Although the University always had good teachers, owing to its poverty, lack of libraries and apparatus, and narrow range of instruction, it failed to attract the attendance of students it would have commanded had it been able to offer greater advantages. Counting law, college, and preparatory students, it enrolled in 1869-70 three hundred and forty-six students. Student life and student activities were as interesting, varied, and energetic in the University as in other colleges. When in 1873 the trustees opened the college classes to women, its variety and interest were not diminished. Student societies abounded. Student publications were issued, notably the Volatile, the students' monthly, which, beginning in 1871, was vigorously sustained to the end. The University graduated from its college classes during the twenty- eight years of its educational history three hundred and twelve students. From among them rose capitalists, bankers, editors, ministers, missionaries, lawyers, professors, judges, presidents of colleges, men successful, some of them eminent, in all the activities of life. On the organization of the Board of Trustees of the new University of Chicago the alumni of the Old University were made alumni of the new, their degrees being re-enacted, and they entered cordially into the new relation. But they still retained their loyalty to the first University and held annual reunions in its honor.
The first University of Chicago was not a large institution. It had a troubled history. But it produced a profound conviction that Chicago was the predestined seat of a great institution of learning and the inextinguishable desire and unalterable purpose that a new university, built on more secure foundations and offering better and greater facilities, should succeed the old one. It was this interest and this desire and this purpose that, when the time came and the call for offerings was made, brought so great a response. The first university was an essential factor among the forces, the conjunction of which prepared the way for, and combined eventually to create, the present University.
The second of the institutions which helped to prepare the way for the university, and one not less important than the first, was the Baptist Union Theological Seminary. The first University had no sooner begun its work than students for the ministry