I.F. Stone, the Washington-based journalist, yesterday declined an invitation from the senior class to be principal speaker at Class Day ceremonies June 14.
"I'll be sailing on the Raffaello for an extensive vacation on April 17th," Stone said. "I may not be back in time for the speech, and I wouldn't want to tie myself down."
Stone will be in Boston April 9th to speak at Tufts University.
Susan G. Cole '74, Radcliffe Senior Marshal, said she was "disappointed" by Stone's decision. Cole said that the Class Day subcommittee that invited Stone had not yet met to consider whom to invite in his place.
In the balloting conducted March 10 and 11, Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel prize-winning novelist, placed first. But the subcommittee decided that it would take too long to contact him, and extended the invitation instead to Stone.
Cole said she expected the invitation would now go to comedian Woody Allen, who finished third in the balloting. Allen was first choice last year, but declined the offer to speak because he was filming "Sleeper."
Stone edited the Washington newsletter, I.F. Stone's Weekly, from 1953 until 1971, when he joined The New York Review of Books as contributing editor. "I always wanted to go to Harvard," Stone wrote in 1969, "but I couldn't get in because I graduated 49th in a class of 52."
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