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Magazine Tells the Unblessed To Fake Harvard Credentials

By Kenneth J. Ryan

To fill a "crippling need" among Boston area students, 95 percent of whom attend "unacceptable" schools, Boston Magazine has published yet another (circulation-promoting) article on Harvard in this month's issue.

The article, entitled "How to Pass for a Harvard Student," paints for the budding social climber and Harvard sycophant a cliched portrait of fair Harvard designed to teach "Northeastern Freshmen and corporate V.P.'s" how to play Crimson.

To pass for the veritable veritas, the article explains, one need only learn the difference between Eliot House and Animal House, Elsie's and Eli's, and Proust and Pirandello.

Indeed, author Michael Ryan '72 is "uniquely qualified to provide such advice" as a former homunculus in the "Harvard public-relations department" who shuttled "the occasional Pakistani dignitary between John K. Galbraith's lecture and the Faculty Club bar," Ryan states in his article.

"The article seems rather ironic," Harvey C. Mansfield '54, professor of Government, said yesterday, "because a Harvard man does everything he can to conceal his identity out of embarassment at going to the best University."

James D. Wilkinson, head tutor of History and Literature, said Bosmag's advice to read one volume of Proust and say you are concentrating in History and Literature would not fool any Harvard students. "A clever History and Lit person would deny having read any Proust, but would really have read all seven volumes in French," he said.

E.J. Kahn '69, associate editor of Boston Magazine, said yesterday, "I love taking shots at Harvard, I love parodying Harvard and I think the magazine feels this way too."

Ryan says in his story that he wrote the article because "the whole world believes..that Harvard is the most prestigious, most remarkable, most powerful educational institution in the world" and "if you don't go to Harvard you may as well be a sorghum broker in Boise--and you probably will be."

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