William Richards Castle William Roscoe Thayer.

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have afflicted our race through all the
ages has earned its laurels, and the mod-
est physician who conducted it is engaged
with his companions in a no less serious
attempt to relieve the suffering <ji fever-
stricken Serbia.

Harvard College was pledged by the
charter of 1850 to the advancement of
all good literature, arts and sciences; how
well the task has been performed the
world can judge. Greater advantages de-
mand proportionate returns, and we look
forward to these with confidence. Har-
vard Ck>Uege has ever sought the truth
and has had the courage to defend it.

This is the only day in the academic
year when the President sits at a table at
which a member of that somewhat mys-
terious body known as the "Corpora-
tion" has the first word. But, by the
Statutes of the College, the President is
alone able to report upon the stale of the
University; and we, his associates, join
with you in every expression bf admira-
tion, support, and belief, in the admin-
istration of President Lowell.

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1915.] CommmcefiM/ni. — Afternoon Mcerdsea.



Brethren of the Alumni : I oome before
you kgam^ after what seems to me a very
short twelve months, to render an ac-
count of what has happened in the Uni-
versity within that time.

The last year has been one, like its
predecessor, of building. Only tins year
has been a year of the completion of
building. We have all had the pleasure
this morning of going over the EDirry
Elkins Widener Memorial Library, and
certiunly that b one of the greatest
events in the history of the University.
We have felt for many, many year*
that the condition of the old Library
was a detriment to scholarship; and I
think that if those of you who went
over the new Library this morning
had examined carefully the stacks, you
would have found that this Library is
better adapted to scholars* use than any
other library building ever constructed
in the worid.

This year we have also completed the
new Music Building; we have com-
pleted the Cruf t Laboratory, with those
great towers carrying aerials for wireless
telegraphy, which you cannot have failed
to see if you have looked in their di-
rection. We have also this year com-
pleted the Freshman Halls — filled and
emptied them once. Perhaps it is too
early to speak of the experience of one
year. Perhaps we shall do better each
year that we go along. But I may say
that, in the main, those Halls have
accomplished the objects which we had
in mind and have satisfied the expecti^
tions that we bore of them. Particu-
larly is it gratifying to know that the
great majority of the students — prac-
tically all the students — instead of
looking upon them as a prison looked
upon them as a privilege.

Among the larger gifts during the year

have been the following: From George
R. Agassis, for the general use of the
Museum of Comparative Zo5logy, $25,-
000 — I am only reading those which are
$25,000 or over; from the estate of Buck-
minster Brown, for the professorship of
Orthopedic Surgery, $25,645.92 from
William A. Gaston and others; for the
Cancer Commission, $50,000, which, with
$17,450 more in smaller gifts makes
$67,450 for the Cancer Commission;
from the estate of Sarah A. (Mrs. Wm.
F.) Matchett, an additional amount of
$50,000; from the estate of Francis Skin-
ner, for the Medical School, $43,148.94;
from the estate of Morrill Wyman, to be
applied to promoting good citizenship
by the study of the history of republican
government and so forth, $50,588.82; and
for a fund for research in the Medical
School $25,000 more; additional amount
for the construction of the Germanic
Museum, from Mrs. Adolphus Busch,

The largest single gift during the year
in the form of money was received on the
21st of June. It is that of $125,000 to
endow a professorship of Transportation
in the School of Business Admimstra-
tion, subscribed by friends of the school
and admirers of James J. Hill, in whose
honor it is founded and named. The
chair marks an epoch in the life of the
school, and, by its recognition of trans-
portation as a permanent subject of sys-
tematic instruction, it marks an epoch
in the life of the nation also. It is emi-
nently fitting that such a professorship
should bear the name of Mr. Hill, who
has applied scientific principles to the
construction and operation of railroads to
an extent and with an accuracy unknown
before. He is perhaps best known to the
public at large by having aroused the
nation to the need of conserving its nat-
ural resources, but this was the fruit of
a long, active career in developing the

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Commencement. — Afternoon Mterciees. [September,

vast country between the Great Lakes
and Paget Sound, and enabling it to
prosper. He had the imagination to ooii-
oeive and the skill to execute a plan of
transportation on a vast scale.

