President Pusey emphasized yesterday that the forthcoming multi-million dollar "Program for Harvard College" represents more than a grandiose alumni drive. "It becomes," he said, "by extension, a plea for all higher education, which, he added, has been "undernourished throughout the nation's history."
Speaking before a press conference in New York City, Pusey played down the College's specific needs, in order to discuss the status of higher education today.
"A heroic effort on a national scale is going to have to be made," Pusey told the newsmen assembled. He chose this meeting to announce publically the drive which will begin early in 1957.
Between 50 and 100 Million Dollars
Although again refusing to name the exact goal sought by the drive, Pusey said it would be between 50 and 100 million dollars. The CRIMSON yesterday said a conservative guess would be about $80 million--by far the largest educational drive in history.
He revealed yesterday that he believed the forthcoming drive, headed by Alexander M. White '25, New York investment banker, would take only three years to reach its giant goal.
He said that every college and University in the country will have to raise record-breaking sums of money in the next few years to meet higher operating costs and prepare for the expected increase in college applicants.
Pusey believes that if Harvard can publicize its own "program," in the face of public opinion which believes that Harvard is the "richest" college, it will point up the obvious needs of the rest of the nation's schools.
In his report to the Overseers, and again yesterday, he said that there is "no question that Harvard's endowment is substantially greater than any other institution," but added that operating costs had quadrupled in the past 25 years while endowments had only doubled.
Smith, Branscomb Speak
After observing that endowments now pay for only about one-quarter of the costs, he asked, "If this be true, for us, how much more so must it be for other institutions" not so richly endowed.
At the meeting with Pusey, were Harvie Branscomb, chancellor of Vanderbilt University, and Courtney C. Smith '38, president of Swarthmore College. Smith is also a Harvard overseer.
They both spoke of the needs of education in general, with Smith stating that the "trail-blazing" of Harvard would be "of great benefit to all colleges and universities." Branscomb declared "You are carrying the flag for us.