Doctor of Laws

IN view of the fact that the authorities of Harvard College have voted to confer the degree of LL.D. upon President McKinley, the following contribution to the Boston Transcript, by William De Witt Hyde, D.D., LL.D., President of Bowdoin College, setting forth the significance of the degree, will be read with interest. President McKinley has been invited to attend the commencement exercises at Harvard next month, and it is thought the degree will be conferred at that time. It is interesting to recall that the first President of the United States re ceived the degree of LL.D. from Harvard College one hundred and twenty-five years ago.

President Hyde's paper is as follows:—

Some years ago I received a petition from the supporters of a country academy, in which the petitioners set forth the fact that the academy was declining, and needed something to bring it into prominence. They had finally concluded that the best thing they could do for the academy would be to secure an honorary degree for the principal. Accordingly they respectfully petitioned the trustees and overseers of Bowdoin College to grant to their principal the degree of LL.D. In order to make more explicit the precise thing they wanted, they added in brackets, after the letters LL.D. the explanatory clause "Doctor of Legal Laws." The Bowdoin trustees did not see their way clear to help out the academy in the manner proposed by the petitioners. Nevertheless, the candidate did not remain long unconsoled; for at that same commencement season, a week later, he received from a sister university the degree of Ph.D., which doubtless both he and his supporters regarded "equally as good."

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Among the Churches
May 16, 1901

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