Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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June 1887 – Six of the 15 alumnae of the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women (or “Harvard Annex” [names used before the 1894 charter creating Radcliffe College]) establish the Harvard Annex Alumnae Association.

June 1899 – “Radcliffe Magazine” debuts and continues quarterly publication through June 1920.

June 22, 1922 – For the first time, Harvard holds Commencement in Sever Quadrangle. This is not, however, Harvard’s first outdoor Commencement, which took place in Harvard Stadium in 1916.

June 1931 – Right after Commencement, demolition of the original Appleton Chapel (1858) begins to make way for construction of the Memorial Church.

June 1939 – A Student Council committee publishes a report attacking the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. In his memoirs (“My Several Lives”), President James Bryant Conant describes the main thrust:

“The authors claimed that the concentration and distribution rules and regulations failed to ensure that an undergraduate would obtain ‘an intelligible and broad view of the main areas of learning.’ What they advocated was the establishment of five new introductory courses (not survey courses) – two in the natural sciences, two in the humanities and one in the social sciences – which all students should be compelled to take. In commenting on the report in my annual report for 1938-39, I stated that while I was more than a little sympathetic with the criticisms, I was still uncertain as to the details of reform. I raised the question whether ‘any single program suitable for a heterogeneous group’ could be devised.”

June 5, 1947 – For the first time, the Harvard University Band plays in the Yard on Commencement Day.

June 30, 1947 – During the year ending on this date, Harvard students consume 3,770,000 meals, costing $1,458,000 in raw materials and $787,000 in wages for food preparers and handlers.

– From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower