Required Reading

Reporter's Notebook

In most years, the only thing more boring than Commencement exercises is reading about them in Harvard Magazine.

But in this year's July/August issue, the magazine has some interesting insights into the ceremony and, in particular, the appearance of Gen. Colin L. Powell, chair of the joint chiefs of staff.

According to the magazine, Powell came to Harvard with military aides and a portable telephone. During dinner in Memorial Hall on the night before Commencement, the general received a phone call from President Clinton.

Clinton: Where are you, general?

Powell: I'm at Harvard receiving a degree.


Clinton: Can you talk?

Powell: Not really, I'm with the president.

Clinton: I see. Well, call me back when you're free. I'll be up anyhow watching the ball game.