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About Harvard University. Information.

Article / Review by on January 2, 2012 – 6:00 pmNo Comments

About Harvard University. Information.

Harvard University

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. For students who are excited to investigate the biggest issues of the 21st century, Harvard offers an unparalleled student experience and a generous financial aid program, with over $160 million awarded to more than 60% of our undergraduate students. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

> Harvard at a Glance




About 2,100 faculty members and more than 10,000 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals


Harvard College – About 6,700
Graduate and professional students – About 14,500
Total – About 21,000


More than 323,000, over 271,000 in the U.S., nearly 52,000 in some 201 other countries.


44 current and former faculty members


Veritas (Latin for “truth”)


5,076 acres


About 17 million volumes


Harvard University is made up of 11 principal academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The ten faculties oversee schools and divisions that offer courses and award academic degrees.


Families with students on scholarship pay an average of $11,500 annually toward the cost of a Harvard education. More than 60 percent of Harvard College students receive scholarship aid, and the average grant this year is $40,000.

Since 2007, Harvard’s investment in financial aid has climbed by more than 70 percent, from $96.6 million to $166 million per year.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, students from families with incomes below $65,000, and with assets typical for that income level, will generally pay nothing toward the cost of attending Harvard College.  Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0 to 10 percent of income, depending on individual circumstances.  Significant financial aid also is available for families above those income ranges.

Harvard College launched a “net price calculator” into which applicants and their families can enter their financial data to estimate the net price they will be expected to pay for a year at Harvard.  Please use the calculator to estimate the net cost of attendance.

The total 2011-2012 cost of attending Harvard College without financial aid is $36,305 for tuition and $52,652 for tuition, room, board and fees combined.


22 ‘individuals of distinction’


Drew Gilpin Faust

‘Hello, and welcome to Harvard.

People make a university great, so whether you are a prospective student, current student, professor, researcher, staff member, graduate, parent, neighbor, or visitor, your interest and enthusiasm are valued and appreciated.’


Drew Gilpin Faust is the 28th President of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

‘Universities nurture the hopes of the world: in solving challenges that cross borders; in unlocking and harnessing new knowledge; in building cultural and political understanding; and in modeling environments that promote dialogue and debate… The ideal and breadth of liberal education that embraces the humanities and arts as well as the social and natural sciences is at the core of Harvard’s philosophy. ‘

– Drew Gilpin Faust in an address to the Royal Irish Academy, June 30, 2010

Drew Gilpin Faust. Biography.

Drew Gilpin Faust is the 28th President of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

As president of Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust has expanded financial aid to improve access to Harvard College for students of all economic backgrounds and advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research. She has broadened the University’s international reach, raised the profile of the arts on campus, embraced sustainability, and promoted collaboration across academic disciplines and administrative units as she guided the University through a period of significant financial challenges.

A historian of the Civil War and the American South, Faust was the founding Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, guiding its transformation from a college into a wide-ranging institute for scholarly and creative enterprise, distinctive for its multidisciplinary focus and the exploration of new knowledge at the crossroads of traditional fields.

Previously, Faust served as the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the faculty for 25 years.

Raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Faust went on to attend Concord Academy in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1968, magna cum laude with honors in history, and her master’s degree (1971) and doctoral degree (1975) in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is the author of six books, including Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), for which she won the Francis Parkman Prize in 1997. Her most recent book, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) looks at the impact of the Civil War’s enormous death toll on the lives of 19th-century Americans. It won the Bancroft Prize in 2009, was a finalist for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and was named by The New York Times one of the “10 Best Books of 2008.”

Faust has been a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Humanities Center, and she serves on the educational advisory board of the Guggenheim Foundation. She has served as president of the Southern Historical Association, vice president of the American Historical Association, and executive board member of the Organization of American Historians and the Society of American Historians. Faust has also served on numerous editorial boards and selection committees, including the Pulitzer Prize history jury in 1986, 1990, and 2004.

Her honors include awards in 1982 and 1996 for distinguished teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1993, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the American Philosophical Society in 2004.

Faust is married to Charles Rosenberg, one of the nation’s leading historians of medicine and science, who is Professor of the History of Science and Ernest E. Monrad Professor in the Social Sciences at Harvard. Faust and Rosenberg have two daughters, Jessica Rosenberg, a 2004 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and Leah Rosenberg, Faust’s stepdaughter, a scholar of Caribbean literature.


