Grand Rapids Democrat June 21, 1891


A Success Beyond All Expectations―Plans For a New Building―
The Music Department—Commencement Exercises—Institute Management.

Akeley Institute.

   GRAND HAVEN. June 20.—Akeley Institute is making a grand showing, not only in the quality of work accomplished, but in the number of pupils enrolled; the ambitious push shown by those in charge and the great enthusiasm manifested by every one connected with the institution who knows of its capabilities and promise. The school is a success beyond all expectations, and has arrived at that point in its career where additional accommodation for the rapidly increasing attendance is a necessity. During the past year, a large number of the pupils and several of the teachers have been obliged to board in various houses contiguous to the main building. And still there comes more and more applications for instruction, so that even last year plans were discussed for the erection of a large building, which would meet all requirements for a young ladies school.

A New Building.

   These plans have matured this week, among formal ceremonies, the ground for the new building was broken. The occasion was one which called for a large gathering of representative ladies and gentlemen from various parts of the state. Friends from abroad, trustees, the honored bishop, many prominent citizens of Grand Haven, and pupils from the schools of the city were present to honor and enjoy the ceremonies.

   The new building will be of brick, of ample dimensions, and will contain rooms for students and teachers, and a large dining hall and kitchen with every necessary and modern convenience. It will be large, light and airy, and located upon College hill, a most healthy and accessibly locality. Seventy-five additional students will be accommodated in this new building, and from the present outlook it will soon be filled.

The Music Department.

   The music department has been for the last year under the charge of Ora Pearson, vocal, and Miss Randall of Detroit, piano, teachers. The commencement recital will take place Tuesday evening next and, judging from the program, will be a very happy affair. The music next year will be under the charge of Henry C. Post, of Grand Rapids, who will give the piano classes his personal attention. The vocal classes will be in charge of Miss Emma Smith, who has been a teacher in the Ionia street school and a leading member of the Westminster choir. She will make Akeley her home and will be Mr. Post’s assistant in supervising the study and practice of the young ladies—both instrumental and vocal students. Mr. Post’s reputation as a pianist and a teacher in Western Michigan and Miss Smith’s success and ability as a vocalist and an experienced trainer for young people, offer a significant guarantee that the music department will be an important and well conducted branch of Akeley institute. There will be pupil’s recitals at stated intervals throughout the season, lectures and talks and every effort made to cultivate a love and taste for what is good and pure in art.

   The graduating class of 1891 is not a large one, the undergraduate classes naturally being much larger than the pioneering classes. This class numbers only four: Miss Fanny L. McGrath of Grand Rapids, Miss Grace E. Messer of Hastings, Miss Mary Rippey of Muskegon, and Miss Ethel Soper of Lansing.

Exercises Beginning Today.

   The order of the exercises will be as follows:

   Tomorrow—Holy communion, 7:40 a.m.; morning service, with sermon to students of Akeley Institute, by Rt. Rev. Geo D. Gillespie, S. T. D., 10:30 a.m.; evening service 7:30 p.m.

   Monday—Exhibition of drawing and painting; 2 to 5 and 8 to 10 p.m., Miss Lucas, teacher of art.

   Tuesday—Music recital, Blanche Hall, 8 p.m.; Miss Randall, instrumental music; Mr. Pearson, vocal music.

   Wednesday, St. John Baptist Day, St. John’s church, 11 a.m.—Address of welcome, Bishop Gillespie; reports and distribution of prizes; address to the graduating class, the Rev. John Egar, S. T. D.. Rome, N. Y.; presentation of diplomas; benediction; the gymnasium, 8 p.m.; exercises in gymnastics and calisthenics.

Management of the School.

   Akeley Institute is under the personal management of Dr. J. E. Wilkinson, who has practical charge of the houses and management of all details. Too much praise can not be given for the admiral and thoroughly efficient manner in which all matters of the college are conducted. It is a pleasure to observe the businesslike air in the conduct of the class rooms, while the bearing and address of the young ladies in the parlors or dormitories is a model of propriety and fine breeding. Over all is seen the quiet, healthy home influence which is too seldom found in a young ladies’ school.

   Quoting from one of the addresses at the breaking of the ground last week, "It pays to educate girls. In the range of knowledge over fields of history, literature, science and the arts open to them; in the refinement given to our homes; in the purified and elevated tone given to society; in devotion to the church and in charming companionship afforded to all, the higher education of women, demonstrates its value."

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