The Harvard Tercentenary


To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

The 300th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College does not come in the spring, but in the autumn of 1936. It was on October 28, 1636 that the General Court of Massachusetts "agreed to give 400 pounds towards a schoale or colledge."

The bi-centennial was celebrated on September 8, 1836. In those days College opened on the last Wednesday in August, and the Corporation probably did not wish to break up term with a celebration. At the close of the bicentennial exercises in the Yard, on the motion of Josiah Quincy of the Class of 1821, it was voted, "that this assembly of the Alumni be adjourned to meet at this place on the 8th of September, 1936."

There should, therefore, be some kind of Alumni meeting on September 8, 1936, even if the celebration is held later in the fall.

The Class of 1936 will not be the 300th class graduated from Harvard College, and should not be encouraged to regard itself as the acme of three centuries of educational effort. The College did not actually open until the fall of 1638, and the first class was graduated in 1642. There were no bachelor's degrees granted in the years 1644, 1643, 1672, 1682, and 1688: but there were two distinct and separate classes of 1653. There were 55 classes graduated in the seventeenth century, and 100 in each of the subsequent centuries. Consequently (if my arithmetic is correct), the 300th class to be graduated from Harvard College will be the Class of 1945. S. E. Morison '07.