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Conant Praises Gigantic Work of Jerome Greene, Adjourns Meeting Until 2036


Rain, prime enemy of the Tercentenary, finally arrived in intermittent showers. Friday morning, but despite its troublesome appearances the official exercises were carried out in the open Theatre as planned.

In the afternoon there was no mistake; it poured. And the meeting of the Alumni Association wholeheartedly adjourned to the dryness of Sanders Theatre.

Rain an Advantage

This was in many respects advantageous. For in the quiet of an inclosed auditorium the distinguished speakers of the afternoon were enabled to do full justice to a burst of inspiring addresses befitting the wind up of such a three-day calendar of ceremonies.

In point of public interest the high points on the programme were President Roosevelt's remarks on the future of American higher education, President emeritus Lowell's opening speech, and President Conant's speech on the Tercentenary Fund and his adjournment until 2036.

Freedom is Keynote

Keynote of the meeting, as throughout the "Birthday Party," was that of the freedom to seek truth, a freedom vital for the continuance of the academic tradition in America.

With this in mind the laurel for the afternoon should probably be awarded to President Angell of Yale.

Looking ahead Dr. Angell saw a bleak prospect in the attempts at censorship already with us in the form of taxation on universities and oath bills.

Curley Present

Governor Curley was on the stand as the New Haven prophet lashed out at political interference in one of the most energetic attacks since last year's passage of Massachusetts' Oath Law:

. . . "But already there are current among us movements hardly less ruinous, if they go unchecked, than those which on the continent have despoiled ancient universities of their most precious birth-right.

Sectarian Bigotry

"Perhaps most often in our own educational history it has been the attack of sectarian bigotry which our colleges have had to resist. Harvard history reveals not a few such episodes. But today the most menacing attack comes, as it has repeatedly in the past, from the political side. In one form it is precipitated by allegedly patriotic organizations committed to maintain in schools and colleges their own particular conceptions of loyalty. The motives of these misguided folk are, I doubt not, often excellent. But they have opened the cover of Pandora's Box and we may well be fearful of the issue. For example, in many schools American history may now be taught only in terms these self appointed patriots deem desirable. Teachers who will not prostitute their knowledge and convictions to the often ignorant bias of these worthies must find other jobs.

Busy-Bodies Moronic in Mentality

Sometimes the results desired are sought through the impositions of teacher's oaths. Sometimes by more direct methods, but the outcome is always the same, i.e., the assignment to busy-bodies, often moronic in mentality, of the power to terrorize able and honest teachers, with the ultimate ruin of the morale of the teaching force. Few teachers would object to taking a loyalty oath if other citizens did the same, especially editors, preachers, radio speakers and the directors of movies, all of whom exercise a far more direct and potentially corrosive influence on public opinion. But as now applied the oaths inevitably reflect upon the character of the teaching profession. Moreover, their sponsors can hardly hope thus to accomplish their real purpose, for supposing that rarest of animals, a disloyal teacher, no oath is going to prevent his making his real views felt."

Other Speakers

In addition to those mentioned above, other speakers on the afternoon program were: Stanley Baldwin, Chancellor of Cambridge University, from England via shortwave; Learned Hand '93, president of the Alumni Association; Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, Master of Balliol and vice-Chancellor of Oxford University; and George Russell Agassiz '84, president of the Board of Overseers.

Quoting from Mr. Agassiz: "What the world most needs today is the wisdom to apply its knowledge wisely; in the sane realization and full acceptance of the fact that Nature is 'a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may.'"

Just before the final singing of "Fair Harvard," President Conant made the adjournment until the year 2036. Praising Jerome D. Greene '96 for his gigantic and successful organization of the Tercentenary proceedings, he went on to quote once more President Quincy's prophecy of 1836:

"'A century will soon roll away and there will be another clan-gathering of the sons of Harvard. They will come rushing as it were on the wings of the wind from every quarter of our land!' Here he interpolated 'every quarter of the globe.'"

And in conclusion: "Mr. President, I move that this assembly of the alumni be adjourned to meet at this place on the 18th of September, 2036."


The unmerciful buffeting received by the Oath Bill during the Tercentenary Days did not go unbeeded by its sponsor and champion, Representative Thomas Dorgan of Dorchester.

"Harvard is tolerant when a thing pleases them, but when it does not please them, it is different," summed up his opinion of the University's policy and prefaced his remarks. "It would be much better if Harvard would try to solve some problem to get the unemployed back to work than to be seeking the truth.

"I would certainly appreciate it if President Conant would get some of intolerant professors to seek the truth, whether or not the Teachers Oath takes away fundamental rights. The truth will tell that it does not.

"The whole story is that Harvard, which is positively controlled by the big interests, is getting away with it and has been for a long time.

"Wake up Harvard and cut out the clowning and talk about the most serious things in life, such as unemployment and taxation. Oh, no, Dear Harvard would not talk on that because the rank and file might then seek the 'truth.'"

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