expressing the hope that conferences which were usually assigned to students ranking from twenty to thirty in the scale would be hereafter discontinued, for want of time, and as the less interesting performances.
Sixteen of the forty-eight members of Sumner
's class were elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Society
, half in the Junior
and half in the Senior year.
The elections required a unanimous vote, and were made by the undergraduates already admitted.
A student's rank in his class was considered to give the best title.
though the preference was sometimes accorded, on account of general merits, to a student whose rank was somewhat below that of another classmate.
was not one of the sixteen.1
With his admitted superiority in general literature and the favor which he enjoyed among the students, it is fair to infer that he was not near enough in marks to the first third of his class to justify his election into the society.
His place was probably within the first half, but not within the first third.
The scales which determined the rank of the students at that time do not now exist.
belonged to the ‘Hasty-Pudding Club,’—one of the oldest and the most popular of the college clubs.
He was initiated, Dec. 18, 1828.
He served as a judge in one of its moot courts, held March 19, 1829.
On his motion, its first catalogue of past and present members was made and printed; and he was one of the committee appointed to prepare it. He was, when a Senator, accustomed to send books to its library.
Some of his class, in their Senior year, formed a private society for mutual improvement, keeping even its existence a secret, and calling it ‘The Nine,’ from their number.
They were Hopkinson
, and McBurney
They met in each other's rooms, read essays, and each in turn made up a record, generally of an amusing kind, to be read at the next meeting.
On Nov. 2, 1829, Sumner
read, in 22 Holworthy,2
an essay on the English Universities
, which he had just published in a newspaper, with the signature of ‘Amicus.’3
It is a historical account of their origin and methods of administration and instruction.
On the evening of March 1, 1830, he read the