Harvard History Course Is Needed


It was a happy coincidence that Eric Nelson's editorial "Harvard History 10a," advocating a course on Harvard's history, appeared on the same day as your staff editorial condemning the razing of Carey Cage (Dec. 4).

A Harvard history course is something, which should have been instituted years ago. But as the undergraduate body has become more diverse, such a course is no longer merely a nice idea, but almost a necessity.

From numerous Crimson stories in recent years it is clear that far too many undergraduates have little appreciation or understanding of what Harvard is all about.

I would hesitate to calculate the number of times I have muttered something to the effect of "if they didn't know what Harvard was all about, why did they come here... "

The course which Eric Nelson so gracefully proposes could be as important--and as academically sound--as any course now being given on intellectual history or cultural traditions.


The offering of such a course would not necessarily have saved Carey Cage. For that--and to prevent the future destruction of Harvard's architectural heritage--the University should consider establishing an architectural review committee with members drawn from the University as well as the Cambridge community. Such a committee should be given similar powers as the city's own Historical Commission to review--and even to veto--proposed alteration or demolition of Harvard buildings. Michael Kenney '57 Cambridge, MA