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Friends, Students, and Associates Pay Tribute to George Lyman Kittredge

To "Kitty"


The present generation of Harvard undergraduates never knew Professor Kittredge as a teacher. To us he was always a semi-legendary figure whom we saw now and then ambling through the Yard, easily distinguishable by his flowing white beard.

But his reputation was known to us. We were told by our older friends all the stories and anecdotes which are now part of the "Kitty" legend. We heard about Kitty crossing Harvard Square, Kitty falling off the lecture platform, and Kitty at the Bodleian.

From the way in which these tales were told us, we gathered that Kittredge had been more than an ordinary professor. We came to realize that he was a phenomenon almost unknown to us today--a really great teacher. The students of his era took English II for the sake of Kitty, not of Shakespeare. Rare is the professor at Harvard now who inspires that feeling among the undergraduates.

And so when Kitty died last summer we were genuinely sorry. We had not known him but we knew what he had been. We knew that he was a part of Harvard's greatness, and a large part.

It was with these thoughts in mind that the Crimson determined to devote an issue to the great professor. We have tried to collect from the men who knew him best something that would catch the real Kitty. We asked them not to tell the old, familiar stories that repetition has altered but to give their own ideas of what Professor Kittredge meant to them.

We believe that this is the best way in which we, as representatives of the College, can show our respect for a man who helped to make Harvard what it is today.

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