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The Addresses and Letters which compose this pamphlet were occasioned by the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the organization of the College, which took place last December, in conformity with the appointment of the Board of Trustees. The celebration was resolved on at the Annual M of the Board, in 1853. A Committee was appointed to make proper arrangements, and the Hon. James L. Petigru was unanimously requested to deliver the semi-centennial oration. The Committee of Arrangements was instructed to invite the Presidents, Professors, and Trustees of the Colleges in this and the contiguous States, to be present on the occasion, together with such other gentlemen from abroad as it might deem entitled to the compliment.
The fourth of December, being Commencement day, was fixed on as the day of the delivery of the oration, and the hour, at the close of the usual Commencement Exercises. The Board subsequently ordered that the Baccalaureate Address of the President of the College, the Oration of Mr. Petigru, and the answers to letters of invitation should be published in the present form.