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C. Douglas Dillon '31, Secretary of the Treasury in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, has succeeded David Rockefeller '36 as President of the Board of Overseers, Harvard's 32-man senior governing body.
The Board elected Dillon, who is serving his second term as an Overseer, to the one-year Presidency at its 1968 Commencement meeting. Rockefeller's six-year term as Overseer expired in June.
Dillon was Ambassador to France in the Eisenhower administration and later an Under-secretary of State. He is now president of the United States and Foreign Securities Corporation.
Robert Amory Jr. '36, a Washington lawyer, is the new Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board. He took over in June from Thomas D. Cabot '19.
Amory--a Harvard Law School professor for six years--is also former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and chief international director for the Bureau of the Budget.
When the Overseers meet for the first time this year on October 14, Dillon will preside over a Board which includes six new members. Usually only five new Overseers are named by the postal election conducted each spring among all Harvard alumni. But the resignation of Hugh Calkins '45 to become a member of the Corporation created a sixth vacancy this year.
Six New Overseers
The new members are: Andrew F. Brimmer of Washington, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Elliot L. Richardson '41 of Boston, Attorney General of Massachusetts; Robert C. Seamans '40 of Cambridge, Visiting Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Management at M.I.T. and a Consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; William Davis Taylor '31 of Boston, Publisher, Chairman of the Board and General Manager of the Boston Globe; and Theodore H. White '38, of New York, writer. Each was elected to a six-year term expiring in June, 1974.
The sixth Overseer is Thomas Vincent Learson '35 of Armonk, New York, President and Director of IBM Corporation, who was elected to fill Calkins unexpired term, until June, 1972.
Brimmer, a 1957 Ph.D. recipient in Economics, is the second Negro to be elected to the Board. Ralph J. Bunche is the first.
White last week said the Overseers' function was one of "advice and consent." Although the Corporation--formally, the President and Fellows of Harvard College--makes most of the day-to-day decisions about the University at its weekly meetings, the Overseers must approve administrative or teaching appointments of more than one year's duration, degrees, and changes in the statutes and other major rules of the University. It usually gives what Richardson last week called its "benign approval."
Under a 1967 change in regulations, Harvard alumni are allowed to vote in the Overseer elections immediately after they graduate, instead of having to wait five years. Taking advantage of this change, Henry R. Norr '68, former chairman of the Harvard Policy Committee, announced in his Class Day speech June 12 his intention to run for Overseer in the 1969 elections. He said then that he hoped to establish more communication between the Board and students.
Although unwilling to comment specifically on Norr's candidacy, White last week said that "the voice of a recent graduate could be...enormously useful. The closer we get to undergraduates the better off we'll be." Richardson agreed that "it is a good idea to have the board represent the whole range of alumni in terms of classes..."
Learson and Seamans could not be reached for comment yesterday, and Brimmer and Taylor declined to comment on issues concerning the Board before familiarizing themselves more with it.
Allowing Harvard students to be Overseers would require an act of the Massachusetts legislature, and both Richardson and White say they oppose such an action. Richardson said that Harvard students already have adequate channels for expressing their views--through the Faculty petitions, various representatives, and editorials. "The real question is whether ideas and views are heard," he said. "My impression is that Harvard has shown considerable sensitivity.
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