to go to Memphis, Tenn., in connection with the laying out of the sewerage system, a post of danger because of the yellow fever epidemic, and later under his direction a base line apparatus was developed by Technology students which proved of great value to the survey.
In 1894 he was sent to Germany by some citizens of Boston to report on the Alter Basins of Hamburg, and since 1905 he has been one of the overseers of Bowdoin College.
Dean Burton began his career at Technology in 1882, when he accepted the post of instructor of civil engineering, with the understanding that he should pay special attention to topographical engineering. Two years later he was made assistant professor and in 1896 became a full professor of topographical engineering at the Institute. When the position of Dean was established in 1902 he was selected to fill it.
During the war Dean Burton was in charge of the free naval schools of the United States Shipping Board, a task which he completed most satisfactorily. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Geographical Society; member of the American Society Civil Engineers, Astronomy and Astrophysical, Society of America and the Technology and University_clubs.
A modest man indeed is Dean Burton. He would rather talk about the stuffed beavers in his office than about himself and his achievements. "These are the mascots of Technology. I have become greatly attached to them. They have been a source of great inspiration to me," he said, stroking their sleek fur tenderly with one hand and beckoning me to advance and examine them.
"It was Lester D. Gardner, '98, now president of the Technology Club of New York, who first proposed making the beaver the mascot of the Institute," he explained.
"And why did the beaver appeal as being an appropriate symbol to express the spirit of the school?" I asked.
"What could be more appropriate for such a school as this?" he replied, with a twinkle in his eye. "The beaver is the most industrious of animals. He works at night and is an engineer." - The Boston Post.
THE '96 ANNIVERSARY GIFT
A useful precedent set-one followed elsewhere
Ar the twenty-fifth anniversary reunion of the Class of 1896 in June, of which a full account will be found in the class notes, the class took formal action toward raising a fund, to be called The '96 Class Scholarship Fund, the income of which is to be used for undergraduate scholarships, preference being given to descendants of '96 men and to men starting their Institute course in the freshman year.
Pledges amounting to nearly $5,000 were secured from the men present at the reunion, and this will undoubtedly be doubled by a canvass of the class.
It is believed that this marks the first action by any Technology class to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary by the presentation to its alma mater of a substantial and permanent memorial of the event. This custom is honored in many other colleges, as at Harvard, where the twenty-fifth year class has for many years pledged a hundred thousand dollars to the endowment fund. The Class of '96 has therefore set an example worthy of being followed by succeeding classes and one that should be of lasting benefit to the Institute.
THE APRIL COUNCIL MEETING
The students report on the Student Government Conference-the Dean says goodby
THE eighty-fourth meeting of the Alumni Council was held on April 25, after dinner in the Walker Memorial with an attendance of fifty-four, President Leonard Metcalf, '92, presiding.
The first business on the program was the report on the annual ballot by the Executive Committee. There were 1694 ballots cast and the following officers were elected: President, for one year, Arthur D. Little, '85; vice-president, for two years, Merton L. Emerson, '04; secretary-treasurer, for one year, Walter Humphreys, '97; executive committee, for two years, Charles W. Aiken, '91, Allan W. Rowe, '01; representatives at large on the Council, for two years, Edward P. Brooks, '17, Harry J. Carlson, '92, Nathan Durfee, '89, Charles R. Main, '09, Charles P. Weatherbee, '91.
The following men were nominated for Term Membership on the Corporation: Van Rennselaer Lansingh, '98, Frank L. Locke, '86, Leonard Metcalf, '92.
The following were elected to represent their respective classes on the Council for the next five years: C. Frank Allen, '72; Richard A. Hale, '77; James P. Munroe, '82; Henry F. Bryant, '87; Leonard Metcalf, '92; C. W. Bradlee, '97; F. H. Hunter, '02; Lawrence Allen, '07; Harold E. Kebbon, '12; John M. DeBell, '17.
Besides these elections, the Special Committee on Nominations for the Advisory Council on Undergraduate Activities made report, the acceptance of which resulted in the following elections: Athletics, H. S. Benson, '12, until 1924; publications, H. D. Peck, '13, until 1926; budget and finance, A. R. Stubbs, '14, until 1924; Tech Show, Roswell Davis, '05, until 1924; musical clubs, H. O. Davidson, '20, until 1924.
H. E. Lobdell, '17, was appointed to the Publications Committee to fill out the term of Andrew Fuller, '95, resigned.
No nomination was made for the Advisory Council on Walker Memorial, as this council has only recently been appointed.
