Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

May-June 2015

Illustration by Mark Steele


The senior and freshman classes assemble on the Widener steps to have their respective pictures taken, and the freshmen, according to custom, contribute to the seniors’ pre-Commencement celebration: the total is $244.24 and two cats, one alive and one dead.

Thirteen Harvard men gather on May 1 to organize the Harvard Club of Shanghai; Way Sung New, M.D. ’14, is elected president.


After Germany invades the Netherlands, President Conant argues on national radio that “the changed military situation in Europe threatens our way of life,” and student support for aid to the Allies increases.


Harvard enjoys its “most amazing financial year in history,” raising nearly $26 million in gifts, bequests, and grants.


The Corporation approves a new doctoral gown for Harvard degree holders, “crimson silk and worsted stuff” faced down the front with black velvet and with three black velvet bars on each wide bell-shaped sleeve.


Class Day speaker Walter Cronkite warns graduating seniors that unless they come to grips with the “megaproblems” of overpopulation, pollution, natural-resource depletion, and nuclear proliferation—“our modern Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”—civilization as we know it cannot survive.


In mid May, President Derek Bok makes public the Harvard Corporation’s eight-month-old decision to remove from the University’s portfolio all stock in firms that manufacture tobacco products.


Class Day speaker Hank Aaron shares a story about a young man who went running up to his father, saying, “Look, Dad, I got it! I got my A.B. from Harvard.” To which the father replied, “Son, that’s fine. We are all real proud. Now it’s time for you to go to work and learn the rest of the alphabet.”

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