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June 9, 1952

Literary critic, social historian and Harvard University professor of literature Howard Mumford Jones delivered the commencement address for the Class of 1952. Begging to differ with the modern literary prophets “who tell us in imaginative verse that the world is ailing” and noting that the world had been pronounced at its end several times in the last 1,900 years, Jones said that, possibly, “the verdict of certain modern writers may be premature.” The present age, he concluded, might even seem heroic to future eyes, for if the “sum of human wickedness today is very great so likewise is the sum of human courage.”

President Blanding conferred the bachelor’s degree on 308 members of the graduating class.

The New York Times

The Years