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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50


Washington University, founded in the city of St. Louis, under an Act of Incorporation by the State of Missouri, approved February 22, 1853, comprises several Departments, and is intended to embrace the whole range of University studies, except Theology, and to afford opportunity of complete preparation for every sphere of practical and scientific life

By the Eighth Article of the Constitution, "no instruction, either sectarian in religion, or partisan in politics, shall be allowed in any Department of the University; and no sectarian or partisan test shall be used in the election of Professors, Teachers, or other officers of the University; nor shall any such test ever be used in the University for any purpose whatsoever. This article shall be understood as the fundamental condition on which all endowments, of whatsoever kind, are received." The Constitution also declares the article now quoted "not subject to alteration at any time; but to guard against all encroachments in this important particular, the Directors have obtained from the General Assembly an amendment to the Charter, by which said Article is incorporated in the same, and thereby placed beyond the power of any future Board of Directors. The Act of Amendment, approved February 12, 1857, declares:

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"Sec. 2. No instruction, either sectarian in religion, or partisan in politics, shall be allowed in any Department of said University; and no sectarian or party test shall be allowed in the election of Professors, Teachers, or other officers of said University, or in the admission of scholars thereto, or for any purpose whatever.

Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors of said University, upon being informed of any violation of the second section of this Act, forthwith to institute an inquiry into the charge or charges that may be preferred, in respect thereof, by any credible person, in writing, against any officer of said University; and if it shall appear that any officer of said University has violated the second section of this Act, the Board of Directors shall forthwith remove any such person so offending from any office which he may then fill in any Department of said University; and such person so removed shall be forever thereafter ineligible to any office in said University.

"Sec. 4. In case the Board of Directors, upon being notified in writing, by any credible person, of a violation of the second section of this Act, shall refmse or neglect to investigate the charges hereupon preferred against any officer of said University, it shall be competent for the St. Louis Circuit Court, or the St. Louis Court of Common Pleas, to compel the Board of Directors, by mandamus, to perform their duty in investigating such charge, and to show their performance of such duty to the satisfaction of the Court having cognizance of the matter; and all proceedings under this section shall be summary, page 17 and conducted to a conclusion with as little delay as possible; and the power hereby given to said courts may be exercised by the judge of either of said tribunals in vacation."

The present members of the Corporation have no sectarian purposes to serve. They earnestly desire that the University shall attain a high moral and religious character, as a Christian institution in a Christian republic; but they equally desire that the narrow principles of sectarianism and party spirit never be allowed to enter. The exercises of the University are opened every morning in the chapel by reading the Scripture and other appropriate service.

On the 22d of April, 1857, the formal inauguration of Washington University took place by appropriate exercises, at Academic Hall, and by an oration delivered by Hon. Edward Everett, in the Mercantile Library Hall. The Polytechnic School was organized at that time. The Academy had then been in operation about live years. The College and Mary Institute were organized in 1859, and the first Senior Class was graduated from the College in June, 1862. The Law School was organized in 1867, and the Manual Training School in 1879.

The amount of funds needed for the establishment and proper endowment of a University is far greater than would be at first supposed. To secure the best talent, competent salaries must be paid, and the best facilities for education, apparatus, library, buildings, etc., must also be supplied. At the same time, the rates of tuition must be kept down, so as to open the page 18 institution to as large a number as possible, and free scholarships endowed for the benefit of deserving pupils who are in indigent circumstances. For these purposes a million dollars could be immediately and advantageously used without extravagance, and the attention of liberal and wealthy men is earnestly called to the subject. To show the principle on which endowments are invited, the fifth, sixth, and seventh Articles of the Constitution are here inserted.