$3.7 billion


$3.7 billion


$32 billion





The name Harvard comes from the college’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown. Upon his death in 1638, he left his library and half his estate to the institution established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. About the Faculty

Harvard is known for global leadership in education, and the Harvard faculty is composed of men and women who are world-class scholars. Faculty members are passionate and curious individuals who continue their own research while teaching at Harvard. They come from across the country and all over the world, bringing with them a diverse wealth of knowledge.

Almost all Harvard College courses are designed, taught and overseen by Harvard faculty, and virtually all FAS faculty are required to teach as part of their duties.  The faculty is highly accessible, and Harvard College class sizes are on average below 40, with over half the courses being offered each semester enrolling 10 or fewer students. This allows for a closer student-professor relationship and contributes to the sense of community on campus. Professors also make themselves available to students outside of the classroom, even beyond office hours, such as meeting in the dining hall or before or after class. The faculty at Harvard make a point of connecting with their students to create a fulfilling academic experience.


Since its inception in 2005, the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (FD&D) has worked to keep issues related to developing and maintaining a diverse and excellent Faculty at the center of every strategic conversation and decision-making process regarding Harvard University priorities.

The Diversity section of the FD&D website provides access to reports that describe the demographic composition of Harvard’s Faculty, detailed Faculty profiles, resources for women and minority Faculty, and information regarding diversity at peer institutions.

Faculty Diversity at Harvard

As Harvard University engages in the issues of an increasingly globalized society, we recognize the important ongoing work that remains to be done to advance the scholarship of faculty who bring diverse perspectives to the academy. As Harvard University President Drew Faust has said, “We are committed to attracting the most able and creative community of scholars in the world, and pursuing new knowledge and ideas with all the imagination and rigor we can summon.”

As a research university with this mission, we remain mindful that our faculty development and diversity efforts at Harvard must encompass policies and practices aimed at addressing the very real needs of 21st century scholars. While we have made some progress in attracting a much broader talent pool that reflects the diversity of our students, we need to continue to broaden our understanding of how we recruit and retain the best faculty. We must also leverage institutional resources to ensure that we provide faculty with the necessary tools to thrive in a highly complex and decentralized environment.

Harvard University is committed to pursuing the benefits of diversity among its faculty because these brilliant scholars are absolutely essential in keeping the institution become productive,  creative, competitive, and successful in its mission to train the next generation of leaders in all fields of endeavor.

Women’s Network

The purpose of the Women’s Network of Harvard is to create meaningful connections among the many departments, initiatives, centers, committees, organizations, and institutes across the University that focus on women’s and gender issues, to enable communication and collaboration among these groups, and to serve as both a sounding board and platform for action regarding women’s concerns.  Questions about the Women’s Network may be addressed to Susan Marine at the Harvard Women’s Center.

Minorities in the Academy

There continues to be underrepresentation of U.S. ethnic and racial minorities in our faculty, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans and in certain disciplines, Asian/Asian Americans. The needs of our U.S. ethnic and racial minority groups must be understood in more nuanced contexts, taking into account the diversity of experiences and histories that different sub-groups within these categories have faced for generations. More importantly, we need to ensure that we carefully consider how minority faculty have experienced the academy, and the unique challenges they have faced.

The Office of Faculty Development & Diversity (FD&D) is committed to understanding the past gains, present status, and future prospects of these diverse faculty. Moreover, in acknowledging the unique issues faced by minority faculty, we will work closely with departments, schools, and other entities across Harvard Univeristy to develop programs and activities aimed at addressing these issues and concerns.

Faculty Diversity at Peer Institutions

The Faculty Diversity at Peer Institutions section of the Faculty Development and Diversity (FD&D)  website provides information regarding diversity at peer institutions.  You will find diversity information and contacts for higher education groups and consortiums, private universities, public universities, as well as links to various peer institution fact books.

Trying to reach a member of the Harvard faculty? Here’s an online directory of faculty, staff, and students.

Learn more about the University’s commitment to Faculty Development and Diversity. Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Campus.

Harvard’s campus creates a stunning backdrop for all that happens within the University. Below are some of the campus sights and sounds; here’s where to go if you are visiting Harvard.


Harvard Gazette
Up close part 1, Harvard Gazette
Up close part 2, Harvard Gazette
Up close part 3, Harvard Gazette
Harvard, the Year in Pictures 2010-11, Harvard Gazette
Harvard, the Year in Pictures 2009-10, Harvard Gazette


Seen at Harvard


Harvard Interactive Campus Map


Audio Tours
Mobile Tour Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Commencement.

