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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Exercises commemorating the eleventh anniversary of the dedication of the Phillips Brooks House were held in the house last evening. P. D. Smith '11, president of the Brooks House Association, presided. President A. P. Fitch, of the Andover Theological School, outlined the growth and influence of the Brooks House, contrasting the religious sentiment among the students of his own undergraduate days with the present sentiment. The change for the better that this sentiment has taken he ascribed largely to the influence of the Brooks House. Dean Wells referred to the strong interest that graduates of the University in all parts of the country retain for the work that is being done under the direction of the house. He suggested a closer alliance and co-operation between those who are actively interested in Brooks House and the College authorities.
As the last speaker, Professor G. H. Palmer, sketched the conspicuous characteristics in the life of Bishop Brooks; characteristics which he had discovered during a long and close friendship. Emphasis was laid on the unostentatious nature of Bishop Brooks and on his great love for humanity. Through these traits he obtained his tremendous power over his fellowmen; not through any power of oratory or any desire to domineer over men's lives. He was largely instrumental in having the morning prayer service in the Chapel changed from a compulsory to a voluntary service. Professor Palmer corrected the statement that the Brooks House was named at the instance of Bishop Brooks, saying that the movement to build a house to serve as the religious centre of the University and to be named after Bishop Brooks was not started until after his death.
The program included the singing of the hymn written by Bishop Brooks, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," by a quartet from the Glee Club. Refreshments were served at the close of the ceremonies.
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