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EPADEL:A Semisesquicentennial History, 1926-2000

Section 3.1 First Seven Meetings

Table 3.1.1 contains data from the first seven meetings of the Philadelphia Section. The final column provides a reference (date of issue and page numbers) to the official annual reports as they appeared in the Monthly for those readers who desire additional details about the meetings.
Table 3.1.1.
Date Location # MAA 1  % Monthly
November 27, 1926 Lehigh 20 14 70 April 1927, 166-168
November 26, 1927 Penn 60 30 50 February 1928, 52-54
December 1, 1928 Penn 75 35 47 June/July 1929, 301-304
November 30, 1929 Penn 51 51 69 February 1930, 45-46
November 29, 1930 Penn 39 25 64 February 1931, 62-64
November 28, 1931 Lehigh 33 24 73 February 1932, 61-62
November 26, 1932 Swarthmore 74 39 53 February 1933, 63-64
The first column of Table 3.1.1 lists the dates of the first seven meetings. Nowadays the section holds its annual fall meeting in the early part of November, but initially the date was scheduled for the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It was not until the meeting of 1939 that this original tradition was formally enacted, when the assembled members voted to hold meetings “on the Saturday after the official Thanksgiving Day of Pennsylvania.”
The second column of Table 3.1.1 lists the sites of the first seven meetings. They bear out the section’s elliptical model of focal points in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. Overall the University of Pennsylvania hosted four meetings sandwiched between two at Lehigh University; Swarthmore College, located in suburban Philadelphia, hosted the seventh.
Chapter 2 reported that \(20\) people attended the November 1926 organization meeting of the Philadelphia Section held at Lehigh, including the 14 charter members of the section. With the bulk of the section’s MAA 2  membership living in the Philadelphia area, the site of the meetings was moved to Penn for the next four years. Columns 3, 4, and 5 of Table 3.1.1 provide attendance figures at these meetings:
  • Column 3 (header #) lists total attendance
  • Column 4 (header MAA 3 ) states the number of MAA 4  members
  • Column 5 (header %) gives the percentage of MAA 5  members
Table 3.1.1 shows that the absolute number and the percentage of MAA 6  members who attended these meetings varied appreciably. The table also shows that initially the move to the Philadelphia area witnessed a surge in attendance, but that the figures dropped precipitously from a peak of 75 in 1928 to only 39 just two years later. A likely explanation for this decline is the stock market crash that intervened between the two meetings. With transportation presenting a greater obstacle than today, it is not surprising that the two meetings held at Lehigh attracted smaller audiences than those held in the Philadelphia area, where a network of trains, trolleys, buses, and subway lines minimized transportation inconvenience.
Overall, during the seven-year period the mean attendance was \(50.3\text{,}\) of whom \(28.6\) (\(57.4\)%) belonged to the MAA 7 . Ignoring the organizational meeting of \(1926\text{,}\) which statisticians might label an outlier, the mean attendance at the remaining six meetings was \(55.3\text{,}\) of whom \(31.3\) (\(56.6\)%) were members of the MAA 8 .