I suppose an old mother on her birth-
day is pleased with gifts; but perhaps
she is more pleased with gifts from her
children than from any one else. It is a
pleasure, therefore, to announce that I
have here a check for $80,000 from the
Class of 1800, with subscriptions for
$20,000 more. The mother is not less
gratified when she knows that hex chil-
dren have given her something at a time
when it was peculiarly hard to give it
This year business has been running
low, and it required more sacrifice than
usual to make this contribution from
the Class that has been out twenty-five
years. In the name of that mother I
thank them most heartily.

In spite of all these gifts the Univo^
sity is poor. Just six years ago it is now
that I joined the mendicant orders, and
I have a great sympathy with the mem-
bers of those orders in the Middle Ages
— except that they went barefoot. I
am sometimes in hopes that the Grover-
nor of this Commonwealth will extend
the laws of mendicancy to those of us
who occupy an official position, as well
as to those who need bread for their own

But this year we have been driven to
beg, not only of our past sons, but of our
future sons. We were placed in front of
this alternative: Will you reduce the
amount of instruction given in Harvard
College, or will you raise the tuition fee?
We have been running for some years
deficits — deficits due to the normal and
practically irresistible increase of expen-
ditures, where you are trying to do your
work and do it as satisfactorily as it
ought to be done, and do it each year
a little better than you did it before. I

assure you that it is not the result of
wasting money; it is due to improving
the instruction given to the students,
and also to increasing the care and atten-
tion given to the individual man. That
has involved a necessary increase in
cost, a necessary increase in cost such
that we felt that either we must cut
down what we are doing or increase the
tuiti<Mi fee, which has hardly been in-
creased since the year '00. It was then
increased with a jump from $104 to
$150. It now stands at $154, and we
have voted to increase it to $200.

Many other colleges have raised their
fees, and we saw no reason why educa-
tion in Harvard College should be a
cheaper investment than it is elsewhere.
It ought not to be a cheaper investment
on the ground that it is worth less.
Therefore we have decided that it tras
absolutely necessary that that fee should
be raised. But in order to have no ques-
tion of hardship upon anyone, in order
to raise no question whether we are deal-
ing justty with those who have already
entered, the increase goes into effect
only with those persons who enter the
College and the other departments af-
fected a year from next autunm.
Those persons will pay the increased

Now, I do not know how my fellow
alunmi feel, but I cannot stand up this
day and speak only of dollars and cents.
Something has happened nnce we w««
h«« together last year — something
that fills our minds and thoughts all
the time. It does mine — day and
night. We cannot wake up in the morn-
ing, take our newspaper, read of a
night attack made somewhere or other
by somebody on some one else, which
was repulsed with great loss of life, and
not think that there are others who did
not wake up. We think of the blanched
faces turned blindly to the sky, which

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1915.] Commencement. — Afternoon Bxercisee.


were warm and full of life and hope and
courage and aspiration when the ran
went down» but which will never see
another sun, or do anything more for
the world. Somebody may have been
guilty of an error, perhaps a crime, but
those young men were not. I do not care
on which side those young men were.
They were simply doing their duty,
not merely thdr duty as they saw it, but
their duty as every honest man placed in
the situation in which they were placed,
would see his duty. That is true of the
vast number of the lives that are be-
ing thrown away. We talk about a na-
tion as if a nation was an entity in
which all felt and thought the same
way, but as a matter of fact those
young men on both sides are simply
doing a man's work and doing it with a
heroism that no soldiers have ever ex-
celled before. Day by day such young
men are lying cold and stiff.

And who are those young men? We
know them not, but if this war had not
happened our sons might have known
them later. Who knows but what a
Louis Pasteur has breathed away his
life under the stroke of shrapnel in the
trenches? We know not what lives are
being cut down that were destined not
only to adorn. but to improve and to
comfort and to lead and to help on
mankind and civilization.

