A sedate crowd of about 3500 gathered in Tercentenary Theater yesterday afternoon for opening exercises to hear words of advice from the pillars of Harvard's administration.
Henry C. Moses, dean of Freshmen, addressed "the peerless class of '83," reciting statistics and telling freshmen not to be "afraid of making mistakes."
"We are here by mistake--we are all mistakes," Moses said.
President Bok discussed the Core Curriculum and spoke of "developing basic habits of mind."
Bok warned students not to "squander the opportunity of a liberal education."
Quoting "an ancient philosopher," Bok said "Study as if you would live forever, live as if you would die tomorrow."
President Horner urged freshmen to "resist the pressure and temptation to make premature decisions."
Horner said she hopes freshmen would not take Mark Twain's advice that it is "better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and dispel all doubt" too seriously.
"Be a risk-taker," she said.
To conclude her remarks, Horner quoted an "eminent colleague" who advised freshmen to read the instructions on the top of the mayonnaise jar: "Keep cool but do not freeze."
Dean Rosovsky, whose remarks were sandwiched between performances of the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard Glee Club, amused the audience with a humorous speech on "What to expect from the Faculty."
"The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the heart and mind of the institution--none of the other faculties are nearly as important," Rosovsky said, eliciting chuckles from the crowd.
Rosovsky told the group not to be too romantic about student-teacher relationships. "The Faculty consists of very busy people," he said.
The dean added that he doesn't think quality of education is a function of the size of a class, noting, "There is no escape in a bad small class."
"We don't choose our faculty for good looks--only our administrators," Rosovsky said.
Rosovsky talked about the "generation gap" between students and tenured faculty at Harvard, pointing out that the average age of full professors is 50.
"At my wife's urging, I recently went into a discotheque in Aspen. I can tell you I felt the generation gap greatly there," he said.