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Alumni Group Wants Bunker as Overseer

Some of 296 Signing Nomination Petition Hit University's 'Pro-Oppenheimer' Policy


A group of New York and Boston alumni have petitioned the Alumni Association to nominate Laurence E. Bunker '26 for the Board of Overseers. The New Bedford Standard-Times yesterday reported that the action was taken in protest against what some termed the University's "pro-Oppenheimer" policy.

A petition bearing 296 qualified signatures was filed by the group requesting that the Wellesley attorney, a former aide to General Douglas MacArthur, be "nominated by certificate." The nomination was announced in the Alumni Bulletin last week.

No reason for the action was given to the Alumni Association, but the Standard- Times reported that several of the petitioners, who were unidentified, said their action could be considered a protest against the Overseers' approval of the selection of J. Robert Oppenheimer as 1957 William James Lecturer.

200 Degree-Holders Necessary

David W. Bailey '21, Secretary of the Board of Overseers, said last night that the action was in conformity with the rules of the Association, which provide that any 200 University degree-holders may petition to have a qualified alumnus placed in nomination as an Overseer.

Normally, nominations are made by the Association's Nominating Committee.

The Standard-Times asserted that only one "nominee by certificate" has ever been elected an Overseer, but that several other people have been so nominated since the practice was initiated in 1920.

Bunker said last night that he did not know who had started the petition, but that he had agreed to the action after a friend had told him about it. The newspaper quoted Bunker as saying the nomination was made "casually" by a group of friends.

Asked by the paper whether his nomination represented dissatisfaction with University policy, Bunker replied, "I leave that to your own judgment."

"Right Wing" Associations

The Standard-Times also said that he has been associated with "so-called right-wing causes" since his retirement from the Army in 1951. "A direct descendant of Nantucket whalers, Col. Bunker has addressed the Friends of Senator McCarthy and other right-wing organizations," according to the newspaper.

Ten nominations were made by the Nominating Committee, and with Bunker's name added to the list, 11 alumni will be competing for the five open positions." Postal ballots will be mailed to over 62,000 alumni.

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