Does that mean nothing for us here at
a great educational institution, for the
othtf young men of just that age? Can
we sit still and count our pence, and
watch ball games, and not think of what
is going on at the other side of the sea?
Ought not we to feel that what is hap-
pening there throws a burden on us as
the leaders of youth?

The future is dark in front of us. We
know not whether we shall be entangled
or whether we shall escape being en-
tangled in this war. But our duty is

just as great in the one case as it is in the
other. Whether we fight or whether we
do not fight, we fight or we do not fight
for civilization.

If we do not fight, is it not for us, for
our young men, to take up the burden
that those young men who are lying stiff
and cold would have taken up if they
had lived? America has not yet con-
tributed to the world its share in the
advancement of learning and scholar-
ship, of science, of all those things which
make the world a better place for man
to live in. We have been confined most-
ly to material civilization. The men who
would have carried the torch of know-
ledge forward in the next generation are,
many of them, killed. Cannot we feel,
and make our own young men feel, that
there is a duty come upon us, a duty as
strong and as deep and as compelling as
that which might draw them to the bat-
tlefield? Cannot we rise up and say,
"Whatever may happen, we will carry
on the torch; we will snatch it from
the dying hands of those young heroes
on both sides of the line"?


The Governor of the Conmionwealth
is always a welcome guest at this table.
To our welcome today we add our con-
gratulations upon the successful results
of his earnest efforts for the extension of
the advantages of the higher institutions
of learning to those who have not hith-
erto had easy access to them. His


Mr. President, Members of the Alumni
of Harvard University, Ladies and Gen-
tlemen: In obedience to a time-honored
and most appropriate custom, I bring
again the greetings of the Common-
wealth of Massachusetts to Harvard
College, the first-bom and favored off-

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Commencement — Afternoon JSxercises. [September,

spring of the zeal of our forefathers for
the higher education, and to the great
and flourishing University of whose
branches Harvard College is the parent

Harvard no longer stands alone as she
was still standing when, a hundred and
fifty years after her founding, the fram-
ers of our Constitution solemnly com-
mended her to the fostering care of the
new and independent Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. She now shares with
many other strong and worthy institu-
tions the duty and privilege of — and I
quote from the Constitution — "initi-
ating many persons of great eminence in
those arts and sciences that qualify them
for public employments both in Church
and Stote."

Still, in a peculiar measure, the people
of Massachusetts look to Harvard Col-
lege for educational leadership, to con-
template her wonderful growth and pros-
perity with pride and satisfaction, and
to watch with keen interest the solution
of the problems that arise as she adapts
herself to the enlarging needs and chang-
ing conditions of our swiftly changing age.

As I look upon the massive and costly
halls and dormitories that surround the
comparatively few and simple college
buildings of only a generation ago, as I
study the vastly extended curriculum of
the University and compare the wide
range of its elective courses with the lim-
ited and inelastic provisions of the days
of the Civil War, as I note its throng of
undergraduate and post-graduate stu-
dents, I wonder what would be the feel-
ings of Governor Winthrop or Governor
Endicott if they could stand in my place
today and witness the gigantic outcome
of the small and struggling beginningB of
colony and college to which their devoted
efforts were given. Would they not feel
that the realization of their visions has
far surpassed their fondest hopes, that

the structures reared by posterity cm
their foundations are massive enough to
resist every shock, and that the future,
in their day so dim and uncertain, is now
dear and secure!

And yet, as we meet in these peaceful
surroundings, we can almost hear the
rumblings and feel the tremors of a vol-
canic eruption of human passions that is
threatening with ruin a civilization as
advanced and as firmly rooted as our
own; and my thought here today is that
never, in all the generations since this
university had its birth, has the need
been greater or the demand more urgent
for the very service that Harvard Col-
lege was created to bestow — the reai^
ing of leaders wise enough, and strong
enough, and true enough, to mould pub-
lic opinion aright and to guide our state
and nation through difficulties and dan-
gers which no nation has ever wholly
escaped, and which we too must expect
sooner or later to share.

