A decade ago the Faculty Club bequeathed Warren House to English A and moved into an attractive red-brick building next door. The mothbitten stuffed caribou head, which has trailed the professors since they first met in the chapel of University Hall, was installed over the mantel. And the traditional stodginess (which once caused a History 1 section man to propose "Slow, slow, inconceivably slow" as the club's motto) was also transferred to the new quarters. Younger instructors, therefore, still found the Square cafeterias more reasonable and the undergraduate Houses more congenial. Few of them sought membership; and the large clubhouse was usually dark and empty except for two or three professors emeriti who each evening debated Phoenician punctuation in the bay-windowed common room.
Then, two years ago, Quincy Street's Trappist Monastery had a New Deal. First step in the program was a streamlined assistant secretary, blonde and blue-eyed Miss Virginia Hoagland. To attract their wives as well as the younger instructors themselves, the women's suite on the second floor was refurbished. It took very little encouragement for this to become the bridge, mah jong, and gossip center of Cambridge. In return the coeds each week give some professor a chance to lecture uninterruptedly not only his own missus but his colleagues' wives as well.
The basement was done over into a game room and a rathskeller. On the walls a wistful, cherubic Conant portrays "the forgotten man" and a puckish Conant on skis streams behind him a "California here I come" banner; also, the original James Montgomery Flagg poster welcomes alumni to the World's Fair annual meeting. There are three frequently-used pool tables, and a former dean of the Law School takes on all comers at rheumatic ping pong. The rathskeller held some very popular "punchteas" after the football games and offers vic dancing every evening except Sunday. This glorified Eliot House Grille and the three formal dances held each year have finally convinced many young instructors that the membership fee ($5:00 or $10.00 for the lower brackets of University income) is a good investment.
Nearly one thousand members, more than a hundred over last year's record high, now drop in for an occasional meal, to browse in the largest collection of current magazines in New England, and to buy "Harvard Faculty Special Cigars" (15c a piece or 2 for 25c.) The Tomb of King Tut atmosphere is gone, and the chatter of false uppers is echoed by the clatter of mah jong tiles upstairs. There is activity at the Faculty Club-it has really become a social center for the Harvard professors and their families. For the first time since the University faculty began rivaling the French foreign legion in size and diversity, their club is performing its intended function.