The June number of the Graduates' Magazine marks the close of Mr. William Roscoe Thayer's twenty-three years of service as its editor. In glancing through the pages of this issue, it is easy to understand why it has taken first place among alumni periodicals. The magazine is not a newspaper, but is includes, besides its various articles from men connected with the University, a complete account of undergraduate and graduate activities, so that it becomes as complete and accurate a chronicle of Harvard as can be compiled. Its great attraction lies, however, in the number of valuable literary and scientific contributions which it is in a position to collect and publish.
For example, those who knew the late Charles Francis Adams must turn to the Graduates' Magazine for the most comprehensive and appreciative of the current accounts of his life. Mr. Story sketches the career of this distinguished author and historian, sympathetically and intelligently, from the point of view of a life long friend.
Professor Duane follows with an article on "Radioactive Substances in the Treatment of Cancers." This is the fourth of a series of articles in which some of the important original investigations by Harvard men of science are presented in a form suited to the lay mind. This article sums up some of the results obtained by scientists, and Harvard men in particular, in this comparatively unexplored field.
It is with a distinct feeling of regret, that one reads the last installment of the brilliant series of informal essays from the pen of the retiring editor. In his farewell, which closes the series, Mr. Thayer says of these much discussed articles: "These papers have never had either official, semi-official, or editorial significance. The aim of each has simply been to set forth the opinions or fantasies of the individual who wrote it." As such, they have been eminently successful, for they have always been one of the distinctive features of the magazine.
An article on "Rowing and Health" by Dean Bardeen of the University of Wisconsin discusses some of the deleterious effects of rowing with a vigorous and convincing rebuttal by R. H. Dana '74. It is interesting to find that many of the current criticisms of rowing can be answered on scientific grounds.
A somewhat ponderous, but thorough discussion, under the head of "The Need of Endowment for Economic Research" points out the importance of economic investigation at this time, and asks financial assistance for the project. L. DeJ. Harvard '15 writes an interesting account of the Cosmopolitan Club, and the editor himself contributes the obituary of the late Hon. Curtis Guild '81.
From the point of view of the undergraduate, the most interesting and significant article is entitled "John Barleycorn and John Harvard," by R. E. Connell '15, which takes up the subject of drinking in the University. The author covers the situation sanely and accurately, describing conditions in Cambridge, and ending with a strong appeal for the regulation of drinking conditions in Cambridge.
Mr. Thayer has made in this issue a last appearance worthy of his long career. To him more than to anyone else, is due the credit for having built this periodical; and the gratitude of the University follows him in his withdrawal.