"The Corporation didn't just need a new member - it needed a new kind of member to help cure its image problem."
"Move to a vacuum," Rogers told him, "and set up your lightning rod there."
(Earlier this spring, the CRIMSON planned to publish a special biographical supplement on the members of the Harvard Corporation. Staff exhaustion in the last few weeks has forced us to postpone the supplement. The following is a slightly-updated condensation of one of the pieces originally scheduled for the supplement, on Corporation member Hugh D. Calkins '45.
This article is the first of a two-part series. Today's installment tells about Calkins' role on the Harvard Corporation and his roots in Cleveland. Tomorrow's installment will deal with his campaign for the Cleveland School Board, how his views on education affect his opinions about Harvard, and how one Corporation member lives at home.)
ONE of the more interesting cultural phenomena of the last month has been the sudden rise of Hugh Calkins as a Harvard political celebrity.
A month ago, few Harvard undergraduates had ever seen Calkins. He was just one of the Corporation's Fellows then, and like the other Fellows--Burr, Nickerson, Marbury, and Kane--he was virtually invisible to most students here.
In a month of Crisis at Harvard, however, Calkins has been hard to miss. Taking up the gap left by President Pusey's artless press releases in the first few days of the strike, Calkins has seemingly turned himself into a one-man public-relations agency for the Harvard Administration.
All the other members of the Corporation have joined in concocting the Corporation's masterfully-timed announcements and press releases. But none of the others has been as physically evident on the campus as Calkins has.
In the first week of the strike, Calkins talked about dissent and ROTC and all the other issues for two straight nights on television. He ate breakfast with students in the Houses and told them about ROTC. When he saw posters in the Yard giving some students' version of what he said, Calkins trotted over to the CRIMSOM to type out a reply and explain why the poster version was a distortion.
With a somewhat disturbing energy and bounce, Calkins has spoken in House dining halls and appeared with SDS members on panel discussions. A few other Corporation members have tried the same thing on a smaller scale. But now, at the beginning of May, there are probably no more than five or six undergraduates who could give an accurate description of what any of the other Fellows looks like.
Who is this man Hugh Calkins, and why is he now so present on our campus?
IS HE, as some radicals have suggested, an Administration Superman, the only Fellow shrewd enough to put up a good front in debates? Is he, as two bemused Faculty members said last week, jockeying for a bigger position in the Harvard administrative world? Or is he, as all his statements certainly imply, a true liberal who is sincerely doing his best to reason with the students?
Has he come here to win friends? To save the college? To make political capital in his home town of Cleveland?