Roscoe Pound on his 89th birthday today is a living monument to the benefits of an active mind. At present he is working on "two or three" articles for law periodicals, and has four talks to law clubs scheduled for later in the week. This afternoon he will undertake a particularly pleasant task; Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which Pound helped found in 1933, is also having a "birthday" celebration, and he is the principal speaker.
As Pound tells it, the president of Tufts came to his office when he was Dean of the Law School and asked him what to do with a large grant for founding a law institution. Since there was little need for another law school in the Boston area, Pound suggested a center for education in the field of international law and diplomacy.
"I took the Tufts president to see President Lowell, and Lowell was quite taken with the idea," Pound said yesterday. "Now, it's more than 25 years since I put the idea across." Although few but Pound foresaw it in 1933, the Fletcher School today fills a real and growing need.
Pound came to Harvard in 1910, as Story Professor of Law. In 1913, he became Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, and he was named Dean of the Law School in 1916. He served in this twin capacity for 20 years, until 1937, when he was honored with a University Professorship, which he held until 1947.
Pound Visits China
When he retired as University Professor, Pound began looking for new ways to keep busy. He went to China, where he advised the Ministers of Education and Justice for three years. Yesterday, he proudly pointed to two impressive documents on the wall of his office which testified in Chinese to his usefulness to the people of China.
Pound traced the path of his career around his office wall. "After that, I went to the University of California at Los Angeles, where I taught for three years, and then I became Tagore Professor of Law in India, at Calcutta University. Then, the Law School was good enough to offer me my quarters here. I am on a grant-in-aid that enables me to write and speak."
A figure out of the past with his white moustache, his long white hair, and his blue suit and vest, Pound is as industri ous today as ever. His five-volume work on jurisprudence came out in June. Besides his articles and speeches, he keeps up a voluminous correspondence in many languages (he has a writing acquaintance with French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese), and he counsels friends and students who come to him for aid.
"When you go into a Spanish home, the master of the house always says, 'Vuestra la casa'--this is your house," he said. "I've always felt that way about students who come to my office." He is at work every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and his desk is always piled with books and papers.
It is Pound's firm belief that one should never be idle. "I've kept busy all my he said. "I might find it hard to find something to occupy myself if I weren't busy at law. I've always had something to do.