Settling comfortably back into over-stuffed arm chairs in their "city room" on the top floor of Holyoke House three Nieman Fellows, Harry Ashmore, Tom Sancton, and Neil Davis, commented "It's like dying and going to heaven to be here at Harvard as a Nieman Follow."
Founded in 1937 by the bequest of Mrs. Agnes Wahl Nieman, widow of the founder of the Milwaukee Journal, these fellowships offer working journalists an opportunity to spend one year at the University attending what courses and lectures they choose.
Fifteen newspapermen on leave this year from newspapers all over the country are studying and reading here under professors throughout the University, and working on special interests and personal problems.
Investigating Negro History
"Most of us have some pet interest we're working on," Tom remarked. "Coming from the South I've always been interested in the background of the negro and their tribal history. Thanks to the courses and professors here I'm really finding out things in this line."
Other of the journalists are taking courses in Government, History, and Economics to help them in their reporting. Courses that will be of use in the peace settlement talks are the favorites. Most popular courses in this line seen to be Hopper I (New Factors in International Relations: Europe and Asia), Schlesinger's History of the Westward Movement, and Social and Intellectual History of the United States.
The life of a Nieman Fellow is not all study and lectures, the men revealed. "We intend to see all the football games, and the Nieman dinner every two weeks are swell. We're pretty good poker players. Take your CRIMSON "amateurs" on anytime you say."
Impressed With House Facilities
As we were talking Miss Beban, their versatile secretary, brought in an announcement about a speech being given by James (Call Me Jim) Curley. Many of the men have quarters in the Houses and were "amazed" at the libraries, records, and food.
"Harvard men?" "They sure know a hell of a lot more about things than most college students. One Adams House Junior already knows more about Negroes, slave trade, and conditions in the South than I've learned in my whole life there. They're tops intellectually, but they sure do dress queerly."
None of the journalists here are "movie reporters." They're all fellows who feel some responsibility and want to be of some use in their communities. Neil Davis is editor and publisher of his own paper in Auburn, Ala. Sancton is on the Associated Press desk at New York, and Harry Ashmore is a political writer on the Greenville S. C. News.
Discussion Highly Valued
"Best thing about this job is that at last we have a chance to sit down and argue," Harry remarged. "And the professors are darn co-operative and willing to discuss anything." Most of the Fellows take courses for the men rather than the course. Buck Hopper, Schlesinger, Merk and Jones drew top honors.
Fellows this year and the papers they come from are:
Stanley Allen, reporter, Now Haven Evening Register; Harry S. Ashmore, Political writer, Greenville (S. C.) News; Don Burke, editorial associate and writer, Life Magazine; James E. Colvin, reporter, Chicago Daily News; Sanford L. Cooper, cable editor, Pittsburgh Press; Neil O. Davis, editor and publisher, Lee County Bulletin, Auburn, Als.; Robert E. Dickson, cable and telegraph editor, New York World-Telegram; Donald Grant, reporter, Des Moines Register and Tribune; Henning Heldt, reporter, Jacksonville Journal; Everett R. Holles, cable editor, United Press; Victor O. Jones, sports editor and assistant managing editor, Boston Globe; Robert Lasch, foreign news editor and editorial writer. Omaha World-Herald; Edward M. Miller, Sunday and feature editor, Portland Oregonian; Thomas Sancton, reporter, Associated Press; Kenneth N. Stewart, national news editor, The Newspaper PM.