Strolling by the discard box in front of the local used bookstore, Powell’s, I spotted a copy of the 1953 Harvard College yearbook: a compilation of that year’s activities, sporting events, and so on, with a list of clubs and organizations—all accompanied by photos. I picked it up and took it home to see if I recognized anybody from that era, four years after I was born.
The “three seventeen” on the cover means that that was the 317th year since Harvard was founded in 1636.
Sure enough, there were lots of famous faculty, including Archibald MacLeish, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and biologists I recognized, like Kirtley Mather, mentioned in this well-known essay by Steve Gould (read it!) And one of the young faculty members was Julian Schwinger, shown at lower left, posed at the blackboard. Schwinger, of course, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965, sharing it with Richard Feynman and Shinichiro Tomonaga. Four of his 73 (!) graduate students also won Nobel Prizes.
Maybe some of you can identify the formulae in Schwinger’s writings on the board.
I was amused at this photo of the Young Democrats club, looking at a picture of Adlai Stevenson as if he were God:
And finally, the quiz. Here’s a two-page spread of the undergraduate editors of the Harvard Lampoon, the College’s humor magazine. One of them went on to became a famous writer. Can you name him? I think this is pretty easy. (You can put your answers below, but if you want to guess on your own, don’t look at the comments.)