These problems of our own industrial
development are ever with us, and have
to do with the very life of the free insti-
tutions that the founders of Harvard
College risked all to give us, and that
many a son of Harvard has shed his
blood to perpetuate and preserve. They
must never be overshadowed and forgot-
ten, as they are in danger of being over-
shadowed today, in the discussion of
issues growing out of the frightful con-
flagration that is raging beyond the sea.
And yet these issues are vital also, and
demand in their due prop<»rtion the best
attention that a trained intelligence and
an enlightened conscience can give. Is
there a happy mean between the unpre-
paredness that invites aggression and the
over-preparedness that serves as tinder
to the spark of international jealousy
and conmiercial greed? Are they right
who magnify force, the force of strong-
armed nations.banded together to repress

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1915.] Cotnmencement, — Afiernoon Ex&rdtes.


disorder and aggression, as the one sane
safeguard c^ a lasting peace? Or are they
right who, placing their main relianoe
upon a policy of friendliness, commercial
reciprocity, and international good-will,
advocate the beating of our swords into
ploughshares, and believe themselves in
harmony with the will of Him who ad-
monished His disciples not to be over-
come by evil but to overcome evil with

In this discussion it is inevitable that
some judgments should be warped by
timidity, some by racial prejudice, and
some by greed of a blood-soaked and un-
hallowed gain. How tremendously im-
portant is it that men with your advan-
tages should enter it, not only with
trained intelligence and skill in debate,
but as "persons qualified by your Col-
legefor public employment to the State?"

If it seems to any of you that I, a
guest, am overbold in venturing upon
such plain speaking in such an illustrious
gathering as tins, let me remind you that
the early governors, c^ whom I spoke a
few moments ago, would have rightfully
assumed a far more commanding tone.
tt is only because Massachusetts has
voluntarily divested herself of the com-
mand, and has entrusted to you Harvard
graduates, instead of as formerly to the
Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and
Senate, the power of control, that she
nowspeaks to you through her chief nuig-
istrate from year to year, not as a parent
and guardian, but as a visitor and friend.
You have come oIL age; she has divided
among you this goodly heritage. Be it
yours to see to it that this her cherished
offspring may ever continue to be her
staff and support, the pride and hope of
her nmturer as of her earliest years!


It is an interesting evidence of the
liberality of Harvard College that it be-

stowed its first degree of LL.D. upon
John Winthrop in 1773, our earliest man
of science. The degree was conferred for
the second time, in 1776, upon George
Washington; in 1779, upon Horatio
Gates and Joseph de Valnais. Gates was
the popular military idol of the hour, and
it was only later that it was discovered
that his feet had more of clay than iron
in them. But who was Joseph de Val-
nais? How many in this assembly have
ever heard of his name? Joseph de
Valnais was French Consul in Boston.
It was the purpose of the College in that
day to honor that gallant and generous
people who wore rendering to the strug-
gling colonies that almost indispensable
aid which helped us to our freedom.

One of our guests today was Ambassa**
dor to France in the beginning of the
troubles that followed the invasion of
that country and threatened its capital.
He remained steadfast to his post when
others fled, and we believe that our an-
cient friend would find in his sympathetic
services some recognition of the obliga-
tions which we feel, and have felt, and
shall always feel, to that ancient friend
of America.

We do not forget, however, in the hon-
ors that were bestowed upon our guest
of the day, that he has been Governor
of that great Middle State with which
New England has had such old and such
intimate relations.

The Honorable Myron T. Herrick.


Tlie Chairman has said that Gates's
feet were of day; not only my feet, but my
tongue is of clay and it cleaves to the roof
of my mouth when I attempt to speak
before this distinguished audience, for I
am carried back to the days of my youth,
when Harvard's precincts were made
sacred by my imagination and her men
deified. That ^>ell of my boyhood so

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Commencement. — Afternoon Exercises. [September,

me today that I would not
have the temerity to riae to my feet but
from my denre to express my deep and
overwhelmmg sense of gratitude for the
high honor that you have conferred upon
me in making me a Doctor of Laws. That
you should be willing to make me one of
you has touched me deeply.

