Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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May 3, 1943 – The Harvard Corporation hosts an informal dinner for the heads of Cambridge government in the Eliot House rooms of the Society of Fellows. The results are so successful that it is unanimously voted to make it an annual event.

May 4, 1943 – At the Boston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Boston firm of Perry, Shaw & Hepburn accepts the J. Harleston Parker Gold Medal for Houghton Library as the best architecture in New England for 1942. The City of Boston has given the award annually since 1923.

May 27, 1943 – Traditional Commencement Day in the Yard. Graduation exercises and the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association are combined into one three-hour afternoon. A crowd of about 7,000 is expected (10,000 seats are eventually set out and occupied, with about 1,000 additional standees), prompting a change of ceremonial venue from the Sever Quadrangle to the south porch of the Memorial Church.

May 1946 – As part of its continuing effort to expand housing for returning veterans, Harvard signs a three-year lease on the Hotel Brunswick (Boylston St., Boston). Repainted and refurbished, the hotel operates as a Harvard dormitory at the start of the fall term. Residents are a 20-minute subway ride from Harvard Square.

May 17, 1956 – The Committee on Undergraduate Affairs grants permission for WHRB-Radio to expand into FM broadcasting.

May 12, 1958 – Eliot House hosts a dinner for poet T. S. Eliot ’10 (’09), AM ’11, a longtime associate of the House.

May 13, 1958 – On the steps of Widener Library, the Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society perform choruses from Bach’s B-minor Mass. Although the groups have performed together for decades, the occasion marks the Choral Society’s first participation in a Glee Club outdoor concert.

May 27, 1963 – The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts is dedicated. The Center devotes its first exhibition to its architect, Le Corbusier, featuring his paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints in the third-floor exhibition hall through Aug. 15.

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