The corner-stone of the Harkness Memorial Quadrangle at Yale was laid on Monday with brief but impressive ceremonies. President Arthur T. Hadley presided at the exercises and in the course of his address took occasion to remind those present of the spiritual influences which attractive buildings possess and the pressing need of doing something in America to replace the historic European structures which have been destroyed by the war. Among the interesting documents placed in the corner-stone were a copy of President Wilson's reply to the Pope's peace proposals, a Liberty Bond poster, and a record of Yale men in the present conflict. It is expected that the Harkness Quadrangle will meet the university's dormitory needs for many years.
A short biographical sketch of the late Charles W. Harkness of New York City, in whose memory the quadrangle was given, and the formal speech of President Hadley in accepting the prospective group of buildings comprised the chief events of the program. The invocation was given by Dean Charles W. Brown of the Yale School of Religion and the corner-stone was laid by Edward H. Harkness of New York, brother of the former New York business man to whom the buildings are to be a memorial. He was assisted in the formal setting of the stone in place by James Gamble Robers of New York City, Yale 1889, architect of the quadrangle, and Otto Eidlitz of the firm of Mars Eidlitz, builders of the group of future Yale dormitories.
The new buildings are the gift of Mrs. Stephen V. Harkness of New York City, in memory of her son, the late Charles W. Harkness, Yale 1883. Edward S. Harkness, the other son, who took part in the exercises, is a Yale graduate or the class of 1897.
The memorial biographical sketch of the late Charles W. Harkness was given by Horace D. Taft, principal of the Taft School at Watertown, Conn., a classmate of Charles W. Harkness and secretary of the Yale class of 1883. Members of the class were especially invited guests at the laying of the corner-stone, the other guests including members of the Yale Corporation, Mayor Campner, Mayor elect Fitzgerald and other city officials of New Haven, members of the committee on plans for university development, deans and directors of the various schools at Yale, and professors in Yale.
The gift for the purpose of this construction is probably greater than any of its kind in the history of higher education in America as it will represent an expenditure of millions of dollars. It is a coincidence that just two hundred years ago Monday the start on Yale's first building in the New Haven Campus was made.
In accepting the Quadrangle, President Hadley said in part:
"And war has done more than lay buildings waste. It has for the moment at any rate distorted our standards. It has compelled us to look too much for immediate efficiency rather than permanent utility."