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"As a Harvard man living in an extremely non-Harvard community," Moris Duane '23 writes out of his heart to thank the Alumni Bulletin for its recent tabulation of the accomplishments of University graduates in politics. When now "some unmannerly person" tells him that "It certainly was lucky for Harvard that William didn't play," he "can come right back with some light persiflage ending with the telling argument that Harvard has 26 members of Congress and three Supreme Court justices." His most distressing converational problem, he implies, has thus been solved.
Mr. Duane requests more statistics that he may fortify himself further--statistics of Harvard men in the Cabinet, of Harvard men in the displomatic service, historical statistics for every branch of the government. It is evident that he has found a good thing and proposes to make the most of it.
Yet it must be clear to Mr. Duane that he cannot go on forever this way, Pretty soon the sneering darts of his friends will no longer be turned by this new armor. He can fall back upon figures for the profession--law, medicine, education, even business, then upon literature, although best not in the presence of graduates of Yale. And so on, but the newness of his defence will rapidly wear away before the pertinacity of the William and Mary gag and the story of the Harvard man on the crew who rowed number three and knew every man in the boat except number six and the stroke.
The matter has its serious aspects. The plight of Harvard graduates in extremely non-Harvard communities. It is well to admit that it is just a little hard to get very far into the hinterland of this country without dropping into the midst of one of these communities, and this is not at all as it should be. Many establishments have their public relations departments; Secretary Hoover is said to he several clerks whose sole duty it is to trace down all comments derogatory to secretary Hoover, and remove the sting which prompted them. One would hesitate to recommend exactly such measures as these, but it is clear that indifference when applied to what people think is not always conductive to admiration.
One cure, of course, is to win football games. The modern college has ncbetter better proselyters than the writers of the nation's sport stories. Yet it is exactly this that makes universities resent football, that their standing should rise and fall with the numerals on the stadium scoreboard. Another, suggested by Mr. Duane, which might have a certain passing effectiveness, is to provide all alumni with unanswerable tables of statistics.
And perhaps here is a hint of the solution. Not figures of other men's accomplishments, but the high equipment of each individual graduate must represent Harvard to the outside world. if at the same time she can contrive to appear in a little more favorable guise in the public prints, the continuous pouring of this stream into the nation must eventually put a quietus on that greatest of all anachromisms--"a Harvard man living in a non-Harvard community."
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