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Started as Private Tutor in 1886 and Has Developed National Reputation-School Will Continue as Usual


Mr. William Whiting Nolen '84, head of the Little Hall Tutoring School and for 40 years most intimately connected with the scholastic life of the University, died shortly after 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his home, 1352 Massachusetts Avenue. The funeral service will be held at Christ Church at 3 o'clock Friday afternoon, and the burial will take place at his private estate near Forest Hills.

Death was caused by heart failure, but for several years past Mr. Nolen has been sinking slowly until, a few weeks ago, physicians considered that the end would be only a matter of time. Refusing to let his weakened condition interfere with the few classes which he still had on his schedule, he spend a portion of the last few days teaching from bed, keeping his engagements up to noon yesterday. It is thought that the unusually hot weather of the past week was largely responsible for the suddenness of his collapse.


"With the death of William W. Nolen, a personality familiar to a host of Harvard men passes out of college life. Nolen was a member of the class of 1884 and from his undergraduate days took a keen interest in young students. His attempts at academic teaching soon after graduation were not wholly successful, but he soon found himself in an endeavor to give personal help to those who he believed were in danger of failure because the over-burdened college teacher had not time enough to help them.

"As a private tutor and as the head of an unusually successful tutorial school he strove always at the delicate task of supplementing college training, not undermining it. Whatever we may think of the system that he developed, it was always clear to those who knew him best that he worked from the highest motives and sought to give help of a kind that reflected an unusual ideal in teaching. Friendly and generous in all his relations his passing will mark a real loss in college life." GEORGE HOWARD PARKER '87. Professor of Zoology.

The life of Mr. Nolen has been one unbroken record of service in the field of private teaching at the University. Born at Philadelphia July 16, 1860, he attended the Central High School, Philadelphia, graduating in 1878. He entered Harvard in the fall of 1880 and graduated "summa cum laude" in 1884. During his college course he was connected with the Regent's Office, having as his duty the keeping of records of the various dormitories. For two years he filled the position of an assistant in biology, securing his master's degree in 1886. Then followed two years at the Law School, after which he took up permanent, residence near the college as a private tutor.

Limiting his work at first to tuition in college subjects. Mr. Nolen soon added school courses to his list, and with a growing staff of assistants formed a special department in preparation for entrance examinations. The scope of his work increased steadily, and in 1899 he established headquarters for his organization in Manter Hall, situated on the spot now occupied by the Waldorf. It was from his residence here that he came to be known by the title, now so familiar to Harvard students, of the "Window of Manter Hall".

By 1914 the William Whiting Nolen Tutoring School had assumed such proportions that a change in quarters became necessary and he and his assistants took over Little Hall, where the school is now situated.

Since the war, Mr. Nolan has been devoting more and more of his time to the field of college preparation. Each summer his staff of some 50 assistants has been taxed to the limit to take care of the many candidates for fall admission to college, and his work along this line has gained almost a national reputation. More than 200 attended the sessions of his tutoring school last summer and it is expected that this number will be increased during July and August of this year.

Announcement was made last night that the work of the tutoring school would be continued under the same staff of instructors. Mr. Charles A. Hobbs '80, who has worked with Mr. Nolan for the past 23 years, will be temporarily in charge

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