Ford, Glimp, Owen Discuss College, Admissions Process, House System
The Class of 1939 learned yesterday morning what they missed by attending the College 25 years ago instead of today.
Fred L. Glimp '50, dean of admissions and financial aids, explained the admissions process. David E. Owen, Gurney Professor of History and Political Science, who retires this summer as Master of Winthrop House, outlined the changes which have occurred in the House system since 1939. Dean Ford discussed the pressures for specialization which today affect liberal arts colleges, and the General Education Program, which he said, is Harvard's attempt to deal with these pressures.
Ford also described the Doty Committee's division of General Education courses into two categories, and its proposal to "require up to a point, and recommended beyond that point, a meaningful sequence" in each category.
Ford also emphasized the Doty Committee's recommendation that the role of the behavioral sciences and the creative and performing arts in the General Education Program be increased.
Discussing the changes in the House system since the Class of 1939's days at Harvard, Owen said that people "used to kid genially about gracious living," but that now the response "is closer to a Boris Karloff laugh."
Self service in the dining halls is unavoidable, Owen went on, "but my en-the least, less than boundless."
Owen cited the establishment of the Aliston Burr Senior Tutors as assistant thusiasm for those mess trays is, to say deans of the College, the requirement that all men live on campus, and the grants from the Ford Foundation, which support many House activities, as major influences on the growth of the importance of the Houses.
When the Houses were first established, Owen explained, many students were afraid they would have a "prep school atmosphere." "You could almost imagine tutors being assigned to tuck the boys in at night. In my weaker moments, I have often regretted that this particular aspect did not materialize."
Glimp emphasized the importance judgements about personality factors in the admissions process. After the unqualified applicants are weeded out, he said, about half the class is choosen on the basis of such traits as "generosity" or cussedness."
The other half is composed, he said, of about 75 or 100 really outstanding scholars and of applicants choosen because they are from areas which produce few applicants, because they have "wrong-side-of-the-tracks backgrounds," or be they are the sons of alumni