Obscure by preference and by the nature of his functions, and an officer of the University unknown to students who followed the relatively straight and narrow path, was Matthew Luce '91, Regent. On Monday, July 1, the University News Office published the shortest release it has issued: "The resignation of Matthew Luce '91 as Regent of Harvard was announced today. Mr. Luce has been Regent since--1919."
Since he acted as an intermediary without disciplinary authority, his office was largely what he himself wanted to make it, and he considered it a roving commission to pour oil on troubled waters.
Most important among his duties was that of nominating all dormitory proctors for appointment by the Corporation. He was charged with general administration of the parietal rules except in the Houses, where they were administered by the Masters, and in the Business and Medical Schools, which had their own officers.
As watch-dog over all student organizations, he approved their dances and other entertainments, while Mrs. Luce usually served among the patronesses. Padlocking of offending clubs was left to his discretion, but as a member of a final club himself, he gave them all tolerant treatment. As Chairman of the Committee on the Regulation of Non-Athletic Activities, he was keeper of the lists of officers and members of such groups as the Debating Council, the Dramatic Club, the Glee Club, and Instrumental Clubs, and had oversight of their functions.
With the coming of Houses, his sphere decreased until it included little more than the Yard and the other dormitories outside the House plan, and the former was under the authority of Delmar Deighton as Dean of Freshmen.
Since his resignation his vague remaining duties have been given over to the general supervision of the Dean's Office, with Assistant Dean Lewis in charge of details. With its occupant gone and its functions dispersed, the office of Regent, including the forgotten Parietal Committee, has once more faded into the obscurity from which it bounced in July to make news for one day--the day of its ending.