OUR EARLIER COLLEGES: SOCIAL RANK AMONG THE STUDENTS -- AGES OF GRADUATION
AT Harvard and Yale the students were not at first placed alphabetically in their classes, but according to social rank. The names of the students are still so printed in the general or quinquennial catalogues of Harvard up to the class of 1772, and of Yale that of 1767.
Class order not alphabetical. Early social rank.
Judge Wingate of Harvard, 1759, thus describes the method of fixing the order of precedence: --
"The higher part of the class had the best rooms assigned to them, and had the right to help themselves first at table. The Freshman class was, in my day at College, usually placed (as it was termed) within six or nine months after their admission. The official notice of this was given by having their names written in a large German text, in a handsome style, and placed in a conspicuous part of the College Buttery,1 where the names of the four classes of undergraduates were kept suspended until they left College. If a scholar was expelled, his name was taken from its place; or if he was degraded (which was considered the next highest punishment to expulsion), it was moved accordingly. As soon as the freshmen were apprised of their places, each one took his station according to the new arrangement at recitation, and at Commons, and in the chapel, and on all other occasions. And this arrangement was never afterwards altered, either in College or in the Catalogue, however the rank of their parents might be varied."2
Placing the class.
The earlier laws compelled each entering student to pay five pounds on account, and give bond to the steward "in the sum of forty pounds to pay college dues quarterly3 as they are charged in the several quarter-bills, viz. the steward's, the glazier's, and the sweeper's."
The glazier's bill.