The following article is reprinted from the editorial column of yesterday's Harvard Alumni Bulletin:
Some weeks ago the Bulletin announced that a committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was considering the question of a change in the dates of Class Day and Commencement, and of the other academic and social events which are of interest to graduates. This committee in its several meetings has conferred with the deans of the various professional schools, and with President Lowell. This schedule drawn up as a result of these meetings has been submitted to a number of graduates for criticism and suggestions. The plan, if it meets with final approval, will go into effect in June, 1912.
According to this plan, Commencement, celebrated since 1870 on the last Wednesday in June, will fall on the preceding Thursday, or, in 1912, on June 20. Class Day will be on Tuesday, two days before Commencement. With Class Day on Tuesday and Commencement on Thursday of the present Class Day week, it is proposed in addition that after the present academic year Phi Beta Kappa Day and the announcement of academic distinctions will come on Monday, and the Class dinners and the meetings of the graduates of professional schools on Wednesday of the same week. Such an arrangement would leave Friday for the Yale boat race, and then dates would have to be found for the baseball games with Yale. The first baseball game with Yale is now played in New Haven on Tuesday of Class Day week, this year, June 20, and the second game falls on Friday, June 23.
Advantages of New Plan.
The plan as outlined above would give ample opportunity for the Senior dance on the night before Class Day, according to a time honored custom. In this connection it is to be noted that the program drawn up by the committee of graduates in 1901 placed Class Day on Monday, thus making no provision for the dance on the night before. For this and other reasons the plan did not appeal to the undergraduates, and so was rejected by the authorities. The present arrangement has no such defect. If the recommendations of the committee be adopted, some time will have to be saved in the academic year, and it is probable that in September, 1912, College will open three days earlier than at present.
It will be interesting to observe how the recommendations of the committee appeal to graduates and undergraduates. To the Bulletin the schedule seems to be compact and especially to be commended in bringing Class Day and Commencement closer together, and in giving greater prominence to Phi Beta Kappa Day and the announcement of distinctions. The difficulty of finding a date for the race convenient to both universities will be obviated, for the day after the Harvard Commencement under this plan is only two days after the Yale Commencement.
Any suggestions in regard to the plan should be sent to the chairman of the committee, Dean Briggs, at 10 University Hall, Cambridge.