At seventeen minutes past two this afternoon President Harper passed away. The first intimation which the University public received was the lowering of the flag at twenty-five minutes to three.
The end was not totally unexpected, for this morning Dr. Frank Billings, the President’s attending physician, stated in a bulletin that Dr. Harper’s condition was so precarious that he could not survive the week, but the sudden end was not anticipated by anyone but the immediate relatives.
Doctor Harper had been growing steadily weaker since Thanksgiving, and the marked changed for the worse during the last few days prompted the statement made by Dr. Billings.
Even in spite of the adverse dictum, the public has looked for the remarkable rallies which have characterized the President’s long and gallant struggle against disease. It was felt even by those who knew the situation best that his marvelous vitality would again carry him out of danger. With the sudden relapse of the last few days, however, even this shadowy hope departed.
In anticipation of the end, Dr. Harper’s mother, Mrs. Samuel Harper, and his sister, Mrs. Douglass, of Pittsburg, arrived at the President’s home yesterday and were at his bedside today.
Not even in the University, where the news has been more or less expected for some time, is the blow the less severe. The news spread rapidly, and left students and faculty alike stunned and appalled with a sense of sudden irreparable loss for which no amount of warning or expectancy could prepare them.
All student activities were immediately abandoned, and class-room work was suspended with the receipt of the news. The only question of the University was for details, and of these nothing could be learned. Before tomorrow little of definite information will appear.