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For three days, beginning today, Chicago is to be host to 1,000 Harvard men, here to attend the twenty eighth meeting of the Associated Harvard Clubs. It is pleasant to find a significance in this entertainment by the lusty young western city of representative of America's oldest and most distinguished university. The guests who come to Chicago today can claim an academic tradition 201 years older than Chicago as a city.
Harvard University was founded in 1636. In that year, answering the desire of the pilgrim settlers to perpetuate the learning acquired at home in England, by many of them at the University of Cambridge, the General court of Massachusetts Bay colony appropriated 100 pounds for the foundation of an institution which would educate the "English and Indian youth in knowledge and godliness." Chicago did not become a city until 1837.
Harvard holds undisputed claim to the title of the most noted institution of higher learning in the western hemisphere. There are several American universities larger than Harvard: many have finer campuses, nobler buildings. But none has so stately a record of academic achievements. Sectional pride and academic allegiance often challenge Harvard's claim to preeminence, but it is to be found that foreigners, requested to name the leading university in the United States, nearly always reply with "Harvard."
During the 290 years of its existence Harvard has stood a tower of conservative liberalism. Liberalism in thought education, politics, religion. Not for nothing was the Reverend John Harvard, whose bequest in 1638 of his library and half his estate won him, the posthumous Loner of godfather to the infant school a nonconformist and an emigrant from the intolerance of the homeland. Battles there were, to be sure, stern doctrinary struggles such as the attempt under the presidency of the Reveread Increase Mather to bind down the college with the dour tenets of Calvinism. But liberalism always triumphed somehow, and lived to flourish in the Harvard of today.
With the foundation of a Medical School in 1782, a Law School in 1817, the admission of students desiring to take courses in science and mechanics in 1825, and the farseeing educational advances made under the presidency of Charles William Eliot and now being carried by President Abbett Lawrence Lowell, Harvard has always maintained itself proudly in the van of academic progress.
Harvard men have always stood with their country in time of war. During the revolution Harvard not only sent many of its students into the patriot army, but also seriously impaired its finances by converting its funds into currency with which to aid the cause Harvard's honor roll of the civil war and the world war is a long one.
It would take many times the number of words and lines in this column to name the other contributions of Harvard to the country whose sons it has educated; the long list of distinguished men who have graduated from its lecture halls and its famous Yard, the catalog of great teachers and scholars who have sat in its chairs of learning.
Chicago can only say that it is proud to welcome the sons of John Harvard Chicago Tribune.
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