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Miss North Dakota, et al.

“Your wooden arm you hold outstretched to shake with passers-by.”

Pick a Harvard undergraduate almost at random and you will be astonished by the range of his or her accomplishments. Consider Carrie Ann Haberstroh ’02, of Currier House and Lisbon, North Dakota, who took the fall term off to serve as Miss North Dakota and to compete in the Miss America Pageant. (Three College students have competed during the last decade.) Haberstroh’s “talent” in the pageant was classical piano and her “platform issue” was Alzheimer’s disease. A visual and environmental studies concentrator, she hopes to graduate with honors and a Scandinavian language citation. She has worked as a lifeguard and a swimming instructor and aspires to a career in advertising. Finally, she can throw the discus farther than any other woman in North Dakota. At least—as North Dakota State Discus Champion in 1998—she could when she was in shape.

His Radcliffe students in Philosophy 2A presented him with an azalea in April 1896, and Professor William James sent them a thank-you note, reports the American Heritage Dictionary of American Quotations. “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated,” he wrote. He had omitted this deepest principle from his classic Principles of Psychology, he revealed, because “I had never had it gratified till now.”

Each spring Harvard throws a party for faculty and staff members with 25 years of service. One of their number addresses the gathering. A year ago the speaker was Miles F. Shore ’50, M.D. ’54, Bullard professor of psychiatry. He celebrated the lore of Harvard. Touching on eccentricities of certain faculty members, he mentioned the late Arthur Darby Nock, Frothingham professor of the history of religion and senior fellow of the Society of Fellows—a man of British origin. “He never seems to walk; he glides with a hastening gait peculiar to himself,” this magazine explained in a 1946 “Harvard Portrait.” “The occasional cane and spats are merely appurtenances, signifying that some of the British tradition remains….”

“One morning,” Shore told his audience, “one of the women who straightened up the rooms [in Eliot House] entered Professor Nock’s room and found him seated naked on the floor, meditating. ‘Jesus Christ,’ she cried, to which he replied, ‘No, Madam, only His obedient servant, Arthur Darby Nock.’”

 

 

pump-memhall
Scrumptious Memorial Hall. The rehabilitated edifice, portrayed in gingerbread, appeared on the holiday card of Harvard Dining Services.
HUDS Bakery, Greg Klim (photograph), Brent Hale (design)

Harvard spends vast energy these days protecting the use of its name. The University recently brought suit in South Korea, for instance, against a publisher who had for years been selling an educational publication called “Harvard Teacher.” The case went all the way to Korea’s supreme court, which ruled that the publisher did not have the right to use the Harvard name without permission.

While the University’s attitude toward the use of its name has changed, there’s nothing new about the abuse of it. Contributing editor Edward Tenner, Jf ’72, came upon “The Tooth Tinkers,” an article in the September 1910 number of Hampton’s Magazine. “‘Painless Parkers’ have been extracting perfectly good teeth—and money—from gullible persons all over this country by promising cheap, ‘painless’ dentistry,” the magazine warned, citing one establishment called the “Harvard Dental Companies.” Such dishonest dental parlors drew crowds and had a hurly-burly air. “Just as Painless Parker yanked out a molar, he would stamp his foot, and the band would play, so that the audience couldn’t hear the patient’s cries.”