Men of Letters

Something of a sensation has been caused in academic circles by the announcement that the senior class at Yale College has expressed its preference for a "Y" over a Phi, Beta Kappa key as the most desirable academic honor, thereby abandoning a tradition of many years. The figures are, to be exact, 81 to 66 in favor of the "Y", the understanding being that party affiliations have been obliterated in the issue, Republicans and Democrats voting miscellaneously. The key, it is true, comes in a good second, but a good second is small comfort for the loss of what has long been a good first.

For generations, right back into the blood-and-iron days of the nineties and early nineteen-hundreds, the days, of turtle neck sweaters and pale ale, of law term grades and high batting averages, the Yale senior has invariably made graceful gesture in favor of the Phi Beta Kappa key--at least on the statistical blank handed about the class a few weeks before graduation. As to which honor he has spent most of his time pursuing during the preceding four years, that is perhaps another story. Even if he did spent more time chasing the fleet football than what Mr. Dooley once called "the more fleet aorist", he had some theoretical respect for that part of man which grows above the neck. Now, apparently, quite otherwise. The pleasant, rasp of the golden key as it slides along the watch chain seems a pale delight compared to the costasies of throwing, the victorious hat over the goal bar of the bowl or the stadium. W. W. Williams in the N. Y. Evening Post