THE FACULTY DINNER CLUBS
WITHIN the faculty of the University three clubs with scholarly as well as social objectives have exercised a strong influence toward faculty solidarity. Composed of members representing all divisions of the University, both the humanities and the sciences, these clubs have served effectively in keeping their members informed of the problems and programs of the different departments of the University. In all but a very few instances membership in these clubs is confined strictly to the University staff. Each club meets at regular intervals at the home of one of the members, who is responsible for the program for the evening. While the organization of these clubs is extremely informal, in all of them traditions have developed over the years of their existence which give each special characteristics.
Scientific Club. — The oldest of these organizations is the Scientific Club, founded in the autumn of 1883. It was an outgrowth of an earlier club known as the Ann Arbor Scientific Society, composed of faculty members and citizens of Ann Arbor interested in the sciences, which met "with more or less regularity" in the old Chemical Laboratory Building. Interest in this early organization gradually weakened, and in 1883 Henry Sewall, Professor of Physiology, president-elect of the Society, in talking with Professor John W. Langley, remarked that when he became president he would "put the Society to sleep and out of its ashes would spring something worth while."
Further discussion on the part of the two members led to a plan for a new club composed of faculty members to be drawn from the scientific faculties, which would hold biweekly meetings in rotation at the residences of the members. No set program was to be provided, but "free and spontaneous discussion was to be invited" and this "scientific conversation" was to be succeeded by a "light collation provided by the hostess in absentia."
In October of 1883 six members of the Page 414faculty accepted Dr. Sewall's invitation and met at his home on the north side of Jefferson Street, a few doors from State Street. These were: John W. Langley, Professor of General Chemistry, Mark Harrington, Professor of Astronomy, Albert B. Prescott, Professor of Organic and Applied Chemistry and of Pharmacy, Dr. V. C. Vaughan, Professor of Physiological and Pathological Chemistry, Mortimer E. Cooley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Alexander Winchell, Professor of Geology and Paleontology. This group of seven drew up plans for the club and chose five other members: Charles E. Greene, Professor of Civil Engineering, William H. Pettee, Professor of Mineralogy, Economic Geology, and Mining Engineering, Charles K. Wead, Acting Professor of Physics, Volney M. Spalding, Acting Professor of Botany, and Otis Coe Johnson, Assistant Professor of Applied Chemistry. This augmented group later chose seven more members: Dr. William J. Herdman, Professor of Practical and Pathological Anatomy, Joseph Beale Steere, Professor of Zoology, Calvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of German and Sanskrit, Edward L. Walter, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Dr. William H. Dorrance, Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry and Dental Metallurgy, Byron W. Cheever, Acting Professor of Metallurgy, and J. B. Davis, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering.
This group of nineteen formed the original club. While most of them were scientists in the strict interpretation of the term, there were in this first group, as there have since continued to be, members who represented the humanities. An evening gathering followed by the "collation" was customary at first, but at the present time the members meet for a dinner followed by a paper and discussion. Tradition has it that the hospitality became so excessive that it was felt desirable to begin with the dinner.
The officers of the Scientific Club consist of a "principal servant" and a "viceprincipal servant," known as the "Vice," whose duty is to arrange for the meetings and pass the hat for ballots at the time of election. The present members of the club (1941) are as follows: Arthur S. Aiton, Harley H. Bartlett, Henry M. Bates, William W. Bishop, Arthur E. Boak, Louis I. Bredvold, Mortimer E. Cooley, Samuel T. Dana, John P. Dawson, Earl W. Dow, Joseph H. Drake, Sr., Moses Gomberg, Carl E. Guthe, Robert B. Hall, Joseph R. Hayden, William H. Hobbs, Clarence T. Johnston, Hayward Keniston, Walter B. Pillsbury, Jesse S. Reeves, Jacob E. Reighard, Alexander G. Ruthven, Malcolm H. Soule, Cyrus C. Sturgis, and John G. Winter.
Katholepistemiad. — The second oldest of the faculty clubs is the Katholepistemiad, which was founded in June, 1897, when the first regular meeting was held at the home of Andrew C. McLaughlin, Professor of American History. Its establishment was the result of a feeling that with the steady increase of the University staff there should be room for at least one other organization similar to the Scientific Club, which had been functioning for some fourteen years. The original group, in addition to Professor McLaughlin, was composed of G. Carl Huber, then Assistant Professor of Histology, George Dock, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine and Pathology, Fred M. Taylor, then Junior Professor of Political Economy and Finance, Dr. J. Playfair McMurrich, Professor of Anatomy, George A. Hench, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Burke A. Hinsdale, Professor of the Science and the Art of Teaching, Israel C. Russell, Professor of Geology, Martin L. D'Ooge, Professor of the Greek Language and Literature, Alfred Page 415H. Lloyd, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Harry B. Hutchins, Dean of the Department of Law, Dr. Arthur R. Cushny, Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, and Floyd R. Mechem, Tappan Professor of Law.