361st Harvard Commencement

Commencement for 2012 – Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

For comprehensive Commencement 2011 news, see the Harvard Gazette.

See also the collected Gazette stories from previous Commencements.

Class Day speakers at Harvard

Note: The Senior Class Committee began inviting its own speaker to Class Day in 1968. All professional designations are as of the date of the speaker’s Class Day address.

2011 Amy Poehler Star of ‘Parks and Recreation’ (speech)
2010 Christiane Amanpour International television correspondent (speech)
2009 Matt Lauer co-anchor of NBC News’ ‘Today’ (speech)
2008 Ben S. Bernanke Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (speech)
2007 William Jefferson Clinton Former President of the United States (speech)
2006 Seth MacFarlane Creater and executive producer, “Family Guy,” speech
2005 Tim Russert NBC News Washington bureau chief and “Meet the Press” moderator, speech
2004 Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) Star of HBO’s “Da Ali G Show”
2003 Will Ferrell Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” star, speech
2002 Al Franken ’73 Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” writer, speech
2001 Bono lead singer of the rock band U2, speech
2000 Conan O’Brien ’85 host of NBC’s Late Night
1999 Alan Simpson Director, Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government
1998 William F. Weld ’66 Former Governor, Massachusetts
1997 Quincy Jones Producer, Composer, Musician
1996 Tom Brokaw NBC News Anchor
1995 Hank Aaron Baseball Legend
1994 Lani Guinier Law Professor, University of Pennsylvania
1993 Marian Wright Edelman President, Children’s Defense Fund
1992 Scott Turow Author
1991 Timothy E. Wirth ’61 Senator, Colorado
1990 John David Brewington Harvard Senior
1989 Jane Pauley Television Anchorwoman
1988 Tom Wolfe Author
1987 Michael Dukakis Governor, Massachusetts
1986 Peter V. Ueberroth Commissioner of Baseball
1985 Mario Cuomo Governor, New York
1984 Ted Koppel Journalist
1983 Garry Trudeau Cartoonist
1982 Mother Teresa Nobel Prize Laureate
1981 Ralph Nader Consumer Activist
1980 Walter Cronkite Television Anchorman
1979 Theodore H. White ’38 Author
1978 Rodney Dangerfield Comedian
1977 George Plimpton Author
1976 Art Buchwald Columnist
1975 Dick Gregory Social Critic, Comedian
1974 Eliot Richardson Former Attorney-General
1973 Arthur Miller Playwright
1972 Tom Wicker Editor, The New York Times
1971 Jimmy Breslin Journalist, Author
1970 J. Herbert Holloman President of the University of Oklahoma
1969 Sander Vanocur NBC commentator
1968 Coretta Scott King Wife of the political leader and activist Martin Luther King, Jr. (King accepted the invitation before he was assassinated in April. His wife spoke in his place.)

Degree Abbreviations

An Explanation of degree abbreviations

Some Harvard degree abbreviations appear to be backwards because they follow the tradition of Latin degree names. The traditional undergraduate degrees awarded by Harvard University are the A.B. and S.B. The A.B. is an abbreviation of the Latin name for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree “artium baccalaureus.” The S.B., Latin for “scientiae baccalaureus,” is the Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Likewise A.M., equivalent to the Master of Arts (M.A.), is Latin for “artium magister”; and S.M., equivalent to the Master of Science (M.S.), is Latin for “scientiae magister.” The more recent A.L.M. (Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies) degree translates to “magistri in artibus liberalibus studiorum prolatorum.”

Harvard does not write all degrees backwards, however. Ph.D. is an abbreviation for the Latin “philosophiae doctor,” translated as “Doctor of Philosophy.” M.D., Doctor of Medicine, stands for the Latin “medicinae doctor.” J.D., Latin for “juris doctor,” is the Doctor of Law degree.

Some degrees are too new to have Latin names, though the abbreviations appear to be backwards. In many of these cases, Harvard kept the “reverse” abbreviations because of tradition. Examples include degrees of the Harvard Extension School such as the A.L.B. (Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies) and the A.A. (Associate in Arts).

