Investigators for the Secret Court of 1920

Edward R. Gay served as Assistant Dean of Harvard College from 1919 to 1923. He was born in London to American parents and served in World War I as a second lieutenant of artillery. Though a college administrator at the time of the Court, he only received his Harvard diploma magna cum laude in 1922. Following his years at Harvard, he worked as a newspaper copy editor and then embarked on a distinguished business career in the paper industry, ending as Vice Chairman of the Board of St. Regis Paper Company. He died at his home in New York City on July 18, 1966.

Chester Noyes Greenough was a Professor of English serving a two-year term as Acting Dean of Harvard College in 1920. Born in Wakefield, Massachusetts in 1874, he graduated from Harvard in 1898 and became a Professor of English in 1915. In the 1920s he held the post of Dean in his own right and became the first Master of Dunster House, serving from 1930 to 1934. One of his publications became a popular textbook. He died on February 27, 1938. Greenough Hall, a Harvard dormitory, is named for him.

Roger I. Lee was head of the Department of Hygiene. As doctor to the students, he conducted their annual physical examinations. He was born in 1881 and at Harvard he earned his bachelor's degree in 1902 and medical degree in 1905. He served as a lieutenant-colonel in the Medical Corps in World War I. Upon his return from service he authored Health and Disease: Their Determining Factors. As a reaction to the discovery that so many World War I recruits were unfit for service, he initiated at Harvard one of the first collegiate fitness programs in 1919. He was Professor of Hygiene from 1914 to 1924 and later served as a member of the Harvard Corporation from 1931 to 1954. He played a prominent role in several medical organizations, notably as President of the American Medical Association in 1945-46. He retired from the practice of medicine at 80 and died October 29, 1965 at the age of 84.

Abbott Lawrence Lowell was in his tenth year as President of the University. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1856, the scion of a famous family. He graduated from Harvard College cum laude in 1877 and from Harvard Law School in 1880. After practicing law, he taught at Harvard and in 1909 began his 24-year tenure as President of Harvard University. An educational reformer, he implemented a new set of academic requirements for Harvard undergraduates that required them to concentrate in a particular discipline beginning in 1914. He established a distinctive profile as a defender of academic freedom in the years during and after World War I. His tenure was marked by controversies about his proposed establishment of a quota to limit the admission of Jewish students and his attempt to exclude African American students from residing in the Freshman Halls. He implemented Harvard College's residential house system in 1930 and retired in 1933. He died in 1943.

Matthew Luce was Harvard's Regent in 1920, the administrative officer charged with responsibility for the welfare and conduct of the student population. He supervised residence hall proctors and student organizations. He was a Harvard graduate from the class of 1891. During World War I he served as assistant secretary of the Massachusetts Food Administration. When appointed Regent in 1919, he worked at a firm of wool dealers, Luce and Manning, and was a trustee of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He served as Regent until his resignation in 1935. Upon his resignation, the Harvard Crimson described him as "obscure by preference and by the nature of his functions, and an officer of the University unknown to students who followed the relatively straight and narrow path....Since he acted as an intermediary without disciplinary authority, his office was largely what he himself wanted to make it, and he considered it a roving commission to pour oil on troubled waters."

Kenneth Murdock was an Assistant Dean of Harvard College. A Boston native, he was just 25 years old at the time of the Court. He graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in 1916 and then served in World War I as an ensign in the Navy. He then returned to the college as Assistant Dean, while his father, a successful banker, was serving on a committee that was reorganizing the University's finances. He later earned his doctorate in English from Harvard and enjoyed a distinguished academic career as Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1931-36), and the first Master of Leverett House (1930-41). Among his many publications were Literature & Theology in Colonial New England and The Notebooks of Henry James, which he edited with F.O. Matthiessen. He died in 1975.