Hon. Tipton D. Jennings, Coordinate Woman's College.
This is a subject to which I have given quite a good deal of serious thought within the past two years. I have sought with an open mind to arrive at a wise and sound conclusion, and it is only recently that I have cleared up the question fully and become convinced that the State owes, not so much to its women, as to itself the establishment of a State College for the higher education of women, and I am convinced, beyond any doubt in my own mind, that such an institution can serve its greatest purpose in connection with the University of Virginia. The rather violent opposition of a small but active part of the alumni is, in my judgement, more the expression of a sentiment, based on what they consider cherished and sacred traditions, than a sound conclusion, based on a study of the trend of education and the needs for higher training among our women.
The argument in favor of the measure is most convincingly stated in the short pamphlet on the subject, called "Facts and Conclusions Concerning the Purposes of a Coordinate College for Women," which I presume you have seen, but, at any rate, I will have a copy mailed you, which is well worth your perusal. I, at first, shared with many others the doubt as to the necessity or wisdom of the State committing itself on this proposition, at this time, but have come to the conclusion that the proposition has been made such a live issue, that it cannot and will not be put down, and that it is to the best interest of the State that it should be decided now, rather than carried over for a further and more complex contest. If the matter is deferred to a future session of the Legislature , it will inevitably mean that various localities of the State will become rivals for the location of the institution. This means that it will be a fight of the field against the University, which as a friend of the latter, I feel would be very detrimental, and furthermore, if the institution should be finally located at some other point, it will mean extending the very serious mistake, which our State has already made in scattering its educational work, both to the detriment of economy and efficiency. If we had one great State University, at which was grouped all of the work we are now doing at the various State educational institutions (some six or eight in number) it would produce results and exert an influence for good, vastly beyond what we can ever hope to do through our widely separate institutions.
I simply submit my views to you, for what they might be worth, and ask your most careful consideration of this measure, hoping that you may be induced to lend your support to it. John W. Craddock