Honorary degree abbreviations are also based on the Latin name. The Latin abbreviations are used by many universities. The honorary degree names and abbreviations are:

A.M. artium magister Master of Arts
Art.D. artium doctor Doctor of Arts
D.D. divinitatis doctor Doctor of Divinity
L.H.D. litterarum humanorum doctor Doctor of Humane Letters
Litt.D. (also LTD) litterarum doctor Doctor of Letters
LL.D. legum doctor Doctor of Laws
Mus.D. musicae doctor Doctor of Music
S.D. scientiae doctor Doctor of Science


Fair Harvard (lyrics)

Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these Festival-rites, from the Age that is past,
To the Age that is waiting before.
O Relic and Type of our ancestors’ worth,
That hast long kept their memory warm,
First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
Calm rising thro’ change and throv storm.

Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for Right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die.

Samuel Gilman, Class of 1811
[Revised 1998]


Guide To Academic Garb

Pumps and Circumstance: A Guide to Academic Garb

By E.B. Boatner ’63

Tassels: Dexter or Sinister?
What is the status of nylon rabbit’s fur?
Does your tippet overlap your liripip?

While these questions may not loom large in the minds of today’s graduates, they are of the utmost importance to expert observers of that short-lived phenomenon, the annual display of Doctoral Plumage.

Mason’s Sackcloth

Research dates the origins of Old World academic dress to the mid-12th century, at the University of Paris, where it evolved from ecclesiastical garb into the varied and colorful regalia that we know today.

Early on, the most splendid costumes were reserved for the higher-ranking degrees. An Oxford Bachelor of the 15th century was allowed only lamb’s wool or badger’s fur to line his academic hood; sendal (silk), miniver (ermine), and tartaran (tartan) were the trappings of Masters and Doctors.

In 1882 the Reverend Thomas William Hood, Vicar of Eldensfield, tried to list the burgeoning costumes of the time in his slender (although little-read) volume Degrees, Gowns (etc.) of British, Colonial, Indian and American Universities. A sampling of the hoods listed therein shows little order, but a rich and varied selection.

The University of Glasgow, for example, specifies for its B.Sc.-a hood of “black silk lined with gold colored silk (color of Whin Blossom-Ulex europae),” while its LL.B. requires a black silk hood, Cambridge pattern, lined with Venetian red (color of Clove).

Fur Controversy

Fur became a topic of conversation at Oxford when horrified dons discovered that tailors had begun using nylon fur instead of ermine or rabbit for fur linings and trim during World War II.

Appalled, the head clerk of the University Registry and the proprietor of an Oxford Tailor shop collaborated on a compendium of sartorial statutes. Handwritten on parchment and accompanied by swatches of materials, their leatherbound volume now reposes in the University Archives. It is their considered opinion that “any fur on an academic hood ought to come from an indigenous animal.”

New World Order

In contrast to the Old World profusion of colors, furs, and furbelows, the New World Order of the toga scholastica, while not easily recognized, at least has some order in its speciation.

In 1895 an intercollegiate conference on academic gowns was held at Columbia University (with Harvard abstaining). Certain standards were set then and, while there were some revisions in 1932 and again in 1959, the complexities of the doctoral gown, Genus americus, can now be unraveled.

Harvard did finally conform to the academic code. The Corporation suggested in 1897 that all Harvard hoods should be lined in crimson.. Because of President Eliot’s antipathy to academic finery, the suggestion was not adopted until 1902. The crimson Harvard Doctoral gown was not voted in by the Corporation until 1955.

The New World rules enable the viewer to tell the college conferring the degree, the level of the degree, and the faculty awarding the degree by a glance at the costume. The colors (one or more) of the hood lining represent the conferring college; the color of the velvet border designates the branch of knowledge; the length of the hood and the width of the velvet border indicate the level of the degree. The borders may be two, three, or five inches wide on the corresponding hoods of three, three and a half, and four feet respectively for the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees.

Tassels to the Left (or Right)?

The scholar recognizes 28 separate varieties of faculties designated by border colors, including Nile green for Podiatry-Chiropody and lilac for Dentistry. For those naturalists with a quick eye it should be a simple matter to tell that the gentleman with a three-and-a-half-foot hood with a black lining with a three-and-a-half-inch trim is a Forestry major M.A. from Multonomah School of the Bible.

Further clues exist in the construction of the gowns, which come with three specific cuts of sleeve denoting the three degree levels. Some colleges use the soft beret or biretta, but the prevailing style of cap is the traditional square mortarboard, decorated with a long tassel.

Contrary to popular belief, it matters not whether the tassel is worn to the left or the right of the hat. As a spokesman for the specialists Cotrell and Leonard pointed out, “A gust of wind could change your academic standing in a moment.”

Doctors may wear a gold tassel, although they are seldom used at Harvard. Harvard presidents in the past have worn gold tassels.

