The Press


The many fields of endeavor to which Dr. Abbott Lawrence has for half a century dedicated his talents leave to commentators a generous variety of laurels and bays to bestow....

A resourceful and unyielding fighter, Abbott Lawrence Lowell is dominantly a gentlemen of intact and abiding convictions. Opposition to his administrative projects or personal beliefs has but served to strengthen his purpose. A house plan ridiculed became to him a house plan imperatively demanding realization and justification. Abuse of Harvard's war time German department and staff appealed to his redeeming New England liberalism as the deciding factor in their continuance and protection. To be net against the course of his administration has invariably been to be set against an irresistible force...

Almost all the factors in the tradition of Puritan qualities associated with New England find in Dr. Lowell a representative. His authority derives not alone from his investiture as president of Harvard but from his position as head of an established family of the Commonwealth and from a chronicle of Lowell achievements which have their roots deeply imbedded in the past. Harvard College had been founded, but three years when, in 1639, Percival Lowell arrived in Newbury from Old England. From that time until the present the family name has figured body in the record of Massachusetts accomplishments in science, industry, piety and learning. Lowells have not, as in the verse, been confined only to conversation with divinity; they have companioned the best intellects of their generations and have trodden the highroads of life.

President Lowell's affection for Harvard has always been of a real and intimate order. No remote executive with time and patience only for exalted matters, he has been very much a part of The Yard. Every Sunday morning for many years he has dedicated the hour before breakfast to trimming the shrubs of his lawn and is visible to gay youths returning to bed from the bright reaches of Tremont Street, clippers in hand and in the company of his inevitable spaniel, pruning the barberry hedge along Quincy Street. Top-hatted and tall-coated, he once deserted a meeting of the overseers of the university to assist workmen at an excavation back of Matthews Hall where it was reported buried fragments of eighteenth century Harvard blue plate had been recovered. His fund of anecdotes is inexhaustible. The conductors of the subway to Boston salute him by name since, like all true and thrifty Gantabrigians, he eschews the costly taxi. In every sense of an abused word he has been an assured and amiable aristocrat.

If testimonials other than the legions the world during his administration is needed there is the abiding memorial of the great material university that Harvard, so largely through his endeavors and often through his personal generosity, has become ... But more abiding, perhaps, than house plans, new lecture halls or business schools is the Lowell tradition and the intangible achievement of Harvard prestige associated with his name. --New York Herald Tribune