1891 Agreement

Note: For your reference, here are the minutes from the June 24, 1891 meeting that resulted in the agreement between alumni and the trustees.


Annual Meeting – June 24 1891.

The Association was called to order in the Old Chapel at 2-45 p.m. by the President, Hon. G. A. Marden ’61. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Dr. Davis Foster ’49.

Records of the last meeting were read and approved. Report of the Committee on Alumni Representation in the Board of Trustees was called for, and was made by J. B. Richardson Esq. ’57 of Boston voted that the Report of the Committee be accepted, and that the Committee be discharged with the thanks of the Association.

This report of the Committee including the plan adopted by the Trustees, and also the new Constitution was unanimously accepted and adopted.

Report of Committee

To the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College:

Gentlemen.—The Committee appointed at a meeting of the Association of the Alumni, held in Hanover on June 26, 1890 “to confer and co-operate with a Committee of the Board of Trustees in devising some plan to secure to the Alumni an active participation in the management of the college” beg leave to report the results of their work.

The Committee appointed by the Board of Trustees to confer with your Committee consisted of Dr. Alonzo H. Iuint, Hon. Isaac H. Smith, and Hon. William M. Chase: Mr. Chase’s place on the Committee was subsequently taken by Prof. William J. Tucker. Your Committee during the autumn of 1890, had many meetings and several conferences with the said Committee of the Board of Trustees. The desirability of a more sympathetic and close relation between the Corporation and the Alumni, to be brought about by alumni representation in the Board of Government in some way was not questioned. It was, as it has been for many years, admitted, that a warmer interest and closer relation between the Board of Government and the Alumni would strengthen the college, and promote its welfare and usefulness.

The work of the Committee was devoted to devising the way in which this should be accomplished. At these conferences your Committee were met by the Committee of the Trustees in a friendly spirit: many different plans were brought forward and discussed; but no plan was suggested or view expressed which was not inspired by the desire to promote the best interests of the college.

It does not appear to be necessary here to describe all plans suggested. Your Committee were of the opinion that the most certain, if not the only, effectual way to create and preserve the live, constant, active interest of the Alumni in the college and their co-operation in its affairs, was to confer upon them a real substantial, personal responsibility therein: that a mere advisory board with no rights or the mere privilege of occasionally making a nomination of a possible trustee would be too uncertain, contingent and remove a right, to excite and keep up that clear, constant, active interest of the Alumni, which is needed, and which it was the duty of your Committee to secure if possible.

We believed that, by the plan to be adopted the Alumni should understand and feel that they were to have a constant, personal responsibility for the college, an annually recurring obligation to discharge for her which they could not throw off or leave to the Board of Trustees or any other persons: that every man from the college, as well as the men in it, should still be deemed to be a part of the college. They suggested to the Committee of the Trustees, a plan of adding five to the number of Trustees to be elected by the Alumni of five years standing for a term of five years with certain powers but not to interfere with the present power of the charter members of the board in the election and perpetuation of the twelve Trustees provided for in the charter.

Subsequently this plan was elaborated by said committees into a bill which was presented and became an act of the legislature of New Hampshire at its last session on February 18, 1891. This act provided for five additional Trustees to be chosen by the Alumni for a term of five years. The initial terms to be so arranged that a vacancy should occur each year, to be filled by the Alumni.

Very soon thereafter your Committee forwarded a certified copy of this act to the Board of Trustees with a letter asking the Board to accept it without which according to its provisions it could not become operative, also with a request that they adopt a method for the election of such additional Trustees in accordance with the provisions of the act.

Without having taken any action in the premises, the Board through its President on the 19th instant invited your Committee to meet that body on the 23rd instant at Hanover, which invitation they accepted.

Several conferences followed and many serious doubts were suggested as to the legality of proceeding under the provisions of that act and a method of securing the desired end was sought which should be free from any doubt as to its legality.

Your Committee deem it just and proper to add that the Board of Trustees have given this subject their earnest and courteous consideration and by supplementing our efforts by wise suggestions have done much to bring about a harmonious result.

The result of these conferences has been the formulating of the plan embodied in the following resolves which were unanimously adopted by the Board and spread upon their records – and which your Committee under all the circumstances now recommend for adoption on the part of the Alumni as the best and most feasible.

“1. Resolved; That the graduates of the College, the Thayer School, and the Chandler School of at least five years standing, may nominate a suitable person for election to each of the give Trusteeships next becoming vacant on the Board of Trustees of the College (excepting those held
by the Governor and President) and may so nominate for the election of his successors in such Trusteeship.

