Reports of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction
of the State of Michigan
For the years 1855, 1856, and 1857

Ira Mayhew
Superintendent of Public Instruction
1858 - Homer & Kerr, Printers to the State

To the Superintendent of Public Instruction:
SIR - The Trustees of Olivet Institute submit the following report of its literary and financial condition:

The number of pupils in attendance during the year ending April 12th, was one hundred and forty-three - a number considerably less than during the several preceding years. This difference is known to have resulted in great measure from the reverses in the money market and the failure of crops, which pressed heavily upon the farming population from which our pupils are mostly derived. The number in attendance the present term is about one hundred and twenty.

Although the Institute has no permanent endowment, its operations have thus far been carried on without incurring any embarrassing debts, a few hundred dollars being the largest liability ever incurred beyond their resources immediately available. Two commodious buildings are now in use, furnishing a Chapel, several recitation rooms, library room, and dormitories for about forty young men. The female department has hitherto had no building for its accommodation, the young ladies having been all distributed in private families; but a substantial brick building, 50 by 84 feet, four stories, is now in process of erection and will probably be ready for occupancy by the opening of the next Fall Term. Funds for this purpose, to the amount of $11,000, have been obtained in reliable subscriptions, a part of which has already been paid in. The saleable real estate held by the trustees is estimated at between $1,200 and $1,500.

Instruction has been given during the year in al the common branches of education; in Physiology and Chemistry; in Greek, Latin, French, and the higher branches of mathematics; and in Book Keeping, Penmanship, and Instrumental Music. Four instructors have been employed most of the year.

The course of study is liberal and extensive, including all the branches usually embraced in a College course.

The first seven weeks of the fall Term, each year, is devoted specially, though not exclusively to the training of a Teachers' Class, giving a thorough review of all the branches usually taught in common and select schools, together with a course of practical lectures on topics connected with the teacher's profession. The design is, as far as the nature of the case will admit, to make it a Teachers' Institute of seven weeks duration. A large number of teachers annually avail themselves of the advantages thus afforded, to fit themselves for their work.

No pains will be spared to make the Institute a thorough and instrumentality in the work of education.


Olivet, Oct., 1856.

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Transcribed by Nedra Evans
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