Colorado College Scientific Society

The Scientific Society was founded in 1890. In the 1900 edition of the Pike's Peak Nugget the following article (including the graphics) chronicled the beginnings of the society.

The Scientific Society.

During the year 1889-90, three new instuctors of Colorado College lived in Hagerman Hall. This building had just been completed, and its dedication marked the first mile-stone on the road of progress as mapped out by President Slocum, who had come to the college the previous year. The three new instructors were O. H. Richardson, now of the Yale Faculty; G. L. Hendrickson, then just from Bonn and Berlin, now connected with the University of Chicago; and F. Cajori, who had resigned his position at the Tulane University of Louisiana, to make his home in Colorado. These three young men and Miss E. Wickard, who also roomed at Hagermann Hall frequently discussed the present and future of Colorado College - what it was and what they hoped it soon would be. One day Hendrickson and Cajori were pacing up and down the lower corridor of Hagerman Hall, waiting for the sound of the dinner bell, and discussing great problems relating to the college and themselves. They wondered whether the college, which had at that time about half a dozen students of college rank, would really grow, whether books and apparatus would be forthcoming, whether there was any ground for hope that they might achieve something in the way of scholarship and original research. Cajori suggested to Hendrickson, "why not start a Scientific Society?" The idea was favorably received. Miss Wickard and Mr. Richardson promised their support. Prof. Slocum encouraged the plan. Prof. F.H.Loud saw in it the very thing he had wanted for years.

On January 22, 1890, a constitution was adopted and the following officers elected: F. H. Loud, President; Miss E. Wickard and W. Strieby, Vice-Presidents; F. Cajori, Secretary; O.H. Richardson, Treasurer. The first regular meeting was held in February, 1890.

The objects of the society as set forth in the constitution, are, "the discussion of recent scientific results, the promotion among its members of scientific inquiry and investigation, and the publication of the more important papers read at the meetings."

If any proof is needed of the zeal displayed by the early workers of the society, it is found in the fact that only four months after its organization the society published its first issue of scientific papers under the title of "Colorado College Studies." The society has become a permanent organization in Colorado College. Every year since, except one, a volume of "Colorado College Studies" has been published. During the first few years the bills for printing were met by the annual dues and by contributions from public-spirited citizens of Colorado Springs. In 1893, the College Faculty subscribed $1,500 towards the "Pearsons Fund." The interest of this sum has been set aside to defray, in part, the cost of publication. The "Colorado College Studies" are distributed to a large number of scientific societies in the United States and abroad. Exchanges are received from all parts of the world. Many valuable scientific articles in the Coburn Library have come to the college in this way.

As the years pass may the Scientific Society grow in efficiency and become an ever increasing power in the intellectual life of Colorado College.

As stated in the Nugget article, the original officers of the Scientific Society were:

The officers were shuffled from year to year, but Florian Cajori stayed on as secretary and then became managing editor of the Colorado College Studies in 1905 when the publication was further formalized and promoted; President William Slocum was Editor in Chief. Professor Cajori remained as editor until he left the college in 1918.

Papers read before the Society were published in an annual volume of the Colorado College Studies. Mathematical contributions to these volumes remained significant throughout the early years. The first issue (1890) contained the following papers:

And the second issue (1891):

For further interpretation of the role the Scientific Society played in the development of the college,
Professor John Fauvel's address delivered at the 140th celebration of Florian Cajori's birth.

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