The Program for Harvard College last night staged what was probably the most elaborate dinner ever devoted to raising money for higher education.
Held simultaneously in the Statler and Somerset hotels, the affair included cocktails, closed circuit television, and a collection of big-givers who are expected to contribute heavily to the $11,100,000 quota set for the Boston area.
More than 1,300 "Harvard friends" jammed the two hotels where they were told in strongly-worded terms that the $82.5 million drive was critical to the future preeminence of the University and important as a challenge to American education.
President Pusey stated flatly that "something is wrong" with a society which spends less than one per cent of its gross product for education. He particularly called attention to faculty salaries which today are lower in terms of real buying power than they were 25 years ago, and said that the American public had been "careless" in its attention to the teaching profession.
The national implications of the program were emphasized by Fred L. Whipple, director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, who said that "unless we do something about our educational system, we are distinctly going to be behind in the race" for world leadership.
Dean Bundy stressed that unless Harvard took the lead in providing a solution to the financial straits of higher education that other institutions would tend to relax.
The speakers, who were evenly divided between the two hotels, were visible in both places by means of a gigantic closedcircuit television screen.