As Harvard celebrates its 375th birthday and America celebrates its 235th, it is worth considering what they have in common. Both have proud traditions of great accomplishment. Both lead the world. Both are widely envied and even more widely observed. Both face a future quarter century as challenging as any in their long history. Peer competitors threaten the continuing preeminence of Harvard and the United States. Both have powerful traditions and strong and loyal constituencies and these are assets, to be sure - except insofar as they inhibit boldness and defer responses to a rapidly changing world. Both must overcome the besetting sin of the long preeminent - complacent self regard protective of present comforts and averse to disruptive innovation.
Summers, Lawrence H. "Harvard Must Remain Bold in a Changing World." Boston Globe, October 15, 2011.