While observers may not be able to identify each species of the doctoral regalia in today’s Commencement, they can reflect that student and professor alike are paying homage to more than 700 years of academic tradition.


Honorary Degrees

Some honorary degree recipients

1753 Benjamin Franklin AM
1776 George Washington LLD
1781 John Adams LLD
1787 Thomas Jefferson LLD
1792 Samuel Adams LLD
1822 John Quincy Adams LLD
1832 Washington Irving LLD
1833 Andrew Jackson LLD
1852 Alexis Charles Henri de Tocqueville LLD
1859 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow LLD
1866 Ralph Waldo Emerson LLD
1872 Ulysses S. Grant LLD
1896 Booker T. Washington AM
1905 William Howard Taft LLD
1907 Woodrow Wilson LLD
1916 John Singer Sargent ArtD
1917 Herbert Hoover LLD
1919 Theodore Roosevelt AM
1929 Franklin Delano Roosevelt LLD
1935 Albert Einstein SD
1937 Robert Frost LittD
1938 Walt Disney AM
1940 Carl Sandburg LittD
1943 Winston Churchill LLD
1946 Dwight Eisenhower LLD
1947 George Marshall LLD
1951 Thornton Wilder LittD
1956 John F. Kennedy LLD
1961 Aaron Copland MusD
1966 Martha Graham ArtD
1967 Leonard Bernstein MusD
1968 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi LLD
1972 Saul Bellow LittD
1973 Georgia O’Keeffe ArtD
1973 Robert Penn Warren LittD
1974 Mstislav L. Rostropovich MusD
1974 Beverly Sills MusD
1976 Arthur Fiedler ArtD
1977 Barbara Jordan LLD
1977 Eudora Welty LittD
1978 John Cheever LittD
1978 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn LittD
1979 Desmond Tutu LLD
1980 Octavio Paz LittD
1981 Ansel Adams ArtD
1981 Leontyne Price ArtD
1982 Mother Teresa LLD
1982 Tennessee Williams LittD
1983 Carlos Fuentes LLD
1984 Juan Carlos I LLD
1984 Benny Goodman MusD
1985 Louise Nevelson ArtD
1986 Lord Carrington LLD
1986 Itzhak Perlman MusD
1987 Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. LLD
1988 Jessye Norman MusD
1988 Oscar Arias Sánchez LLD
1989 Benazir Bhutto LLD
1989 Toni Morrison LLD
1990 Ella Fitzgerald MusD
1990 Stephen W. Hawking SD
1990 Helmut Kohl LLD
1991 Yo-Yo Ma MusD
1991 Eduard Shevardnadze LLD
1992 Gro Harlem Brundtland LLD
1992 Isaac Stern MusD
1993 Colin Powell LLD
1993 Ravi Shankar ArtD
1994 Albert Gore Jr. LLD
1995 Vaclav Havel LLD
1997 Quincy Jones MusD
1997 John Rawls LLD
1998 Gertrude B. Elion SD
1998 Nelson Mandela LLD (awarded during a special convocation in September)
1999 Julia Kristeva LLD
1999 Herbert Block ArtD
2000 Seiji Ozawa MusD
2001 John Ashbery LittD
2000 Nicolaas Bloembergen SD
2001 Jürgen Habermas LLD
2001 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. LLD
2002 Daniel Patrick Moynihan LLD
2002 Neil L. Rudenstine LLD
2002 Ruth J. Simmons LLD
2003 Philip Roth LittD
2003 Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon LLD
2004 Kofi Annan LLD
2004 Margaret Atwood LittD
2004 Shirley M. Tilghman LLD
2004 Edward O. Wilson SD
2005 D. Ronald Daniel LLD
2005 John Lithgow ArtD
2005 Charles M. Vest LLD
2006 Sir Michael Atiyah, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Philip E. Converse, Philippe de Montebello, Shirley Ann Jackson, Jim Lehrer, Robert P. Moses, Norman F. Ramsey, Leo Steinberg various
2007 Daniel Aaron, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, William H. Gates III, Conrad K. Harper, William Felton ‘Bill’ Russell, Joan Wallach Scott, Robert Silvers, Lawrence H. Summers, Karen K. Uhlenbeck various
2008 His Highness the Aga Khan, James P. Comer, Wen C. Fong, Eric R. Kandel, The Hon. Damon J. Keith, Gerda Lerner, John McCarthy, Janet Rowley, J.K. Rowling, Daniel C. Tosteson, Sen. Edward Kennedy various
2009 Steven Chu, Pedro Almodóvar, Joan Didion, Wendy Doniger, Ronald Dworkin, Anthony S. Fauci, Sarah Hrdy, Robert Langer, Wynton Marsalis, Sidney Verba various
2010 Thomas R. Cech, Renée C. Fox, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, Susan Lindquist, Thomas Nagel, David G. Nathan, The Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve, Richard Serra, David H. Souter, Meryl Streep various
2011 Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, Plácido Domingo, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dudley Herschbach, James R. Houghton, Rosalind Krauss, J.G.A. Pocock, David Satcher, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf various


