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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
That Harvard is at once the richest university in the country and the poorest is an old saying born of a very important truth. Rich by token of actual endowment, it is often poor by token of immediate needs. With the establishment of the new Harvard Fund whose details are announced in the news columns of this issue, this situation promises to become less serious.
The Harvard Fund is important primarily, of course, not merely as a plan to raise money. It is significant because of the method by which the Fund will be subscribed, and because of the general, unspecified purposes to which it will be devoted. It will appeal not to a low individuals for gifts for special purposes, but to the whole body of Harvard alumni, and it will represent annual subscriptions, relatively small in amount but large in number, to be expected as the President and Fellows determine. A permanent fund without restriction as to its use has long been one of the most pressing needs of the University.
For undergraduates, the benefits of the new fund will be immediate and real, more real perhaps than those of any other recent innovation in University policy. The announcement declares that a considerable part of it will go toward the maintenance of better assistance and equipments in the various departments, and above all, to provide "more and better tutors." Ever since the inauguration of the tutorial system the first cry has been, "more and better tutors." The point is fundamental. Under a poor tutor the system is little more than worthless; a good tutor is often practically all that is needed to make a student's college experience a success. If the Harvard Fund provides more and better tutors by obtaining money to: before available for this purpose, it will justify its existence a hundred fold.
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