The undergraduates have pledged themselves to support the project of a new gymnasium and several prominent graduates have expressed their approval of it. The following article has been written by Dean Bradford on the subject especially for the CRIMSON.
"To a few of the older graduates a new gymnasium may seem an unnecessary luxury. Are there not excellent facilities at present at Cambridge and is there not danger that athletics may be overdone? Do the humanities demand brawn?
A convincing answer to the doubters can be readily made by anyone who realizes fully the modern demands of education and that Harvard University is not so adequately equipped for the physical development of its students as a great University in this country should be. The tradition of an academy and of a cultured ideal are most valuable possessions for a university, but in these radio-active days, the higher thinkers need a different training from that followed at the time of Aristotle.
The time for the development of a high point of physical condition in a young man is in early manhood. He may then intellectually be a beginner, but as a fighter and muscular worker he is or should be near his prime. But granted that physical condition is an asset of value in the struggle of life, should not the University which trains for usefulness train for health? But, in fact, is this being done for those who are not selected and naturally healthy athletes? It certainly is not taught in the class room examination halls. The cheering sections may stimulate but systematic and directed work is what counts. An ideal arrangement would be that every student be placed under the direct care of a properly qualified personal trainer or physical adviser who would direct his daily life, building him up physically as his instructors endeavor to do intellectually. Under such conditions would not the product be improved? Would not the high rank men, the class poets and orators, the Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude men, be more influential in after life as leaders than they are now? The scholar, they young man intellectually gifted, should not be an unhealthy weakling developed only on the side of his nervous system. It is a fact recognized by physicians that the best preventive against nervous debility or the diseases due to the poisoning from abnormal tissue waste is the daily flushing of the muscles by an active supply of well oxygenated blood. If this is done systematically in the growing years, health becomes a habit.
There can be no doubt that Harvard University needs the best possible equipment for a well organized department for physical culture in its broadest sense, and a well appointed gymnasium is the necessary laboratory for such a department."