"I wanted to see the school that some people are saying is just A-No.1, top of the heap, king of the hill, Reagan said. "And I know that right now that's being said in connection with college basketball, but from what I've rned of you're university the honor extends to a great many other areas as well,"
At, Harvard, reaction to Reagan's remarks was caution.
Stonefaced John Harvard, continuing his tradition of not speaking with The Crimson, refused comment
But Harvard spokesman David M. Rosen said he took no offense at the comparison drawn by the president
"Imitation is the sincerest from of Flattery, "Rosen said, adding that he sees no immediate threat from St John's. "Truly, the student and faculty at Harvard remain unsurpassed anywhere in the country."
The White House spokesman refused to say why St. John's was selected as a site for Reagan's visit, which followed a swing through the New York stock Exchange. But one official told The New York Times, "We were just looking for an invitation in New York, We went through the computer-we had this invitation on file."
In 1981, Reagan turned down Harvard's offer of an honorary degree and the highlight speech at Commencement. Rosen said Harvard has not yet received a response to its invitation for Reagan to speak during the University's 350th birthday celebration, set for September 1986