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Charles Townsend Copeland '82, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, emeritus, the world-renewned "Copey," is without question the best known of all great Harvard lights who retired too seen; too soon for the good of the University and too soon for the Class of 1941.
Copoy, at Harvard since 1892 and active until 1928, established the "cult of Copey" soon after he started teaching. His method of instruction in English composition, carried on for the most part in his rooms at Hollis 15, occupied once by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and by Charles William Eliot, was described by Walter Lippmann '10, as a "catch-adcatch-can wresting match." Lippmann writing in the special CRIMSON issue released upon the occasion of Copey's 75th birthday, said of him: "Copey was not a professor teaching a crowd in a class room. He was a very distinct person in a unique relationship with each individual who interested him."
The masterful "Copeland Translations," and "The Copeland Reader" of which he was the author, were described by Robert Hillyer '17, present holder of Copey's famous professional chair, as "a Harvard contribution to American letters of which we may justly be proud."
Once or twice a year, Copey gives his regular readings to the now Freshman Class in the Union, and from time to time sees a few members of the class, selected by their English teachers, in his apartment on Concord Street. So it cannot be said that the mellow influence of one of Harvard's greatest teaching personalities will be unfelt by the Class of 1941.
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