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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
No one but a snarleyow kill-joy can begrudge Harvard some sort of celebration on her three-hundredth anniversary. She should have fireworks, compliments, parades, mass-meetings, -- a great, big birthday party surrounded by all her friends and relations. Also lots of beautiful presents.
For success the affair must first of all be widely publicized. The whole country should be let in on the importance of such an institution as Harvard, told of the value of privately endowed institutions, and of the service performed for the community by America's great, primarily non-athletic Universities. No better way than a spectacular celebration for the oldest and greatest of these institutions could be found for spreading this sort of good propaganda.
The unity of the larger Harvard community, as Mr. Jerome D. Green, '96, Director of the Celebration, puts it, must be symbolized and reaffirmed in the fall assemblages.
The meetings themselves must be organized in as spectacular, yet intelligent, a way as possible, so that after luring great multitudes to come, they will get the meaning and importance of the occasion. The speeches must be more than pompous self-congratulation.
Great minds, not only those emerged from Harvard, should use the tercentenary as an occasion to come together, to exchange views amongst themselves. Also some opportunities should be given for others to benefit by the resulting concentration of intelligence. For this a summer course, with these minds especially drafted to give it, should be organized.
According to Mr. Green's article on today's front page, it seems that all these "musts" and "shoulds" can be changed to "shalls" and "wills". The omission of undergraduates in any part of the proceedings still rankles. But the rest of the affair,--publicity, speeches, memorials, meetings, dinners--, are apparently all being handled with the greatest tact, gusto, and efficacy.
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