Harvard Notes By Jeff Benitz

Harvard's Commencement is coming up this Thursday,

June 8.  They have always had an interesting history

in who they choose as the Commencement Day speaker.  A

school that can pull in any person in the world, Kings

and Queens, Presidents, they often pick someone who is

relatively small in the big picture.  They don't care

about people who are famous they care about people who

are smart.

This years speaker is Jim Lehrer.  Jim Lehrer is

easily the most competent news anchor since Walter

Chronkite.  There's a reason he is chosen to moderate

the Presidential debates.

Lehrer was born in Kansas and grew up in Texas.  He

went to public university and served honorably in the

US Marine Corps.  Yes, Jim Lehrer was a Marine.  I

think he is the only news anchor in the last 30 years

with military service.  After newspaper writing he

moved to PBS and has been there for 35 years.  He has

written 14 books.

His choice as Commencement speaker is superb.  One of

the things they beat into your head at Harvard is

public service and the "social contract".  If you went

to Harvard only to get rich, they make sure you feel

guilty about it the rest of your life.

Jim Lehrer is an example of objectivity and

excellence.  He speaks with credibility, he has served

his country, and he has not looted the system.  Many

go to Public Television to make a name and then take

off to syndicated T.V. to make millions.  Lehrer

hasn't done that.  He proved, "Temptation resisted is

a true measure of character".  The President and

Fellows of Harvard clearly had this in mind when they

chose him. He reinforces the virtues Harvard is trying

to teach.  Sadly, I won't be there to hear him speak.

It's near impossible to get tickets to Commencement.

Even graduating students only get three.  The student

needs one to get in and that leaves two for the whole

family.  It makes for hard decisions.

The steps on which the President and Fellows of

Harvard assemble are those of Memorial Church.  The

degrees are granted under the shadow of this building.

It is a huge brick church dedicated to the Harvard

men who fell in the Great War.

In these times, it is appropriate a former Service

member will stand and address an audience from these

granite steps.

If I may engage in some snobbery, Stanford (the self

proclaimed Harvard of the west and not an Ivy League

college, has Tom Brokaw for Commencement).  Bill

Clinton is speaking at Princeton's.  HA! HA! HA!

If I were graduating from those schools I would demand

tuition reimbursement.