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among athletic organizations. It is not disposed to quibble about fine points. The University has too many interests to permit athletics to become the first.
Soldiers Field represents an effort to get more room for athletics than Holmes Field afforded. The field has been found to be wet and an attempt was made to drain it, not wholly with success. The plans now being carried out will remedy the trouble. As for malaria, Holmes Field is more likely to be malarial than Soldiers. It was once a swamp. But now there is no more risk of illness on Soldiers than on Holmes. The time for a new boat house is not far away. Then all the interests will be centered on Soldiers, and there will be no more attractive part of the University.
President Eliot followed Professor Hollis, and said in part: The Corporation is an historical body, and has a well established policy, but we do not have to do with its history more than thirty years back. Then there was but one play ground, the Delta. In 1869, Memorial Hall was planned and Jarvis Field with other land was bought for athletics. Then came Soldiers Field and the Longfellow gift. The Corporation wishes to provide ample ground for out-door exercises. The present Corporation consists of seven men all successful in their callings. They know what every student needs: not an abnormal muscular development, but a well developed body, a sound nervous system and a serviceable digestive apparatus. They believe in athletic sports because they are not all physical. Brains can not be dispensed with, and moral qualities are also developed by sports.
The Corporation like to see the utmost done under difficulties. But one feature of games they do not like to see: that is, cheering. They want men to have the kind of moral support that cheering does not give. Men should be able to play their best if no Harvard man is near.
My own feeling is that a person who has enjoyed athletic sports cannot help enjoying them through life. Personally I prefer those sports which do not need an exaggerated development of muscle. They are more useful in youth and in later years. A man must continue the habit of athletic exercise through life. I do not like those sports which necessitate bodily collision, as well as those that do not. I consider those sports which can be maintained as a man grows older more advantageous.
I believe we have got over most of the difficulties which bothered us some years back. The distinction between the amateur and the professional has been established. The propriety of college games on college grounds is recognized. In this connection, let me say, I have been much indebted to Mr. Lehmann for bringing here the best view of amateur sport.
The University is under great obligations to the Athletic Committee. It has been very helpful in bringing forward athletic reforms. The committee illustrates the true principles of athletics, in that it is laborious, but perfectly gratuitoys. Fundamentally, the Corporation regards the athletic interests an not the leading interests in University life. The enjoyment of college life, however, is a very important thing. We always want to think of the University as a seat of intense, pure enjoyment.
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