When a boy I read of Harvard, and
was fired with an intense ambition to go
there and obtain an education. I read of
the careers of men whom Harvard had
made great. Charles Sunmer was one of
my ELarvard heroes; I cut his portrait
from a newspaper and pinned it on the
wall at the foot of my bed, looked at it
and dreamed of the great world beyond
my father's farm. Very often in those
days my mind refused to follow my feet
in the furrow. It seemed to me that pos-
sibly I also might one day become a stu-
dent of that college which had made
Sumner great I inquired about the tui-
tion, — discreetly, in order that my pre-
sumption might not be found out. Then
I went to the railroad station and asked
the fare to Cambridge. I also made dili-
gent inquiry about one other thing at
Harvard, which was in the nature of
athletics, — whether a student could
exchange his ability to "buck wood*' for
"board and lodging." I found no en-
couragement in that direction, which
was fatal to my plan; so I gave up in de-
spair the hope of ever becoming a grad-
uate of Harvard, and turned my face
and footsteps, — for I walked the whole
distance, — toward Oberlin College,
where I found a market for my sole com-
modity. I did not know then what I
learned yesterday on a banner at Soldier's
Field, that the Class of 1890 could boast
that "Harvard Waited 250 Years for
Us"; had I known that Harvard would
wait, my courage to come here might not
have been so soon exhausted.

But after all, there was a compenaa-

tion, — my son was able to enjoy the
advantages which had been denied me.
And today b the unexpected culmina-
tion of the dream and aspiration of my
youth to become an alumnus of Harvard.
The weight of the memories recaUed by
this occasion has made me once more
the awed youth at the gate of the

I have been tremendously impressed,
during these days in which I have been
privileged to visit Harvard and to see
and feel something of her inner life and
thought, to find her all that the dream of
my adolescence had painted hn. I find
here what is dimly felt throughout the
nation, — a realisation of the fact that
the old order is changing. Theconsdous-
ness of that impending change pervades
the institution from the youngest fresh-
man to the oldest teacher and oflicial.
Pres. Lowell has said that we are at the
threshold of a new epoch in the histoiy
of our country. We are indeed standing
at the threshold, endeavoring with our
imperfect si^t to see into the future, but
our vision is blurred. The precedents by
which we have been accustomed to de-
tennine our course are no longer of
value; they have been swept away by
the swift succession of events, and we
must, as before in our history, blase a
new way and make new precedents.

The paths that we shall follow as we
enter this new stage of our national
career must be determined largely by
the influence which Harvard and kin-
dred institutions in the United States
can exert. The school of thou^t which
they have created determines our steps;
it influences business and politics; it has
a contact with every branch or part of
American hfe. Until recently, the busi-
ness worid had its contact and its power
with politics through the sordid instru-
mentality of the campaign subscription.
But the political party is a sensitive

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1915.] Commencement. — Afternoon Exerciaea,


barameter* the fint to indicate the trend
of public opinion, and one of the early
manifestatiims of this new wpint in pub-
lic life was the recent decree of the fed-
eral government and of most of the
states, forbidding campaign subscrip-
tions by corporations and requiring that
all contributions for campaign puiposes
be published. At the moment I depl(Mred
that legislation, as detrimental to the
best interests of the country at that
time^ for it seemed as though the one
link whidi connected the business man,
who was too bu^ making money to ex-
pend his time in campaigns, with the
Government, was the campaign sub-
scription. The manufacturer, the rail-
road man, the man engaged in business,
whose brains were good, had a right to
be consulted in an advisory capacity by
reason of his check rather than by his
intellect. I believe that the advice and
counsel of the great business men of the
country, and their contact with the
Government, even thou^ obtained or
compelled in this way, was of advantage.
The contribution, aside from patriotic
motives, was for the insursnoe of protec-
tion or safeguarding of interests. The
giver did not, except in isolated cases,
seek positive advantages for himself,
but a defence against oppressive and un-
just measures.

I thought at the time that the prohi-
bition of the campaign contribution by
corporations was a mistake, since it re-
moved a strong influence against bad
legislation, and I could see nothing to
take the place of this steady influence.

Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 11 of 103)