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Extra resources for Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher
5 million, a very considerable sum for those days; the building would last until 1939, and by 1909 had well over two thousand students. Among a long roster of famous alumni was Thomas Eakins, a member of the thirty-eighth graduating class. A noteworthy feature of Central High was The Mirror, a monthly student publication that appeared during the school year, supported in part by advertisements and the Associated Alumni, and featuring not only club news but also various features written by the students.
He also attended concerts given by the Boston Symphony and would often mention details to his mother, praising and dispraising with firm conviction. His taste in music supported one of the more elitist strains in Locke’s temperament and would often be cited against him in later years. A lifelong inveterate concertgoer, his knowledgeable love of music was one of the pillars of his esthetic enjoyment. He made a point to hear the famous Jubilee Singers, who had won renown for their versions of the sorrow songs and whose national tour raised funds for Fisk University.
He needed to do what amounted to remedial work in these subjects, so during the academic year 1904–1905 Locke worked extremely hard. He was able to keep his grades up by relying on the study habits and frequent writing he had practiced at Pedagogy. At the same time he developed a sophisticated social life. The course of undergraduate study at Harvard at the turn of the century was extremely rigorous compared to previous and later periods. This was combined, however, with a recent reform of the curriculum, initiated by Harvard 31 President Charles Eliot, that did away with required courses and substituted a system of electives.