Commencement Week 1958 began yesterday with an overcast sky and a swarm of red-and-white-hatted men and women of varying ages, all viewing a Harvard far different from the Harvard they knew 25, 30, 50 and more years ago.
This year, Commencement, in addition to its usual implications, marks an important milestone for the two-year-old Program for Harvard College. At the Alumni Association meeting on Thursday afternoon, President Pusey will deliver his annual address and announce the totals to date of the mammoth $82.5 drive to procure increased scholarships, Faculty salaries, Houses, and other buildings and endowments for the College.
The President's address will also mark the culmination of the important Boston and New York general solicitation which began with an almost universal bang on Harvard's Day, March 28. Since then, the Program has averaged about $1 million a week, although since mid-April, average daily contributions have decreased from about $100,000 a day to somewhat more than $60,000 a day.
As of the mid-May meeting of the Associated Harvard Clubs in Philadelphia, the Program had garnered $39.2 million, and it is likely that the figure which President Pusey announces on Thursday will exceed $42 million. The Program is scheduled to end at Commencement of 1959.
The nationwide recession which the United States entered at a crucial point in the Program would, Alexander M. White '25, general chairman, prophesied in early March, set the Program behind by $5 million. However, Laurence O. Pratt '26, public relations director, noted yesterday that this drive has been unusual in regard to the amount of money so far collected, considering that no gift has been larger than $1 million.