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President Bok announced yesterday the Atlantic Richfield Company will donate $1.13 million for the Kennedy School of Government's new building, currently under construction on Boylston St.
Speaking at the Manhattan Harvard Club, Bok said the grant is for the construction of facilities for the Arco Forum for Public Affairs, which will be the center of the school's new $12 million headquarters. The University expects to open the building for general use by September 1978.
The Kennedy School's Institute of Politics will run the multiple-level facility. The forum room will seat 500 people for debates, visiting lecturers, movies and television broadcasts, Graham T. Allison '61, dean of the Kennedy School, said Wednesday.
"So when we're not using it for the World Series or the Patriots it will be the main political function center in the University, Allison added.
Upon opening, the forum will hold a series of public discussions on "The U.S. in the Third Century."
"Because we're getting the grant" some money that would have had to go to the building will now be available for other areas, Allison said.
The University has raised enough money for the building's construction, Allison said, but additional grants to the building fund will generate more money for the school's other projects.
Allison said the gift is especially significant because "the University has an unusual vote of confidence, making it possible [to attract] further gifts to the building."
Bok reiterated his plans to turn the Kennedy School into a major professional school with a status comparable to the Law, Medical and Business Schools. "A major task of a free society, therefore, must be to ensure that the functions of government are performed wisely. This is the end to which the Harvard program will contribute," Bok said.
Thornton F. Bradshaw '40, president of the Atlantic Richfield Company and a member of the Kennedy School's visiting committee, said yesterday, "Whether the growth in government pleases us or dismays us, there is little reason to believe that the trend is going to be reversed. Big government, for good or for ill, probably is with us to stay.
Allison said some potential donors to the Kennedy School have reservations about the expansion and professionalization of the public sector. However, he said people are beginning to realize "the proposition that dumb government is going to be good government is just a mistake."
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