Announcement was made that the next and annual meeting of the Council would be held on May 23 instead of May 30, a holiday, after which President Metcalf read extracts from the telegram received from Dr. Nichols, the new president, in answer to the message of congratulation sent him in the name of the Alumni; a letter from the Cleveland Technology Club was also read giving an interesting account of a dinner given Dr. Nichols by the Club, his first Technology function.
In accordance with a request of Professor Spofford, chairman of the Joint Committee of Faculty, Alumni and Undergraduates, to take care of Junior Week and other matters, it was voted that so far as the
Council was concerned, the committee should continue its work, and the Council representatives should continue to act in accordance with their instructions to co-operate as far as possible with Faculty and student body.
Professor C. L. Norton, director of the Division of Industrial Co-Operation and Research, spoke briefly on the progress of the Division since January and epitomized critically and hopefully the work of the first year of the Technology Plan.
The chief question to be decided by the Council that evening was that of the participation of the Alumni in the Inauguration of President Nichols, on June 8. Mr. Hart spoke for the Executive Committee of the Corporation, explaining that Dr. Nichols had been promised that he should not be asked to do anything, except be present at the Inauguration, between the present time and July first, and an Alumni Dinner, if one were to be arranged, must be arranged on that understanding and entirely subject to Dr. Nichols' convenience and the spirit of the arrangements already made. It was voted, therefore, to appoint a committee to make arrangements for an Alumni dinner at the time of the Inauguration, provided such a dinner harmonized with the program of the general committee in charge of the inauguration.
In the general discussion on the inauguration which followed, Mr. Macomber, '07, stated his opinion that the inauguration should by all means be held upon the grounds of the Institute, and that it seemed desirable from his point of view that the exercises should be held out of doors excepting in the case of bad weather, when those who came in spite of the weather could be cared for in the Walker Memorial. President Metcalf next read a letter from Mr. Barker in charge the Student Intercollegiate Conference which expressed the gratitude of his Committee for help given to this Committee by the Alumni Council.
President Metcalf then introduced the subject of the Intercollegiate Conference by calling on Dean Burton, whose retirement from the Institute had just been announced, and upon his introduction the Council rose in a body with great demonstrations of affection and respect. The Dean spoke to the Council upon the great success of the Student Intercollegiate Conference which had been recently held, and stated that the idea had been conceived by Professor Pearson. He spoke of the value of this conference, educationally, of the development of the American schools, derived as they were from the English colleges, but, he said, alumni spirit had developed only in America. Non-parental government also had been developed only in America, away from the traditions of the English universities. He spoke of the development of financial responsibility on the part of the undergraduates, and that to this end the development of the Alumni Advisory Council was of the greatest help. The Dean further commented on the type of men who had been sent from other colleges to the Intercollegiate Conference and he was confident he said, that they would carry back to their colleges, a far better idea of what Technology is. From his point of view it was
a great bit of publicity. He knew that their representatives had been discussing the Honor System and he was anxious to learn from the students who were present tonight not only about the report of the Conference on this problem, but a general report of the whole Conference. He had purposely kept away from the meetings.
President Metcalf next introduced O. G. Williams, who gave a general account of the Conference. Forty-three colleges were represented by about 135 students; the Institute men had kept from being too prominent in the discussions; instead of having a whole group of Technology men present, Technology had limited its representation at these discussions by its representatives, as other colleges were represented by their individual delegates. The fraternities had extended hospitality to the visiting delegates and were responsible for a great deal of the good report made by the delegates on their return to their colleges. He referred to the editorial in the Transcript upon this conference and added that a report of the Conference was to be written, duplicated and sent to the co-operating colleges.
Mr. Carpenter, president of the Senior Class, made the report upon the section devoted to Student Government. Mr. Nixon made the report on the discussion upon Dramatics. Mr. Russell made the report on the discussion on Athletics. Mr. Browning made the report on the section devoting its discussion to Publications.
Mr. Stow of the staff of the Boston Transcript, and connected with the publicity of the Institute, spoke of the type of men gathered for that Conference; he was of the opinion that there were no keener, brighter, or brainier students in the United States. He spoke of their seriousness in the discussions, and of their promise; as they are now leaders in the colleges, they are later to become leaders in the country. Professor Pearson was next called upon. He stated that there had been a discussion as to who was the originator of this scheme, but he believed that the origin of the scheme dated back to the appointment of Professor Burton as Dean nineteen years ago. After a brief discussion of the conference he closed by alluding to the Dean as the wisest of men and the best of friends.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned 10.35 P.M.
ROGER BABSON'S NEW BOOK
ON page 417 in the Book Review department will be found a review of the new book "Religion and Business" by Roger Babson, '98, statistician, business consultant, and, apparently, Christian. The book is well worth reading. Perhaps the review will stimulate you to look it up. That's what it is there for.