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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Less than 48 hours ago, John R. Williams '63 predicted, "I should win the hung Republican Club election by 50 votes." Last night he gloomily watched his own political hopes dashed by Peter J. Wallison '63 by a 150 to 100 margin, and saw 12 of 13 "machine" candidates win HYRC executive board posts.
Most observers found the most surprising aspect of the election to be the wide margin of Wallison's victory, especially after Williams had waged weeks of campaigning charging Wallison with machine-support. Even Wallison had admitted, "It's a beautiful charge."
The answer may have been supplied by one Williams supporter when he predicted before the election, "John's whole slate will probably outrun him. He just doesn't have the political personality to compete with Wallison." In fact, members of the Williams slate did outrun the presidential candidate in four out of five contests.
Another big surprise was the victory of James I. K. Knapp '64, the only successful pro-Williams candidate, for second vice-president. A major factor in his election could have been the nominating speech by Howard J. Phillips '62, who urged Knapp's election "if you want a truly non-factional slate." Although Williams had denied that Phillips had played any role in his campaign, the former Student Council president was reportedly directing Williams' floor campaign.
Robert L. Beal '63 won the first vice-presidential position unopposed. Attempting to stress his non-factionalism, Williams had endorsed Wallison for vice-president, so his slate had no one to oppose Beal.
Richard B. Olson '63, who Williams had charged was the "machine's" choice to succeed Wallison as president, overwhelmed freshman Eric Jager 117-84 to become HYRC operations director.
Winners of other executive board positions were James H. Broussard '63, treasure; William C. F. Kurz '64, recording secretary; John W. Starr '64, corresponding secretary; Donald F. Winter '63 and freshmen E. Jon Bayley, L. Stock Illoway, Jon Jewett, and John L. Powers, members-at-large.
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