JUNE 15, 1955
NEW YORK—The commencement exercises at Brandeis University last Saturday and Sunday marked the first time the school experienced heavy rains during the ceremonies. And I think a good many people decided right there that there would have to be some permanent cover available instead of the temporary circus-tent effect which is in front of the shell where the music festival and plays are produced.
We stayed through Mr. Milhaud's opera and I found the music very interesting, but we were not able to stay through the ballet. I was sorry to miss it, for I was told afterwards by those who braved the storm that it was really a delightful performance.
The opera was called "Salade" and was in complete contrast to the opera "Medea," which was a tragic drama. The chorus group was partly made up from the Brandeis University chorus, which is excellent, and from the Boston Chorus Pro Musica.
It was a remarkably good-natured crowd that found itself wet at various moments or crowded into smaller rooms than they had expected to occupy, but I think everybody enjoyed the two days.
I found the Saturday evening dinner, which was really in honor of reconstituted Fellows of the University, a most interesting occasion. Judge Joseph Proskauer gave us a scholarly but delightful address in which he traced our mistakes in immigration laws beginning in the 'twenties. He convincingly showed us why the present McCarran-Walter act which grew out of these earlier laws, was doing great harm to our nation at home as well as to its prestige abroad.
The Fellows of the University of this school take the place of an alumni group, since the university is so young that many of its alumni are still in graduate school! But these Fellows take their foster-parent position very seriously and do a tremendous amount of work for the university.
There were several new members present at the board meeting on Sunday afternoon. Paul Hoffman gave the commencement address and, curiously enough, he might have planned it with Judge Proskauer. The two speeches were so closely tied together, one from a businessman's point of view and the other from that of the eminent jurist, both dealing with our need for immigration and our loss under the present very bad situation.
Mr. and Mrs. LaRue Brown took me to some friends for a cup of tea before I left for the plane back to New York on Sunday evening. We had a stormy trip but the weekend was a rewarding one.
Monday in New York was busy, as always, catching up with a variety of odds and ends that accumulated in my two days' absence. In my office at the American Association for the United Nations I was visited by a representative of the Swiss press who is organizing a press group from various countries to study the U.N. next November. I think it should be a very important experience for all those attending.
In the afternoon I went to a board meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, so the day was full though the evening was given up to pleasure.