It will be noted that although there are a number of members on this list who were scientists, a majority of the members represented the humanities. In its name the club preserves the first name of the University given to the earliest institution established in Detroit in 1817 by Judge A. B. Woodward — "the institution of universal knowledge." Unlike the Scientific Club, the Katholepistemiad has a constitution and bylaws, which limit its membership to fifteen, except in the case of the president of the University, who may be asked to become an honorary member. Meetings are held every third Saturday night during the academic year. The present membership is as follows: Randolph G. Adams, Arthur W. Bromage, Frederick A. Coller, Ivan C. Crawford, Heber D. Curtis, John W. Eaton, Albert C. Furstenberg, Robert R. McMath, Frederick G. Novy, DeWitt H. Parker, Bradley M. Patten, Alexander G. Ruthven, Herbert C. Sadler, and E. Blythe Stason.
The Azazels. — The third faculty club, the Azazels, came into existence in the autumn of 1908, under the inspiration of Alfred H. White, Professor of Chemical Engineering. The club was projected with two equal purposes: to promote good fellowship and to promote literary and scientific attainments. The charter members of the club included, in addition to Professor White, Hugo P. Thieme, Assistant Professor of French, John R. Effinger, Professor of French and Dean of the Summer Session, Emil Lorch, Professor of Architecture, Fred N. Scott, Professor of Rhetoric, Morris P. Tilley, Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Charles W. Edmunds, Lecturer on Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Shirley W. Smith, Secretary of the University, John A. Fairlie, Professor of Administrative Law, Dr. George L. Streeter, Professor of Anatomy, Charles J. Tilden, Junior Professor of Civil Engineering, and the Reverend Dr. Carl S. Patton, Instructor in Hebrew. The name of this club apparently arose from a story told by Dr. Patton in which a student, translating the old Hebrew story of the scapegoat, the "azazel," succeeded "in a way that amounted almost to genius" in endowing the azazel with "elements of Jehovah, the devil, and the scapegoat." "As this seemed to illustrate our predicament," in the words of one member of the club, "the name was chosen as a happy way out of our difficulties."
As in the instance of the Scientific Club, the Azazels have no regular form of organization or constitution, the members presiding in turn more or less as the spirit moves. The president of the University is an honorary member. Present membership is as follows: Campbell Bonner, Ermine C. Case, William A. Frayer, William C. Hoad, Fred J. Hodges, Howard B. Lewis, Emil Lorch, John W. Riegel, Alexander G. Ruthven, Wilfred B. Shaw, Shirley W. Smith, Morris P. Tilley, John E. Tracy, Lewis G. Vander Velde, Henry Vaughan, and Alfred H. White.
The Club. — In addition to the three strictly faculty clubs, a fourth club known merely as "The Club" has drawn its membership for many years from both the University and the city of Ann Arbor. It was formed November 25, 1902, at the home of Robert M. Wenley, Professor of Philosophy. In addition to Professor Wenley, the charter members were Thomas A. Bogle, Professor of Law, James A. Craig, Professor of Semitic Languages and Literatures and Hellenistic Greek, William D. Harriman, Hart-wig H. Herbst, and Carl S. Patton. Samuel Page 416A. Jones, physician, was also named one of the founders, though not present at that meeting. The present membership of the club residing in Ann Arbor is as follows: William W. Bishop, George Burke, Arthur G. Canfield, Ermine C. Case, Wilbert B. Hinsdale, Clarence T. Johnson, Frederick P. Jordan, Ernest F. Lloyd, and Alexander G. Ruthven.
Canfield, Arthur G."'The Club' Unites Town and Gown."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 544-45, 550.
Cooley, Mortimer E., , and Warren P. Lombard. MS, "History of the Scientific Club of Ann Arbor, 1883-1932."
Cross, Arthur L."The Katholepistemiad Club, 1897-1932."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932):364-66.
Lombard, Warren P."The Ann Arbor Scientific Club."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 304-6.
Smith, Shirley W."The Society of the Azazels."Mich. Alum., 39 (1932): 73-74.
University of Michigan. Catalogue of Graduates, Non-Graduates, Officers, and Members of the Faculties, 1837-1921. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923.