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Name Student Center After F.D.R.



To the Editors of The Crimson:

One of the most astounding and disgraceful paradoxes about Harvard is that a quite frankly second-rate president, John F. Kennedy '40, has a whole graduate school named after him, while Franklin D. Roosevelt '04, arguably the savior of Western civilization, goes unrecognized here, save for a portrait on the second floor of the Union.

This is no doubt partly because of the opinion of most Harvard alumni at the time of Roosevelt's death that he was a "traitor to his class," although historical hindsight can argue that he did much to avert class warfare in this nation and the march of totalitarianism abroad.

Recognition of F.D.R. here is long overdue, and there could be no greater honor than to have his name on the center of undergraduate activity on campus. The student center proposed by Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57, if built, should be named after Roosevelt, rather than some oil-rich Texan couple or arms-dealing Iranian expatriate seeking the luster of the Harvard name to drop during fashionable Cambridge cocktail parties.

The administration could miss a chance at remedying a long-standing wrong by opting for gratifying the obscene wishes of some present economic royalist for an undeserved immortality. The student body could take pride in the Roosevelt Center as it couldn't under any circumstances in the Trump Center or Milken Center.

Would there be contributions to a student center named after F.D.R.? No doubt most Harvard graduates, especially those who fought in World War Two, have a different opinion of the man, whatever his faults, and recognize him as a hero. Other nations owing their freedom to the decisions of the former president might be persuaded to contribute.

After a political campaign in which the Harvard name was dragged in the mud, it would be refreshing to reassert that Harvard still has the greatest presidential alumnus, whatever the approval ratings and dubious achievments of the current president happen to be. Colin V. Gallagher '91

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