withstand it. A pathetic story, or a burst of eloquence would bring tears to his eyes.
The truth is that, little as it was suspected by those who were not near to him, he was a man of decidedly emotional nature.
And, as a corollary, he possessed the keenest sense of humor, and enjoyed a laughable incident as heartily as any one I ever knew.
These personal traits, added to the moral and intellectual characteristics to which I have referred, will readily account for his great and widespread influence, and for the hosts of friends throughout the State
who honored him while living and sincerely mourn his death.
He had always cherished a loyal affection for this university of which he was a graduate, and in 1875 he became a trustee and member of the Executive Committee, and so remained until his death.
He was also appointed secretary and treasurer, which position he filled for nearly the same length of time.
In the discharge of his duties in these capacities, although for the larger part of the time a confirmed invalid and great sufferer, he did as much to ‘revive, foster and enlarge’ the university, according to the testimony of the faculty themselves, as any one had ever done.
In the tribute which they paid to him soon after his death they used this language:
‘From his graduation to the day of his death he was loyal to his Alma Mater
, and gave to her the best thoughts of his big brain, and the ardent affection of his great heart.
Watchful, steadfast, patient and wise, he never lost sight of her interest, never wavered in her support, and, when the crisis demanded it, marshalled and led her alumni to her defence.’
Every one who knew him at all intimately will corroborate these statements of the faculty, for his profound interest in the welfare of the university was constantly manifested in his conversation as well as in his acts.
He loved the gray walls of these old buildings, and the refreshing shade of these majestic oaks with an hereditary as well as with a personal affection, and in the evil days that followed the war the silence and desolation which reigned here grieved him sorely, and stimulated him to the task of restoring the university to her ancient prestige.
But a higher motive than mere sentiment moved him to the work.
He regarded it with the eye of a statesman and a patriot, and anticipated the blessings it would bring to future generations.
It was eminently fit, therefore, that the alumni should have dedicated this hour to his memory, and have thus acknowledged their obligation for his services.