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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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This year, more than ever before, the need for bigger and better classroom space has become painfully apparent. During the past week a distinguished visiting professor has been forced to change the meeting place of his course three times, due to the inadequacy of the recitation rooms in Sever Hall. In Harvard Hall there are men sitting on the floor and in the window-sills in one course, while many other courses are reciting in rooms filled far beyond their normal capacity.

This situation obviously makes it difficult for the instructors, and disagreeable for the students. Added to the coats and hats underfoot, and the lack of elbow room at the narrow benches, the ventilation in many of the rooms is such that a soporific influence will make itself felt in the best of lectures.

It is time that some thought be given to the ways and means of providing the college with some new recitation hall. The last five years have seen an enormous amount of money invested in physical additions to the Harvard plant. We have had a new art museum, and a new gymnasium, and new dormitory units are in process of construction. The classroom space provided in the art museum and the Mallinckrodt laboratory was purely incidental to the primary purposes of these buildings, and has done but little to relieve the general situation.

There is nothing very inspiring in giving money towards a new recitation building. It seems too prosaic and materialistic, but the crying need for some new building of this type can no longer be overlooked.

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