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120 Years Ago

In the years when Mr. Moody was alive, we did not celebrate February 5th as “Founder’s Day.”  Instead it was observed as a birthday, and because Moody shared his birthday with his mother, Betsy, it was as much her day as it was his. Even after her death in 1896, the day still had the gala feeling of a party. In 1897 Mr. Moody turned 60, and that milestone was marked with the gift to Moody and the school of our chapel, the first school building constructed with no financial help from the founder.

from The Hermonite, vol. X, no. 10, p. 159.


Early on the morning of the fifth the great wheels of Hermon life were set in motion and slowly they ground out their regular routine of Latin, Greek and geometry; when suddenly, at 9 o’clock A.M., the chief engineer received orders from Mr. Moody to “down brakes” and “reverse engines.” The news flashed over the hill faster than the “pink eye” in ’96, and at 9:45 almost every chapel [the chapel in this era was a room on the third floor of the now-burned Recitation Hall –ed.] seat was occupied. After the regular chapel service Professor Cutler read the telegram which said: “Please do not let the students have any lessons to-day. D.L.M.”

Professor Cutler then announced Mr. Dickerson, “the orator of the day.” That gentleman rose hastily and after disclaiming all right to the title “orator” proceeded to give a couple of scientific (?) facts. The first was that Rev. F.B. Meyer had presented Mr. Moody $25,000 for the erection of a chapel on Temptation Hill. He then proposed that the school raise and send to Mr. Moody $100 toward furnishing the new building. The money was soon raised, and a committee of five, J.D. Waldron, ’97, Holmes, ’98, Hurst, ’99, E.E. Jones, ’00, and Sibley, was chosen to take the money to Mr. Moody that afternoon.

The five, bearing the check, found Mr. Moody at home about 2:30 o’clock. His words, always few at such times, still showed much pleasure in receiving the gift. May that noble veteran of the cross be spared many years more is the prayer rising from thousands of hearts today.