History of Tufts College, 1854-1896Start, Alaric Bertrand
CHARLES E. FAY, A. M.
CHARLES E. FAY was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on the tenth of March, 1846. His father, the Rev. Cyrus H. Fay, was then pastor of the Universalist Church in Roxbury, his mother was a native of Tavistock, England. She died when he was only four years old, and his childhood was passed partly at the home of his grandparents in Concord, N.H., and partly with his father.
His education began at an early period, as he entered a private school in New York City at the age of four. Owing to the alternation between one home and the other, his
|school life was considerably varied. When six years old he was a pupil at Pembroke Academy, New Hampshire, under the guardianship of his aunts, who were likewise pupils there. Between the ages of eleven and sixteen he was a member of the high schools at Concord, New Hampshire, Middletown, Conn., and Providence, Rhode Island, from the last of which he graduated. This school was then regarded as one of the best in New England.|
Although this securing of a secondary education at various schools necessarily interfered with the unity of his course and delayed its completion, it had, nevertheless, many advantages, and Professor Fay himself is convinced that his experience of the world was in this way rendered the fuller, and that on the whole he was a gainer rather than a loser by the process. He was the youngest member of most of his classes, and a fondness for mischief was as characteristic of him as his readiness in learning. The latter enabled him to always maintain a position at or very near the head of the class.
A few months after his graduation he was offered the position of teacher at a district school in Nashua, New Hampshire. Following the advice of his father, he accepted the position, and his career as a teacher began.
At the close of a term of seventeen weeks here he returned to his home in Providence, and shortly after became Master of the Middle District Grammar School in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he taught for somewhat more than a year. This sojourn in Bristol was perhaps the critical point in his life. Here he made the acquaintance of Mr. Joshua Kendall, who was at that time Principal of the Rhode Island State Normal School. Constant intercourse with this scholarly man led Mr. Fay to reconsider a former determination not to take a college course, and under Mr. Kendall's instruction he began the study of Cæsar.
In consideration of his fondness for out-of-door life,
|particularly among the mountains, it may be interesting to note that it was during this year that, with a small company of his fellow-teachers, he made his first visit to the White Mountains, and camped out among them for three weeks.|
He gave up his school in Bristol in 1864, and turned his attention wholly to preparation for college. He decided to come to Tufts, and entered in the Fall of 1865.
Since a large number of the regular college requirements had been previously covered by him, he was able to gain one year in his course and to graduate in 1868, when he at once received the appointment of Walker Special Instructor in Mathematics. Literature and the languages, however, had appealed to his tastes far more than mathematics, and had received the best of his efforts, and the ministry seemed destined to furnish his life-work. In addition to his work as Instructor at the college he supplied the pulpit of what was then the Allen Street Unitarian Church at North Cambridge.
In the Summer of 1869 the new professorship of French and German was offered him with leave of absence for one year in Europe. This year was spent in travel and study in France, Germany, and Italy, and in the next Autumn he took up the work of organizing his department. During his stay in Europe he met in Florence Miss Mary W. Lincoln, of Boston, to whom he was married after their return from abroad. They have three children, -a son and two daughters.
It is unnecessary to trace here what he has done in raising the Department of Modern Languages to its present high standing. Notwithstanding the large amount of labor that devolves upon him, his work is not confined to the classroom. He has always been one of the foremost promoters of the cause of the Modern Languages, and a few years ago wrote a pamphlet on the subject, which attracted much attention. He is in demand as an essayist and a lecturer,
|and is also very well known through his connection with the Appalachian Mountain Club. He has been the editor of that society's publications since their beginning. He was President of the Club for some time, and is an enthusiastic member of the snow-shoe section. During the Summer of 1895 he conducted a large party of tourists over the Selkirk Range of the Rockies.|
Professor Fay is a member of the "Round Table," and of the New England Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools. He was one of the organizing members of the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and also belongs to the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity.
Published by the Class of 1897. The original contains appendices with a directory of alumni, the college catalog, and the college charter. These were not included in this addition.
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