More than 400 men attended the reception given for freshmen last night by the Phillips Brooks Association in Peabody Hall, Phillips Brooks House. G. Emerson '08, president of the Association, after a short address of welcome introduced Dean Hurlbut, the first speaker.
Dean Hurlbut's speech was forcible and to the point. He pointed out the functions of the college office, and its general relation to students in the University, which he stated should be both friendly and intimate. Within the past eight years, ever since the formation of the Phillips Brooks House Association, there has been a gradual but noticeable change in the religious atmosphere at Harvard, a change due directly to the efforts of the Association, founded in memory of a man who stood for the best there is in life, Phillips Brooks. The step in life you Freshmen are now taking, he said, is from boyhood into manhood. The dividing line between the two is more difficult to determine for a man entering a college, than for him who enters directly into the world's work. The former continues in a slightly altered path, only under new conditions, while the latter mingles with men of the world, and consequently maturity overtakes him more speedily.
Nevertheless the step must be taken, unavoidably so, by each one entering upon college life, and greater and more manly responsibilities assumed. There are chiefly four kinds of responsibilities that should weigh upon each student; first his responsibility and duty to those by whom he is permitted and enabled to attend college, secondly the responsibility that he owes in cherishing the fair fame of his university, thirdly the duty he owes himself in fitting himself to be a helpful and loyal citizen, and fourthly the duty that each one owes to an Almighty Power above. College days are happy, but if spent wisely are simply a foundation for still happier ones.
Mr. C. M. Stearns, regent of the University, spoke next upon the duties of proctors. Of these there some seventy-five in all scattered throughout the various dormitories, whose duty it is to act neither as policemen nor as spies. The government of students at Harvard is almost entirely in their own hands, and it is for the proctors to assist and lend a hand in this form of self government. In most cases the proctors are recent graduates, who know more about the college and college life than those of longer standing.
Freshmen at Harvard, said R. H. Oveson '05, are received by other undergraduates as in no other university. They are regarded as men among men, and as such it is their duty to respond with manly countesy. Class democracy consists in the freedom given to each member of the class to think and act according to his own desires and to make his own friends, and class unity in joining hands and making the class hang together as a whole.
Among the occupations afforded by active connection with the Phillips Brooks House Association, none are more worthy and more broadening than those which deal with boys' clubs. These are plentiful in number, and present problems of a practical nature, many of which are discussed in the various courses on sociology.
S. Ervin '08 then took up the subject of college periodicals. These present a side of college activity quite as important as that furnished by athletics, and offer abundant opportunity for broader fields of occupation, and for making many firm friendships.
Mr. Thayer, Graduate Secretary of Phillips Brooks Association, rounded out the previous speeches by enumerating the various organizations which go to make up the Association, and urged all the men to take active interest in its work. After this refreshments were served