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The Henry Swan Papers

Letter to Henry Swan from his father pdf (226,677 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter to Henry Swan from his father
Number of Image Pages:
3 (226,677 Bytes)
1931-05-05 (May 5, 1931)
[Swan, Henry Sr.]
Swan, Henry
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Box Number: 15
Folder Number: 3
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1936-1995
Folder: [Scrapbook, 1930-1933]
May 5, 1931.
Dear Henry:
I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat with you over the phone last evening. You have been on my mind a great deal of late because I remember very distinctly when I was in Lawrenceville how difficult it was for me the last two or three months of school to settle definitely my arrangements for college and to be sure that I was making this determination of choice of college in a way that would satisfy me; then, too, the prospect of change was disconcerting and the matter of whether or not to have a roommate and, if so, which one, caused me endless hours of indecision.
Your letter was an exceedingly complete and clear exposition of the problem that confronts you in connection with your choice of college. I think it would be desirable to eliminate Princeton from the choice even though you may complete your record there by finishing the examinations necessary. If my understanding is correct, Williams does not require the Entrance Examinations but may consider applications with certificate from Exeter. I don't know what the requirements are at Harvard but undoubtedly the record you have made in your previous examinations and the record you will make in your coming examinations will produce sufficient credits to justify consideration of your application there although it may be they will want to have you review the examination in Geometry which you took in 1928 and certificate covering which you have already forwarded to Harvard; it is possible they won't permit a 3 year period to elapse from the beginning of the College Entrance Examinations to the end but that you will undoubtedly determine through your proper school advisor.
The fact of your formal application to both Williams and Harvard will keep your line of approach open and they will probably not formally notify you of their acceptance of your application until sometime in July. This will give us an opportunity to discuss the matter from various angles without the necessity of hasty or prejudiced decision. As I think I told you at Christmas when we were discussing the matter generally, there is no question but that Harvard offers the finest educational opportunities in the United States. Whether to obtain these opportunities justifies a sacrifice of certain advantages that might seem to be offered by Williams is really the matter for consideration and you and I will be able to thresh these things out quite successfully, I believe, when you come home and we can approach the matter in a calm and deliberate way.
I am enclosing herewith Examination No. 30643 and Examination No. 26841 certified to by the College Entrance Examination Board and covering the first case:
Latin - Comprehensive 2 - Percentage 94
French Comprehensive 2 - Percentage 78
Mathematics - A - Percentage 100
And in the second case:
Latin - Comprehensive 3 - Percentage 85
French Comprehensive 3 - Percentage 85
Physics Comprehensive 3 - Percentage 72
I am also sending to the College Entrance Examination Board, 431 West 117th Street, New York City for duplicates of all of your examination returns with a request that they be forwarded to you directly.
I have a feeling that it might be wise if you could arrange conveniently to do so to get a week-end off from Exeter, - and I think that I have heretofore given the school authorities my permission for your visiting Boston and, if not, will be glad to have you submit the enclosed letter, - and spend the time at Cambridge visiting some of the old Exeter men whom you know or Frederick V. Weeks, whose address is No. 4 Halworthy Hall. You would not need to impose yourself on them but you might address them a letter just saying you were thinking of entering Harvard and would like an opportunity to gossip with them in order to get their suggestion as to where to room and what courses to take, etc. In this way you get oriented but I believe I would pick only those old Exeter men to call on whose judgment and general standing would inspire your with confidence as to their comment.
Harvard has been doing a lot of new building recently and better preparations are being made to take care of the Freshmen around the college yard. I think heretofore they have lived wherever they could get located in Cambridge.
Your faculty friend from Harvard, to whom you refer, could also probably give you some pretty good pointers. If you care to have me do so I will address a personal letter to Fred Weeks and tell him my desire to get some first-hand information regarding the picture so far as Freshmen are concerned and I might also write such a letter to the Proctor lad, who was studying law this last year, and I also have some acquaintances in the Stone and Webster engineering organization, who are quite prominent Harvard men.
It won't be long now before your school work will be over and you will be back here to get a little home cooking and all the rest in the world that you want to take. We are looking forward with much pleasure to your return. We are delighted that you are chasing the cure and believe that before long it will put you in good, sound, physical condition.
Very affectionately,
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