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At the meeting of the Board of Overseers yesterday morning, it was decided after considerable discussion to extend the right of voting for Overseers to all those who receive degrees from the University, instead of only those holding the degree of A. B., as was formerly the case. This question has been under debate among graduates of Harvard for a number of years, and has given rise to much difference of opinion. The final vote of the Overseers showed a total of 13 yeas, among whom President Eliot was one, against 10 nays.
The chief argument in favor of the change has been that it will broaden the influence of the University, and will tend to unite the departments; the argument on the other side has been that the graduates of the schools either owe allegiance to other colleges or have not had the advantages of college training.
The resolution was adopted with the condition that voting must be at Cambridge on Commencement Day, and that nobody thus included should vote before the fifth annual election after receiving the degree. It was further voted that a committee of five be appointed by the President of the Board to petition the legislature for the necessary changes.
This is the third time the question has come up before the Overseers, the votes before being against any change. At a meeting of the Alumni Association last June the feeling for the proposed change took the form of a circular sent out to the members requesting their vote on the subject before Feb. 21, 1898. The resolution adopted yesterday was substantially the same as that voted by the Alumni.
The Overseers also voted to concur with the President and Fellows in their votes electing William Coolidge Lane, A. B., Librarian of the College, and Charles Francis Adams, 2d, A. M., L. L. B., Deputy Treasurer for four months, from Feb. 11, 1898. Mr. Lane graduated from Harvard in '81 and was then made assistant librarian at Gore Hall, until he was called to the Boston Athenaeum in '92. Since then he has filled that position with great proficiency.
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