A UNIVERSITY WEEK.
I therefore feel that I may without impertinence call the attention of your readers to a plan which has occurred to me, and which may not prove impracticable. It is nothing less than the extension of the class festivities over the dreary waste of time which comes between the present Class Day and the present Commencement. If I am not misinformed, a Commemoration Week, or something of that sort, is the regular end of an English University course; and every day of that week is filled with appropriate exercises, - some of a literary kind, some of a social. I think that such an arrangement would be pleasant here. But as I have had no opportunity to consult the powers that be in regard to this matter, I can only offer a few suggestions, which I should like to hear discussed.
I think that the tedious ceremonies of Commencement Day might well be divided. On one day the parts might be spoken; on another the degrees might be given out; while the graduates' dinner, etc., might take place on a third. The childish performances of Class Day - the dance about the tree and its companion follies - might well be abolished; and if the oration and poem were deemed worthy of perpetuation, they could be delivered either with the College parts, or on a separate occasion. On another day a concert in the Sanders Theatre would be an agreeable event. The various spreads, etc., could take place on various afternoons, and need not interfere with each other. And if the societies wished to have any special ceremonies of their own they might perfectly well do so. At the same time, a boat-race, a ball-match, and an athletic tournament would be interesting, while the whole might reach a climax in a University ball in Memorial Hall.
To be sure, such an arrangement as I have hastily suggested would necessitate the co-operation of the Faculty, and would take the management of the class exercises away from the exclusive control of the graduating class; but I am not sure that this would prove objectionable, for as this would be a University affair, the College authorities and the undergraduates might not be unwilling to bear a part of the expense. And in the course of a week the desires of every section of the class might be fully satisfied. It may be objected that this involves a destruction of old customs; but I am told that our Class Day is not above thirty years old, and it certainly has become unwieldy and tiresome. A week of festivity, too, would probably attract to Cambridge the friends and relatives of students who reside at a distance. People who do not care to undertake a journey for the excited rush of a single overcrowded day would very probably like to be present throughout a gala week. I wish that this matter might be discussed.