2. And Resolved; That whenever any such vacancy shall occur in such Trusteeship or the succession thereto, the Trustees will take no action to fill the same until the expiration of three months after notice to the Secretary of the Alumni of the occurrence of such vacancy unless a nomination therefore shall be sooner presented by the Alumni to said Trustees.

3. And Resolved; That this plan of nomination shall be taken and held to supersede the plan heretofore adopted in 1876.”

These resolves were adopted on the part of the Board with the clear understanding and assurance that three vacancies in the Board will be provided at once, and two more before the next commencement in 1892. All to be filled as above provided and that the persons so nominated by the Alumni will be elected by the Board to such Trusteeships, and that the term of service of such Trustees shall be so arranged that ultimately there shall be an annual election of a Trustee at each commencement; such annual elections to be secured by suitable provisions, under which the term of service fixed at five years shall be ended by the resignation of the incumbent.

Your Committee in recommending the adoption of this plan, congratulate the alumni upon the attainment of the object so long sought, and the beginning of what they believe to be a new era of prosperity for the College.

In as much as the existing Constitution does not provide methods needed for the nomination of Trustees pursuant to this plan and agreement. The Committee herewith submit a new Constitution, and recommend the abrogation of the existing Constitution and the adoption of the one herewith presented.


James B. Richardson ’57

Gilman H. Tucker ’61

Wilder S. Burnap ’63

Frank S. Streeter ’74

Justin H. Smith ’77

Constitution of the Dartmouth College Alumni

1. This Association shall be called “The Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College.”

2. All graduates of the College, the Thayer School of Civil Engineering, and the Chandler School of Science and the Arts, shall be members. Others who receive from the College an Honorary Degree or are elected at an annual meeting shall be honorary members but without the right of voting.

3. The annual meeting shall be held at the college on the day proceeding Commencement Day.

4. The officers of the Association shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Statistical Secretary, Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of five members, all to be elected at each annual meeting upon the nomination of a committee of three members to be known as the Committee on Nominations and appointed by the President.

5. The President or in his absence, the Senior Vice President present, shall preside at each annual meeting, shall appoint committees as herein provided, and shall in the name of the Association receive its guests and particularly the representatives present of the class graduated fifty years theretofore.

6. The Executive Committee shall have charge of the general interests of the Association, including the raising and expending of money to meet current expenses, shall appoint a presiding officer in the absence of the president and vice-presidents, and a secretary pro term. In the absence of the secretary, shall nominate all candidates for honorary membership, shall at its discretion secure an orator to address the Association at any annual meeting, shall act as a board of final decisions upon all questions arising in relation to the votes cast for the Alumni Trustee, and shall fill all vacancies in officers of the Association except that in case of a vacancy in the Presidency. The Senior Vice-President shall succeed to that position.

7. The Secretary shall keep all records and attend to the correspondence of the Association, He shall, at least two months prior to the annual meeting, mail to each graduate of the College, the Thayer School, and the Chandler School, eligible to vote at his last known address, a notice of the coming regular nomination of an Alumni Trustee, containing the name, class, and residence of each candidate with an envelope addressed to himself, within which, sealed each vote shall be forwarded; no alumnus of less than five years standing, however, shall be eligible to vote for the nomination of any Trustee. The Secretary shall open, count, and record all votes.

8. Candidates for Alumni Trusteeships shall be nominated for a term of five years from the first Monday following Commencement and at the end of such term the incumbent will be expected to resign his Trusteeship, except that vacancies occurring within such term only, and that until the entire five Alumni Trusteeships shall have been filled and the terms of the incumbents so arranged that one vacancy therein will regularly occur on the Monday following each Commencement. The length of such terms may be so arranged by the Executive Committee as to produce such regularity at the earliest practicable day. The name of no candidate shall be sent to the Alumni until he shall have indicated in writing to the Secretary of this Association his acceptance of the provisions of this constitution including that part thereof relating to his term of office if elected and resignation at the conclusion thereof.

In case the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall decline or be ineligible for any reason to serve the person or persons receiving the next highest number of votes shall be considered as nominated.

9. At each annual meeting a Committee of five members to be known as the Committee on Alumni Trustees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the meeting. This Committee shall nominate five candidates for the vacancy in
the office of Alumni Trustee which will regularly occur on the Monday after Commencement in the ensuing year. For the term of five years such candidates to be voted for in the manner hereinbefore prescribed; they shall make their report on candidates at the Alumni dinner when the Secretary shall also announce the result of the previous election. If any candidate shall fail or decline to signify his acceptance of this Constitution within thirty days after request of the Committee, or if for any other reason a vacancy shall occur in the list of candidates, the Committee shall have power to substitute a name or names in place of such original candidate or candidates.

