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Dean Briggs presided at the meeting of the Freshman class in the Union last evening, introducing as first speaker, Professor R. B. Merriman '96. Professor Merriman reminded the men of the great differences and conflicting personalities that must exist in a university as large and as cosmopolitan as Harvard and warned the 1917 men not to "shun or look askance at some one else because that someone else happens to be different from yourself and don't be deceived by momentary greatness for the race is a long one and those leading now may not be in sight at the finish." Without needless eccentricity, cultivate your own individuality, at the same time observing the tolerant attitude which alone can bring you in contact with fine things and noble men.
P. B. Potter '14, first scholar of the Senior class urged the freshmen not to overlook scholarship as one of the great activities. Let not hard work discourage, for everything calls for hard work. The belief that scholarship necessitates a hermit's life is a delusion and absolutely discredited. To declare, as some do that study is uninspiring is to hold in contempt the greatest things that men have ever said or thought or done.
Jingoistic and True Loyalty.
Dr. Samuel McChord Crothers, pastor of the First Unitarian Church, dwelt upon the history and traditions of Harvard as one of the university's most valuable attributes and emphasized the importance of knowing her great men and famous localities, and of recognizing the most truly characteristic and essential traits of the institution. With that spirit of "intellectual austerity" in mind, that love of the things of the intellect for their own sake and of truth for truth's sake, one is not likely to be deceived by jingoistic loyalty or by the shortsighted ideals of a small company of men. For the lasting tradition that should permeate all work affords a perspective, and infuses all work with significance, making it the symbol of true loyalty to the institution and its principles.
Six Hours a Day for Study.
President Lowell divided the opportunities of the university into three categories, the opportunities for friendship, for study, and for work in other activities. Of these the President emphasized scholarship as most important and requiring most emphasis. Statistics show that efficiency, intensive application, is the most important element in scholarship of the highest order and that time expended is not proportionate to results attained. Any man who spends six hours a day on studying can be among the first scholars of his class, and this estimate surely allows ample leisure and freedom for other pursuits. It is inevitable that all cannot be distinguished scholars. But that must not lead to resignation to mediocrity for easy-going mediocrity is one of the worst dangers that beset the ways of the student in Harvard College.
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