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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
A summary of the achievements of President Lowell since his inauguration as the head of the University, is given in a letter written by W. Cameron Forbes '92, former Overseer of the University, to the Alumni Bulletin, which is published in the Alumni Bulletin today. The letter embodies an attempt to sum up the most notable features of the progress of the University in recent years. Mr. Forbes divides this field into ten specific divisions, which are printed below:
"First President Lowell has held Harvard steadily at the front in progressive educational policies, some of them almost revolutionary in their nature, and our University remains a leader among universities. His forethought in securing the six French officers to train the R. O. T. C. is but an instance of many masterly strokes.
Has Improved Faculty
"Second: President Lowell has realized that it is not bricks and mortar that make a university but the high character of the teaching staff, and he has sought out and secured for the University outstanding men in most directions of teaching and research so that the depletion of the ranks by age and retirements has been made good and the standing of the University has been improved by his selections.
"Third. He has installed the group system, which provides a much more intelligent choice of their courses for the student body and enables them to get a better, more practicable, and more serviceable education. In this movement Harvard has clearly taken the lead among our universities.
General Standards Higher
"Fourth. Faced with the problem of caring for a larger number of students than the facilties of the University could assimilate, he has raised the standard of admission and of scholarship during the college course. It cannot be denied that the Harvard man of today is turned out better educated than he was two or three decades ago.
"Fifth. He has liberalized and modified the requirements for admission so as to admit without examination those whose scholastic standing justified that consideration, thus opening the door to many potential students who previously could not take the special courses necessary to qualify.
Buildings Have Multiplied
"Sixth. He has set himself resolutely to solve the housing problem and made that one of his major policies. His success is evidenced by the construction of three Freshman Dormitories, with one more in process, the purchase of many privately owned dormitories, including the so-called "Gold Coast," the construction of additional dormitories and provision for other dormitory facilities in the Yard, the movement now on foot to secure a Medical School dormitory, and the prospect of early construction of adequate dormitory facilities for the Business School, for which funds have been raised and plans approved.
"Seventh. Under his direction the resources of the University have increased by leaps and bounds.
Started The Business School
"Eighth. In advance of other colleges of the country, he has led the movement toward training in business administration and created a school whose usefulness is universally conceded.
"Ninth. He has created the Graduate School of Education.
"Tenth. The University has secured liberal endowment for a School of Hygiene and Public Health and has established the necessary courses to develop this long neglected and very vital subject." "W. Cameron Forbes '92."
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