"In regard to transferring the Commencement exercises to the Stadium (which is in Boston)," the Graduates' Magazine says, "some one has raised the query whether the College charter makes any requirement as to the conferring of degrees at 'the University in Cambridge.' The answer is that neither the original charter nor any subsequent statute says anything about the right to confer degrees. Rather curiously the University's right to confer degrees rests upon no formal grants in the charter or by statute.
"On what basis, then, does the right exist? On the fact that in the first one hundred and forty-four years of its existence the College did grant degrees and the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 sanctified this power by providing 'that the President and Follows in their corporate capacity, and their successors in that capacity, their officers and servants, shall have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy, all the powers, authorities, rights, liberties, privileges, immunities and franchises which they now have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy.' That is the basis of our degree-granting power--a privilege exercised in colonial days without formal authority but subsequently embalmed in the organic law of the Commonwealth."