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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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All colleges have their traditions, some more impressive than others, but they all are typical of undergraduate life, and those certain indescribable characteristics which make for college spirit and atmosphere. Indiana, Purdue, and countless others, have annual mud battles between Freshmen and Sophomores; many educational institutions for young ladies make May Day festivities an impressive annual affair. Thus it goes; every college perpetuates the traditions which it finds most suitable and enjoyable, and these same traditions typify and give the college a sort of earmark or trade label by which it may be known.

Last night the Harvard Glee Club gave the first of its series of Spring concerts on the steps of Widener, thus continuing a custom which forms an integral and valuable part of Harvard life. The whole ceremony is conducted in a pleasant, easy and informal fashion. The program is a combination of classical music and lighter pieces. The calibre of the singing is excellent, but there is no attempt at regimentation, as there is at Princeton, where everyone must stand up for certain songs, and only certain classes may sing others. To leave a Princeton song session, or be inattentive, would be considered sacrilege. This same informality and pleasant lack of regimentation is as much part of the Harvard tradition as is the type of singing offered and the choice of tunes presented.

The large numbers that gathered around Widener last night testify to the popularity of these Glee Club sessions, and the firm roots that they have planted in Harvard soil. They are as characteristic of the Harvard spirit as any one thing can be, in that they are a combination of the informal, the intellectual, the esthetic, and the sociable. Besides this they give as much pleasure to the residents of Cambridge and the average passer-by as they do to the undergraduate himself.

The Glee Club has contributed something very valuable to Harvard life and deserves the highest praise for its fine efforts.

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