July 13, 1933 – Ted Dreier to his mother

  • July 13, 1933 – Ted Dreier (Bolton Landing, NY) to his mother

Dear mother:

Plans for the new college are gradually taking shape, although we are having plenty of difficulty in getting definite decisions on the part of a sufficient number of students. Mr. Rice, Bingham, and myself want to get together one of these days if we can, and I thought of Sunken Meadow as being a possible intermediate meeting place. Would that be a possibility, or are you pretty tied up now? Some other place might be better, but I thought I’d tell you we were thinking about it so that if a telegram came asking definitely, you would be forewarned.

We had a good letter from Mac the other day. He says he wished he could be with us in our new venture, but that he is definitely tied up for another year in England. He also asked Barbara and me to join him and Ethel in a trip by motor out to the World’s Fair, as their guests. We joyfully accepted, and expect to leave here about the 6th or 7th of August, for about a week. When we get back we may both motor down to Florida to pack up our things provided our plans are definite by then, and if we do, of course we will stop at North Carolina on the way.

Some of my colleagues think I should issue a statement to the Associated Press and the United Press about my resignation. I had not thought this would be a good thing to do at first, but now it appears that it may be a very definite help in our campaign for the new college, as otherwise there will be a great tendency for people to think that everything is being smoothed out during the summer and it will be difficult to persuade enough parents that there is really something radically wrong about the place. I would not do it for any other reason as I have no desire to hurt Rollins (and if I don’t look out I might hurt myself still more!). However, Rollins is going to get hurt anyway when the whole thing does come out in the fall, and I do not think that I would be doing any more there. I shall have to be careful how I word it and see how it looks, and if it seems that this would do some good, I will send it in. In the meantime I should like to have your reaction and father’s to this, as it is something I want to be very careful about.

Tomorrow I am going to Schenectady and hope to see Alex and various other people, as well as one of our students who is there for the summer.

To save time, I wrote out a statement about the new college that I could send to people. I am enclosing a copy, as I thought you would be interested.

It now appears that in order to get the right to issue degrees from the State Education Commission in N.C. we may have to have a contingency fund of between $15,000 and $25,000 in order to meet possible deficits. With our balanced budget, we would not plan to use any of this *(unless it were given with the definite understanding that it was to be used), but it would have to be available, as we cannot apply to the State Commission until we are actually operating in any case. Do you think that any of the people we spoke of or any others you know of would be willing to contribute on such a basis, especially if it known that we really are going to get going?

Another thing that I thought you might be interested in having available, especially in case you spoke to anybody really interested, would be our budget for the year. We don’t plan to make any announcement, as I think we told you, until we can get 50 students; after that we are counting on getting ten more. I have made out two budgets, one on the basis of the sixty paying students and one on the basis of the minimum 50, allowing in each case for a few free students:


Rental of grounds and plant ($7,500 minimum plus $100 for each student over fifty)                                                                                             $9,500

Light, Heat, and Power                                                         $3,600

Service Help for kitchen Housekeeping, etc.                                  $2,400

Food for Students (raw) @$200/each                               $14,000

Food for faculty and Families                                                          $5,000

Scientific and Lab Equip. for Physics, Chem., and Biology            $10,000

Miscellaneous expenses, incl. salary of Treasurer             $3,500

Faculty Salaries                                                                     $7,000

Total:                          $50,000

We have the figures from a boys’ school that operated there until recently to guide us. They had about the same number of students that we expect. We also checked over the entire budget with the Swarthmore Treasurer (better not mention specifically, I suppose). Faculty wives are going to take care of such things as library, managing the Housekeeping, and Office Work (two of them are trained accountants, I believe.)

Of course, the main points of the new college are 1) the close relationship between faculty and students, both in the classroom (conference plan) and outside. (We will have meals together, and all kinds of activities, both social and otherwise: dramatics, discussion groups, etc.); 2) outside examiners (This, President Aydelotte feels, is the best way to raise the academic standard to a high level; it also is good for the relationship between students and faculty etc.); 3) No president; 4) the ultimate responsibility lies with the men most vitally concerned with the welfare of the college: the faculty, instead of with an outside, mildly interested group, such as the usual Board of Trustees; This changes the whole position of the faculty members and gives them a new dignity as well; At the same time advice from outside sources is to be maintained – in fact improved upon