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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

THE PROPOSED "COMMENCEMENT WEEK."

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

No readjustment of the many academic and athletic dates which mark the end of the College year could, we think, give more satisfaction to alumni and undergraduates alike than that which a committee of the Faculty has recently drawn up for approval. We publish the proposed change on the front page of this morning's CRIMSON.

This year in particular the Harvard Yale athletic authorities have encountered many obstacles in settling the dates of the baseball games and the New London regatta, the chief trouble being that the Yale commencement has fallen more than a week before the conclusion of the Harvard academic year. Under the new scheme the necessity of holding the races on the Thames ten days after most of the Yale undergraduates leave New Haven would be eliminated.

But what we consider to be by far the greatest advantage is that all the events incident to the closing of College would occur in the space of a single week. To attend the Baccalaureate Service, Class Day, Commencement, and the Yale races this year, as a large number of graduates from a distance so desire, means an absence of at least two entire weeks. To men from the West this may well imply missing Class Day or the races. The new arrangement, with the addition of the baseball dates, places the Baccalaureate Service (as now) on Sunday, Phi Beta Kappa Day and the Senior Spread on Monday, Class Day and the first game with the Yale at New Haven on Tuesday, class dinners and meetings of the Graduate Schools on Wednesday, Commencement and the Yale game in Cambridge on Thursday, and the boat races on Friday. The third game with Yale would probably be played in the following week, but as it is always in New York and is occasionally unnecessary, no great trouble would be caused.

The great advantage of this concentration is that several consecutive days, well filled with events which all Harvard men want to attend, would become the acknowledged meeting time for all the classes. Under the present system such a tradition, although existent, is far from established; some prefer the Class Day festivities to Commencement; others would rather see the races; while yet others can be here only for Commencement. In short, the plan means the formation of a "Commencement Week," to contain all that Commencement, Class Day, the annual Yale game, and New London connote to Harvard men. We heartily advocate its adoption.

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