No voting by proxy shall be allowed in the nomination of Alumni Trustees, a plurality of votes shall nominate, and in regular elections the voting shall close at sox o’clock p.m. of the day of the annual meeting.

10. In case of a vacancy or vacancies occurring in any Alumni Trusteeship otherwise than by the expiration of a stated term of five years, the Committee on Alumni Trustees shall be forthwith informed thereof by the Secretary of the Association and shall thereupon meet upon the call of its Chairman, within twenty days thereafter and name five candidates if one vacancy is to be filled, then if two are to be filled, and so on, which names shall be as soon as practicable transmitted to said Secretary who shall thereupon at once proceed to take a vote of the said Alumni of five years standing upon the candidates for such vacancy or vacancies in the same manner as upon nominations to fill a regularly occurring vacancy: Except that he shall upon his notice designate the day on which the voting will close, which shall not be more than seventy five days after notice to him from the Board of Trustees of the occurrence of such vacancy or vacancies: and upon the day following such closing he shall count the ballots.

11. Should the votes of the Alumni be requested at the same time upon nominations to fill more than one vacancy in such Alumni Trusteeships, the several candidates (equal in number to such vacancies) receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered as nominated for said vacancies – the person receiving the highest number for the next longest term and so on.

12. Upon evidence of a due nomination for any vacancy the Secretary of this Association shall at once transmit and certify the name of such nominee to the Board of Trustees.

All ballots shall be preserved by the Secretary and delivered by him to the Executive Committee for such disposition as they shall see fit to make: he shall in no case communicate the state of the ballot to any person before its final announcement and shall refer to the Executive Committee all matters respecting votes of doubtful validity.

13. Order of business at the annual meeting.

1. Prayer.

2. Secretary’s Minutes.

3. Remarks by the President.

4. Appointment by the President of the Regular Committees.

5. Treasurer’s report and any matter of business from the Executive Committee.

6. Communications, if any, from the President or Trustees of the College.

7. Election of Honorary Members.

8. Reception of the semi Centennial Class.

9. Report of the Committee on Nominations and Reports of Special Committees.

10. Miscellaneous Business.

14. This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a three-fourths vote of the Alumni present and voting.


Voted that the old Constitution be annulled and abrogates, and that the new Constitution offered by the Committee be adopted.

The President then named as a Committee on nomination of officers for the ensuing year – Thomas H. Procter Esq. ’79, H. S. Sherman Esq. ’66, and A. F. Andrews Esq. ’78.

The Treasurer, Prof. E. J. Bartlett ’79 then made his annual report which was accepted and put on file.

The Committee on nominations of officers then made their report as followed:

For President: Hon. George A. Marden ’61

For Vice Presidents: Hon. Redfield Proctor ’51 and Hon. Asa W. Tenny ’59

For Secretary: Prof. C. F. Emerson’68

For Statistical Secretary: J. M. Comstock, Esq. ’77

For Treasurer: Charles Q. Tirrell ’66

For Executive Committee: A. S. Batchelder Esq. ’72, W. S. Burnap Esq. ’63,

I. F. Paul Esq. ’63, W. S. Barrett Esq. ’80, and E. N. Pearson Esq. ’81

The report of the Committee was accepted and the above list of Officers was duly elected for the ensuing year.

The President then made his nominations of the Committee on Alumni Trustees as follows:

Hon. George Fred Williams ’72

Hon. Jonathan Ross ’51

Charles F. Mathewson Esq. ’82

Rev. Luther Farnham ’37

Henry M. Putney Esq. ’61

The above Committee was approved and accepted by the Association.

The following resolution, offered by Eben Bruer Esq. ’71. “That the Secretary be authorized to employ an assistant to aid in sending out ballots for Trustees, and in receiving and counting the vote, and that the expense of the said work when approved by the Ex. Com. Shall be paid by the Treasurer.” was laid on the table by vote, after considerate discussion.

The necrology for the year, printed by the Statistical Secretary, was distributed and read by names by the President: Remarks were made when the lives and characters of several of the more prominent by Rev. Suther Farnham, Rev. Dr. F. D. Aires, Dr. W. T. Smith, and others.

About 5 o’clock adjourned to 9 o’clock of the following morning.

As there was no business to be transacted, the Association was not formally called to order on Thursday morning.

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday the Alumni joined the procession of Trustees, Faculty, and Students to the Church to attend the graduating exercises of the class of ’91, under the marshallship of Eben Bruer Esq. ’71.

At the Alumni Dinner in Bissell Hall at 2 p.m., Hon. Geo. Fred Williams presided in the place of the President, Hon. Geo. A. Marden, who was necessarily absent from town.

Charles F. Emerson, Secretary