Processed by: McHugh, Erin
Date Processed: 06/2008
The Alethean Society was originally founded as the Eutopian Literary Society on the 21st of April 1881. It was later renamed because the “young gentlemen at the college found the name hard to remember.“
Organized around poetry, literature and debates, the Alethean Society was one of the four literary societies at Southwestern University, which at the time, were comprised of at least 90% of the student body. It was said that the societies “ran Southwestern at the student level.” Meetings were held during the week, and inter-society debates took place on Fridays and Saturdays.
Along with hosting poetry readings and musical performances, the Alethean Society published the Southwestern University Magazine in collaboration with the three other literary societies on campus.
In 1916, the society merged with the other female literary society, the Clio Society, to form the Cody society, which dissolved in 1919 when the two male literary societies (the San Jacinto, and Alamo) became co-educational.
Much of the information for this note was taken from: Southwestern University Literary & Debating Societies, a study by Williams, Randall Southwestern University Student and Graduate of 2000.
The Minutes Book contains minutes and notes from the meetings of the Alethean Society from 1895 to 1896. The first 10 loose pages in the front of the book are the bylaws of the Society. They are written on the pages of what appears to be an address book. The entries appear to fall within the academic year (September through May), and are an account of the decisions passed in the meetings, such as the nomination and election of new officers, a list of members present and absent, and the amount of money absent members were to be fined. In the back of the book, there are a number of loose pages. The majority of these pages appear to be first drafts of the minutes for the meeting of the following academic year (1896-7). There are also apologetic notes from what were, assumedly, members who had missed meetings and were attempting to avoid fines.