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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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FROM one third of the total number of prayers, during the year, we can be absent without bringing penalties down upon our heads. The rise from fifty permitted absences to seventy-two is not really a great one, but it serves for a guide-post to mark our way. The road we are travelling is a rough one. Barriers in the shape of prejudice and custom delay us; still our progress is steady. On calling his roll, the other day, an instructor remarked that the process took up time that might be employed much more profitably. He held out hopes that the time was not far distant when it might be done away with entirely, and Juniors and Sophomores, as well as Seniors, would no longer be obliged to attend lectures or recitations by threats of punishment for their absence. We would all be raised, that is, from the condition of eye-servants to the state of men who feel responsibility, and act accordingly. Until this is done we can never seriously claim that Harvard is anything more than a high school.

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