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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
The value of the Union to the University community is of a double nature: it is a place where men in any way connected with Harvard may meet on an equal footing, and it is also a means of bringing Harvard in touch with men and conditions outside its walls. By the opening of the dining room for weekly boarders this year, a step in the right direction was taken toward making the Union more of a meeting place, and incidentally proved to be a profitable undertaking as well.
In its other capacity the Union undoubtedly fell behind the standard. In all, but nine lectures were given during the year by prominent outsiders. The excellence of the lectures has always been an important factor in leading men, who are unable to make regular use of the Union, to join; and conversely, the fact that the membership has been so thoroughly representative of every phase of Harvard, has made it possible for the authorities to secure as speakers men of the highest national reputation.
The value of the Living Room lectures cannot be overestimated. Their success next year depends in large measure upon the forehanded efforts that the officers make this spring toward getting the right men to say that they will speak. Perhaps it may be difficult to get definite replies as yet, but every step taken now will make progress next fall both easier and quicker. The choice of dates might, well be left until then. To restore the Union lectures to their, former standard requires from now on the untiring perseverance of the 1912 officers.
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