University Club Project.
At the last meeting of this committee it was agreed that the financial outlook is at present not propitious for a general canvass to obtain the $200,000 which will be needed; but is was felt that every member of the committee should be urged either personally or through friends to bring the project to the attention of persons who might be induced to contribute. Especially is to be remembered that, excepting Memorial Hall, all of the buildings erected at Harvard in our time have been given or bequeathed by individuals singly; men with means, who wish to build a monument either to themselves, or some other, prefer, and naturally prefer, to give all, rather than to have their partial contributions merged unidentified in a general subscription. It is in no way improbable, therefore, that some benefactor may present himself, or be found, who, by endowing the University Club, will associate his name, or that of another, permanently with Harvard, and will secure to an extent possible by no other gift the gratitude of all Harvard's alumni and students during a long future. Certainly the recent experience of Harvard as of other similar institutions has given no reason to believe that the race of Hollises, Stoughtons, Holworthys and Boylstons has died out. On the contrary their number ever increases, and the University stands today the monument of a group of departed and living benefactors whose names, from John Harvard down, are, and will always remain, household words.
Our work since last autumn has proved that Harvard men everywhere recognize the great benefits which might spring from the proposed Union, and that a large proportion of the students now in Cambridge are ready to use such an institution. We have the approval of the Corporation, the Board of Overseers, and the Faculty. The Professional School students, for whom no social affiliations exist, welcome the project; the undergraduates, who feel the effects of isolation, on the one hand, and cliqueishness on the other, desire its fulfillment; the athletic men look to it as a means towards supplying the unity and a common meeting-place, now sadly lacking. The graduates, wherever heard from, have expressed the hope that they may soon see a club-house in which, when they visit Cambridge, they can find shelter and a welcome. We are justified in expecting, therefore, that a want so generally recognized will soon be filled.
As an encouragement we would state that this very winter the University of Pennsylvania has had given to it by a single benefactor a club-house-Houston Hall-similar in most respects to that proposed for Harvard, and costing over $150,000, as a memorial to a student who died in college. We learn, too, that another University has been promised a similar building.
We believe, therefore, that by proper search and presentation of the plan, some benefactor can be found to whom this most popular of objects will appeal-one who, like Mr. Hemenway, who gave the Gymnasium, or Mr. Higginson, who gave the Soldier's Field, will desire to witness during his lifetime the enjoyment of his generosity by others. As the numbers at Harvard are greater than at any other American university, so is the need greater for an institution which shall unite the various human interests of the students and establish closer relations between the alumni and Alma Mater.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Chairman, WILLIAM ROSCOE THAYER, Secretary, For the Committee.