The Tree Spread and HAA Annual Meeting May 29, 2014
The Tree Spread this year was especially lovely. The weather was superb (while the notion that the best of weather is assured for Harvard's Commencement Day is a myth, the weather usually is pretty decent); the food was good, beverages plentiful -- and the company terrific! Lunch on Commencement Day (May 28) 2015 -- at our 55th Reunion -- will be even better!
Twenty-eight (28) of us gathered under the "Classes of 1960-1963" tent in front of Holworthy in Harvard Yard. (In two years , we will probably be located near Holden Chapel behind Hollis or Stoughton.) Radcliffe '60 was well-represented by Dorothy Howells, Joan O'Connor, Frances Webb, Nancy (and Frank) McMahon, Betsy Peterson, Nancy Macmillan (with her stylish "crimson" hat), Carol Boulukos, Hope Haff, Rosanna Alfaro and Pat Lewis.
Harvard '60 classmates present were Dev Barker, Tom Berton, Ron Goodman, Joe Hurd, Gerry Levenson, Fred Leventhal, Eugene Lipkowitz, Henry (and Jean) Marcy, Michael (and Lilli) Nieland, David Ries, Jerry Rogoff, Paul (and Natalie) Rothwell, John Strand, Ed Tarlov, John (and Lorraine) Wilson, Tare Newbury and Phil Robertson (the latter two with top hat and tails). I (Henry Marcy) hope I didn't forget anyone (I do know that Bill Markus and Jack Reardon, both of whom were in the environs, had other, important responsibilities) -- and I also hope that no one else was looking for us and never found us. (The signage should be improved at future Tree Spreads.)
The Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (in the afternoon, after the Tree Spread and our procession to excellent seats in Tercentenary Theater) featured a special award of the Harvard Medal to Jack Reardon '60 (sure looked like a big surprise to Jack)! Jack has resigned as HAA Executive Director effective June 30, 2014. However, Jack has been quick and certain to point out that he is not retiring. Jack will remain active working on University fundraising, Ivy League athletic policy, projects tied to alumni relations, and with the Board of Overseers And, he remains a Harvard Magazine Inc. board member.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the Commencement Address at the afternoon session. My characterization of the speech is typical, hardhitting, no nonsense Bloomberg, with the message summarized by this quotation: "Repressing free expression is a natural human weakness, and it is up to us to fight it at every turn. Intolerance of ideas -- whether liberal or conservative -- is antithetical to individual rights and free societies, and it is no less antithetical to great universities and first-rate scholarship." Bloomberg had plenty of recent egregious examples of intolerance to cite. The audience's reception to this message was thrilling!