Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

Illustration of 2022 Commencement with movie camera for first time
Illustration by Mark Steele

1922

Despite the belief of many alumni that “one does not advertise one’s mother,” an Associated Harvard Clubs committee recommends repeal of the rule forbidding photographers in the Yard on Commencement day and encourages use of “the moving picture as a medium for pictorial record and current information” about Harvard.

1927

The Board of Overseers requires all new students to present proof of vaccination against smallpox.

1932

The observance of Class Day is moved out of the Yard to the quadrangle formed by newly built Kirkland, Eliot, and Winthrop because “the heart of the College is…in the Houses.”

1937

Harvard and other English and American universities refuse to send delegates to the bicentennial celebrations of the University of Göttingen, to protest Nazi interference with academic freedoms.

1947

Visiting Harvard to collect an honorary degree, T.S. Eliot ’10 observes, “Nobody ever seems to stop working. It was certainly not like that in my day.”

1952

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania sign an intercollegiate agreement that officially proclaims them the “Ivy League.”

1957

British economist Barbara Ward, Lady Jackson, is the first woman to deliver the principal address on Commencement day, and only the second woman to receive an honorary degree.

1977

The student group Advocating a Better Learning Environment (ABLE) submits a proposal to President Derek Bok pointing out that of 175 Faculty of Arts and Sciences buildings, only 15 are even partially accessible to handicapped students.

2002

Following a year of debate and data-gathering, the FAS makes is easier for undergraduates to study abroad, and more difficult for them to earn academic honors.

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