A bill has recently been passed by the United States Senate and is now awaiting the action of the House of Representatives which provides for the formation of an American Academy of Arts and Letters. The society will consist of 50 life members, and will be modeled somewhat after the famous French body. Its purpose is declared to be "the furtherance of the interests of literature and the fine arts." It aims "to make its own bylaws and regulations, fill vacancies, provide for the election of domestic, foreign or honorary associate members, and to receive devises, donations, and bequests and reinvest the same."
Forty-seven of its fifty members have already been named, the list including eight graduates of Harvard College, one who is now a professor in the University, one who attended the Law School, and ten who are holders of degrees from the University. Of the eight graduates, two have died since the list was compiled, but it is proposed to retain their names. They are Francis Davis Millet '69 and Professor Horace Howard Furness '54. President Eliot, though he has been urged several times to accept membership, has repeatedly declined that honor.
Harvard Graduates on List.
President Abbott Lawrence Lowell '77.--Both author and educator. He attended the Law School from 1877 to 1879, taking the degree of LL.B. during the following year. The next seven years he spent in the practice of law in Boston. From 1897 to 1909 he was connected with the department of Government in the University, first in the capacity of instructor, then in that of Professor of the Science of Government. In 1909, he was elected to the chair left vacant by the retirement of President Eliot.
President Lowell is distinguished as an authority on government, having written a number of books and articles concerning that subject. Among his leading works are: "Transfer of Stock in Corporations" (1884); "Essays on Governments and Parties in Continental Europe" (1896); "The Influence of Party upon Legislation in England and America" (1902); and "The Government of England" (1908).
Henry Adams '58.--Professor of History and author of many magazine articles and other works. He was a professor in the University from 1870 to 1877, and for the following six years edited the North American Review. Some of his works are: "Essays in Anglo-Saxon Law," "Documents Relating to New England Federalism," and "The History of Jefferson's and Madison's Administrations."
Theodore Roosevelt '80.--Aside from his achievements and wide service in public life, he has done much writing and has been a strong advocate of universal peace. His works include books on historical themes, outdoor life, big game hunting, and a number of magazine articles dealing with these and other subjects ranging even as far as Irish folk-lore. Owing to his diplomatic treatment of the Russian and Japanese delegates to the Portsmouth Peace Conference in 1905, he received the Nobel Peace Prize of $40,000 with which he endowed the Foundation for the Promotion of Industrial Peace. In 1902 Colonel Roosevelt was given the degree of LL.D. by the University.
Horace Howard Furness '54.--Noted during his lifetime as America's foremost Shakespearean authority; he was the editor-in-chief of the Variorum edition. He was a native of Philadelphia, where he died August 12, 1912.
In addition to the degree of A.B. received upon graduation, Dr. Furness also took the degrees of A.M. and LL.D. at the University in 1858 and 1894 respectively.
Henry Cabot Lodge '71.--Statesman and historian. Since 1893 he has been United States Senator from Massachusetts, and long a Republican leader in that state. He is the author of many books on American history, on politics, and on literary subjects. Senator Lodge graduated from the Law School in 1874, received the degree of Ph.D. in 1876, and that of LL.D. in 1904.
George E. Woodbury '77.--One of the foremost of the American poets now living. From 1891 to 1904 he was professor of comparative literature at Columbia. In addition to his verse, he is the author of biographical studies of noted men, such as Poe, Hawthorne, Swinburne, and Emerson.
Charles Francis Adams '56.--Has long been a well-known figure in Boston public life. During the Civil War he served in the Union army, attaining the rank of brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers. Since that time he has taken a keen interest in many different affairs, and has been the author of a number of articles on a wide range of subjects. Mr. Adams has been a member of the University Board of Overseers since 1882; he was given the degree of LL.D. in 1895.
Francis Davis Millett '59.--Was one of the most famous men to perish in the Titanic disaster last spring. He was an artist, and at one time a war correspondent during the Russo-Turkish war, winning medals for bravery at the siege of Plevna. He also served in the Civil War as a drummer-boy. His paintings took prizes and medals at Paris, New Orleans, and Chicago. He was granted the degree of A.M. by the University in 1872.
Bliss Perry.--Teacher and man of letters. He has been connected for many year with literature in America, having been at one time the editor-in-chief of the "Atlantic Monthly." Professor Perry taught for several years at Princeton before coming to the University as a member of the teaching staff in the Department of English.
Henry James.--Author of many works of fiction. He attended the Law School in 1862 and 1863. He is a native of New York, but has lived many years in England.
Holders of Honorary Degrees.
The other men who have been granted degrees by the University, but who have not attended it as regular students, are: William Dean Howells, A.B. '67; Thomas R. Lounsbury, LL.D. '93; James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. '01; Henry Van Dyke, S.T.D. '94; Basil L. Gildersleeve, LL.D. '86; Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. '07; Arthur Twining Hadley, LL.D. '99; John Muir, A.M. '96; and Nicholas Murray Butler, LL.D. '09