We rejoice in President Lowell's expression of opinion, given at the recent meeting of the Associated Harvard Clubs, that preference should not be given to the sons of Harvard men if it becomes necessary to limit the size of the entering class in Harvard College. The Associated Harvard Clubs Committee on Service to the University--which committee consists of all of the former presidents of the association--had suggested in its report that "there might be taken into consideration a principal of selection . . . having reference to the matter of descent from Harvard men and Harvard families." President Lowell made it clear that he did not approve of that suggestion.
The exercise of a preference for the descendants of Harvard men among the candidates for admission to the College would be unfair to the very ones it would be designed to benefit. The sons of Harvard men, like the sons of other men, must, sooner or later, come face to face with competition in the world, and they might as well meet it when they try to enter College as at any time. For their own good they should be made to stand on their merits. The sons of all Harvard men we know ask for no handicap; they want what they deserve, but nothing more.
Such preference, if it kept boys out of Harvard College merely because they were not sons of Harvard men, would be unfair to those boys also. The great benefactions which have been bestowed on Harvard College were given not for the sake of the sons of Harvard men, but for the good of the great community as a whole, which Harvard, in part, serves. Inbreeding within the student body would be quite as dangerous for the College itself as inbreeding in the Faculty would be. The latter kind of limitation has not been observed at Harvard within our memory; the former kind should never be established. Harvard Alumni Bulletin.