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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
"Langdell, Ames, Thayer and Gray, and those who have inspired and directed the students of this school in the course of the last half century, represent what is perhaps the most remarkable and successful adoption to educational needs that has been displayed in any field."-- This remarkable tribute was paid by Justice Hughes to the Law School at its centenary celebration yesterday.
It is a great source of satisfaction to look back upon years of real achievement, and no one can deny the Law School this privilege. The recognized leader in its field, it has probably contributed more than any other department to the prestige of the University. The unrivaled pre-eminence of the Law School is a jewel to be more carefully guarded than almost any other treasure of the University; but about a year ago it seemed very likely that its leadership could not be maintained because the salaries paid here were so small that many of the younger men starting out as teachers were attracted to more munificent positions in the west.
The immediate danger has been tided over by the beginning of the Endowment Fund, but the University will still be left in an unfavorable position if the fund is not completed. The Law School, perhaps is the least needy of the various departments of the University, because its position of prestige gives it a certain "moral advantage" over its rivals, which attracts many promising instructors to Cambridge rather than elsewhere.
To build up each department of the University to the high standard set by the Law School is the aim of every Harvard supporter. The Harvard tradition of progressiveness and liberalism urges us to aim at improvement in every direction. Harvard has always been a leader in the past; whether it will continue to be in the van in the next century as it has been in the last depends on whether its sons realize that what she now needs above all else is funds. The desire and the capacity to be great is strong; the completion of the Endowment Fund will give Harvard the needed wherewithal to carry it through.
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