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Conant Wars on Educational Chaos and Crusades for Liberal Tradition as Harvard Begins Fourth Century

Chief Tercentenary Event Background for Speech of President


The text of President Conant's address begins on page 6 and the names of the honorary degree recipients on page 10.

With 12,000 persons participating in the Tercentenary exercises this morning, Harvard commenced the fourth century of her existence, ready to displace "educational chaos" with order and to promote progress through freedom of discussion.

Lashing the "intellectual anarchy" abroad in the world today, President Conant told the gathering that the liberal arts curricula of the universities have the mission of restoring education to its highest function.

Discussion Essential

Stressing freedom of discussion, he said. "The origin of the Constitution, for example, the functioning of the three branches of the federal government, the forces of modern capitalism, must be dissected as fearlessly as rocks. If we are afraid, there will be no adequate discussion of the genesis of our national life; the door will be shut to the development of a culture which will satisfy our needs."

He saw the future of the American University Tradition depending upon "a proper balance between the four essential ingredients of learning--the advancement of learning, the liberal arts college, professional training, and a healthy student life.

Balance Must Be Maintained

"If this balance can be maintained, the universities of this country, privately endowed and publicly supported alike, will function both as instruments of higher learning and as centers for developing a national culture worthy of this rich and powerful land."

Following the colorful academic procession, the meeting was called to order by the Sheriff of Middlesex Country. Dean Sperry delivered the Invocation; Professor E. K. Rand, the Latin Oration; John Masefield, the Ode; and Professor Samuel Eliot Morison, an address on the founding of Harvard. Governor Curley extended the greetings of Massachusetts.

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