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The Last Tribute to Doctor Angell

James Burrill Angell
The Michigan Alumnus 321

While each professional school and college of the University, with the
exception of the College of Engineering, was early provided with its own
administrative head, the organization of the University was such, until a
comparatively recent time, that Dr. Angell, in addition to his duties as
President, was also for many years, the head of the College of Literature,
Science and the Arts. During all that period it was the privilege of many
generations of literary students to come into close contact with him and
carry away the unforgettable benefits of such association. It was before Dr.
Angell that the line of freshmen had to pass on entering, and he it was who
wrote their names in the University register and gave them a friendly and
personal welcome to the institution over which he presided. His sincere
personal interest in the students and his wonderful gift in remembering their
names and faces, not only upon the Campus, but wherever and whenever he
might meet them in after years, gave him an abiding place in their affections.
The sympathy of the man was so genuine that his was ever a loved presence.

To know Dr. Angell was to feel that he knew and understood you. His
gracious manner and his simplicity inspired confidence, relieved
embarrassment and lead many an awkward student to talk freely of him,
because he felt the outgoing sympathy of the man. Thousands of men and
women everywhere will recall the kindly hospitality of the President's home
where Dr. and Mrs. Angell for so many years were the very vital center of
the life of the University. The alumni whom Dr. Angell met felt not only that
he remembered them, but that he had followed them into the world and had a
constant interest in their welfare.

Dr. Angell's wonderful personality and the indelible impression, which he
made upon the minds of the students, play a large part, without question, in
the loyalty of Michigan men during all that long period when the alumni
were unorganized. His success as an administrator, the recognition accorded
him in his various diplomatic appointments, and his wonderful ability as a
public speaker, all these things made his students proud. They were proud of
him and rejoiced in his success, they were proud of the University to which
he gave distinction, they had felt the thrill, which his public addresses never
failed to impart, they had sounded his wisdom and they were doubly proud
that he was their President. He belonged to them as they belonged to him.
He was so much the known friend of all, his relations with them so intimate
and so personal, that his greatness seemed to become a part of their own

Before Dr. Angell came to us he had left his mark upon many students, and
men like Richard Olney and John Hay, who were his students at Brown,
never ceased to acknowledge their debt of gratitude to him. We of Michigan
who were blessed in having him with us for so many years will never forget
what he has done for us and for our Alma Mater.