JULY 23, 1956
HYDE PARK—It seldom occurs to most of us how greatly the first Servicemen's Readjustment Act, from 1944 down to the present day, has paid dividends to this country in increased business and in more valuable citizens.
An article in the August issue of Coronet tells some of the ways in which GI's have been helped to readjust to the lives resumed at the end of their period of service, and in turn have helped themselves to become citizens able to earn a better living. Not only the boys who received an education, but those who received loans for homes, for farms and businesses, have also made good and thereby advanced the general economic situation of their country.
There have been accusations that some of the GI's loafed, or took courses that did not pay. But as a matter of fact, most of them actually went to work; and those who used the benefits, in great part, increased their capacity for earning. I think we can be proud of this program and of the men who have used it to the benefit of the country.
Last Tuesday I spent most of the day looking at films which had qualified for the Selznick awards. These are given in the hope that better films will be produced here and abroad which deal with questions of social significance. From my point of view these awards are of great value and should become much better known in this country, and the pictures that receive the awards should be seen by as many people as possible in areas where they are most needed.
Harvard University is doing some very interesting pioneering in undergraduate education. President Nathan M. Pusey announced the other day the establishment of two new professorships, "to contribute specifically to the intellectual life of undergraduates in Harvard College." One of these is named the A. Lawrence Lowell Professorship, after the former president who led in major developments in college education. The other is named for Henry Ford II, who has given "active support to college education through his leadership of the Ford Foundation." The university will try to find distinguished people to fill these two new posts and they will not necessarily be assigned to any specific department, though they will be members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In making his announcement, President Pusey commented: "I hope the appointment of distinguished men from different fields of knowledge will lead to further enrichment of the undergraduate program."
Not many people realize how many changes have been brought about in the department of undergraduate education during the past few years at Harvard University, and it might be well for more attention to be paid to these developments. Harvard feels that these changes have strengthened and made more effective their education program for undergraduates; and, if so, this is worth study for use in the general field. The requirements of colleges and universities condition the curriculum of high schools. Therefore it is important that we keep constantly abreast of the best developments in college and university methods, for they may change what should be done in the earlier years.