Daniel S. Cheever is one man who will admit that his wife is smarter than he is. Even though Cheever is Allston Burr Senior tutor of Winthrop House, head of the Fulbright program, and assistance professor of government, the smiling, informal lecturer is quick to grant all I.Q. laurels to his wife. A crack economics student at Radcliffe, Mrs. Cheever now plays Price, Waterhouse to the family budget, tramps the Widener stacks doing research for Harvard professors, and supervises the romps of the three Cheever youngsters.
On summer weekends, the professor loads his family into a Trinidad red suburban and heads for Buzzard's Bay on Cape Cod. While keeping an eye out for lane-roving Massachusetts drivers, he sings a rumbling bass in quartet harmony with his wife and two older children.
The eldest member of the Cheever family is tied to la buoy in Buzzard's Bay. She is a fifteen foot Hereshoff sailboat which first tasted sak water in 1898. confessing to a great sentimental attachment for the skiff, Cheever doubts that he'll ever give it up. "I guess I'm sort of like an auto enthusiast with an antique car,"
Cheever's time for relaxation, however, seems to dwindle every year. The Fullbright program swallows many of his free hours, and the newly acquired senior tutorship takes much more time than the ideal "half of the professor's schedule." In addition, he heads the International Affairs program of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Besides managing his official responsibilities, Cheever tends his lively interest in world affairs with diligent reading. His lectures on foreign policy administration often show an impressive familiarity with articles buried in the high numbered pages of The New York Times. But to students who linger after class, to ask questions about current affairs, he is modest and self-effacing, punctuating his answers with an "of course, I may be wrong."
Cheever's apparent understanding of the Harvard student probably stems from the fact that he did his undergraduate and graduate work here. A History and Lit. major, he graduated in 1939 and began teaching at St. Mark's. He entered the Navy soon after the beginning of the war and served on an anti-sub vessel until a month before the U.N. conference in San Francisco.
The Navy sent him to the U.N. meeting as an assistant to the secretary-general of the U.S. delegation. The operations and purpose of the conference deeply impressed him. He found the infant organization "a great opportunity for this country--not a millennium, but at least a chance for peace."
His brief involvement in international relations made Cheever decide to choose some form of government work as a career, and upon separating from the Navy he entered the State Department's Office of International Security Affairs. After several months he found himself with an uncommon though admirable desire to study, so be packed up his family and returned to Cambridge. In two years he earned a Ph.D., as well as a teaching position, and has been bobbing in and out of Littauer ever since.