The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert A.K. Runcie, joined a week of 350th festivities with his appearance at the Freshman garden party held yesterday in Harvard Yard.
Pleased with his first visit to Harvard, Runcie told Freshmen he would keep his speech on an informal level. "I don't want to address you; I would rather meet you," he said.
Referring to the long line of 102 Archbishops in Church history, the speaker said Harvard had been founded by churchgoers trying to escape the "harsh religious policies" enforced by early Archbishops. Therefore, though "I don't really belong here," he said, "I am somewhat connected."
At the climax of his speech, Runcie warned against cynicism, telling the assembled crowd, "The clever and cynical are the least reliable human beings. The most important part of your education is learning to live together."
He expressed the hope that the class of 1990 would leave the world a better place than they found it, then ended his address by saying, "When I return to England, I want to see Prince Charles and say that I too was at Harvard in 1986."
Listeners dressed in semi-formal attire filled the 500 available seats and many more stood to hear Runcie's words. A crimson and white colorscheme pervaded decorations at the reception,which took place from 4 to 6 p.m. A brass ensembleperformed before and after the speakers, who alsoincluded Dr. Derek Brewer, Master of EmmanuelCollege (John Harvard's alma mater) and theUniversity of Cambridge; Archibald Cox '34, CarlM. Loeb University Professor Emeritus and a formerWatergate prosecutor; and Stephen Sandy, facultymember at Bennington College.
Mingling with Freshmen afterward, Runciemaintained the lighthearted approach he initiatedin his speech. "I thought the Archbishop wasreally funny," said Ana T. Miranda '90 of CanadayHall, "I wasn't expecting that. One of my friendstouched his hand and we asked him to put in a goodword for the Red Sox tonight.