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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Memorial Hall Commons may once again be visited with throngs of students as large as those which crowded the hall at the height of its popularity if rumors which are current about the Yard materialize.
Scores of students who have seldom been inside the Dining Hall, have decided to take advantage of their last opportunity to eat in the historic commons, which will close its doors on Saturday evening after 50 years of service.
Since 1874 Memorial Hall has served meals to generation after generation of Harvard men. From the first it was very popular, though there were repeated criticisms of the food even then. In spite of adverse comment, however, Memorial Hall increased steadily in the esteem of the University body until about 25 years ago. It was thronged with students who formed in groups at the "club" tables, or ate singly at "hotel" tables in a hit-or-miss fashion. Since then, however, its fortunes have slowly declined until a few days ago President Lowell was forced to announce that the Hall would be closed on Saturday.
Since then, newspapers throughout the country have lamented the closing of Memorial, and apparently the students at the University are planning to attend meals on masse on Saturday as a farewell tribute to the passing of this time-honored institution.
When Manager B. M. Wing of the Dining Hall was informed of the reports which have been in circulation, he said that he would take up the matter of making special preparations for the closing meals with President Lowell. He held out hope for a special dinner for the evening, so the crowds who throng the commons tomorrow evening will sit at a festive board which may recall the days of old when delicacies were piled upon the tables for the men of '74 at the first meal Memorial Hall ever served, 50 years before its last.
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