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No mistake about it--there's a certain tone to Harvard, but sometimes it crops up in unexpected places. Here we've been thinking all along that President Conant was a man wedded to his retorts, and glass ones at that. But no, it seems that he is nothing less than the fifth best-dressed man in the country, and could probably beat the Mount Auburn Street manikins at their own game.
As a matter of fact, it's all part of Harvard progress. First Mr. Conant dolled up Massachusetts Hall with push-buttons on every desk; now he's even got buttons on the Dean's vests. Next thing you know, he'll be hiring Norman Bel Geddes to put up a new House. So in these streamlined days there's no place for the gentry who used to wear academic robes to cover up the grease spots. A Harvard President can no longer afford to be a faraway fugitive from the world and Mr. Conant has rightly taken his place in the Sartorial Hall of Fame.
Undoubtedly, that's a tremendous asset to any university president who's after benefactors. If they can't see beyond the warm, heathery shade of your tweeds, they won't be able to worry much about what's going to happen to their money. It's a great improvement over the old days, and we'll be expecting "Fair Harvard" on the Hit Parade pretty soon.
But still, we'd hate to see Mr. Conant lose his common touch in this sudden access of fame. It is understandable that a Harvard president must look to his wardrobe, but also let him keep up on his mountaineering. For sheer refreshment, Calvin Coolidge in an Indian war bonnet is nothing to the sight of Mr. Conant on a mountain top, coatless, hatless, and unkempt. And some day, if the Fates are kind, we may catch a glimpse of him lounging along Quincy St., in a shabby tweed jacket, and trousers breaking slightly around the knee.
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