Spirit Of Commencement

The Spirit & Spectacle of Harvard Commencement

by Marvin Hightower ’69

Like endless ribbons, lines wrap about the Yard as Harvard celebrates Commencement Exercises in the Tercentenary Theatre.

Black-robed BAs. Crimson-clad PhDs. Scholars’ garb from round the world bursting forth like brilliant bows. Here, the Sorbonne’s red and blue. There, a flash of Oxonian ermine. And where on earth can one get so strange a piece of headgear? Why, it doesn’t even have a mortarboard!

What is this package called “Commencement?” Whence these traipsings and trappings? The clear-cut lines of history can snip ribbons and bows alike to give us a glimpse inside the box.

Although founded in 1636, Harvard did not hold its first Commencement until September 23, 1642 (Julian date, equal to October 3 Gregorian). In so doing, the College gave the country its first taste of nonreligious European ritual. The “taste” went far beyond mere metaphor. “A prominent feature of the Commencement [was] a feast,” writes the late historian Samuel Eliot Morison in “Three Centuries of Harvard.”

Charles A. Wagner sets the scene for us in “Harvard: Four Centuries and Freedoms”:

The academic procession on that far distant September morning of 1642 counted the nine “commencers,” four juniorsophisters, and eight or ten freshmen, with a motley audience of visitors from Boston and all the settlements nearby; ministers, Indians, residents, parents, and gloating familiars. The people made it a holiday of annual joy in learning. And there were orations by the commencers in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Then, in the afternoon session, came the series of disputations in Latin between commencers on many of the age-old topics of the theses philosophicae and philologicae.

Fine! But what of “commencement” itself? The word reflects the meaning of the Latin inceptio (“beginning”), the name given the ceremony of initiation for new scholars into the fellowship of university teachers in medieval Europe. The event marked the commencement or “inception” of their full-fledged academic lives. Describing the period from 1680 to 1708 in “Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century,” Morison reports that

Between the two halves of the exercises, Commencement dinner was served in college hall, at the expense of those taking degrees, to both Governing Boards, returning graduates, and distinguished strangers…. The President opened the feast by “craving a blessing,” and at the end “gave thanks.” Next, the company sang a psalm…. Finally, there came the pleasant old ceremony of handing around the loving cup, or grace cup, as it was then called. It was the Governor’s privilege to start it on the rounds, with a little speech.

Such gastronomic delights remain with us in present-day “alumni spreads” in the Yard, which trace back deep as the tree roots over which the festivities transpire. In times past, Commencement was the most joyous, even raucous, event of the summer. Searching for an aptly evocative image of the 1745 capture of Louisburg, Dr. William Douglass quipped in 1749 that “the Siege was carried on in a tumultuary random Manner, and resembled a Cambridge Commencement.”

Samuel F. Batchelder wryly agrees in “Bits of Harvard History” (1924):

Our fathers, we may observe, closely associated the thirst for learning and that for beer; at the 1703 Commencement the few graduates present absorbed no less than fourteen barrels. Had the parching sirocco of Prohibition arisen earlier, drying up the very sap of erudition — but the academic mind turns away in horror.

The Class of 1703 found room for a barrel of cider and 18 gallons of wine as well.

Clearly, Harvard’s puritanical President Increase Mather (in office 1685-1701) had failed to quash the cakes and ale. Amid many belches, Falstaff prevailed. Recording his valiant efforts to bottle up the uncorked spirits of the occasion, Mather lamented: “I endeavoured the Reformation of those excesses … [of] Commencement day and weeke at the Colledge, so that I might [prevent] disorder and profaneness.”

Alas, poor Increase, seeking decrease, found no surcease. By the early 18th century (often described in course catalogs as the Age of Reason), a poem entitled “Satyricall Description of Commencement” evoked the prevailing atmosphere:

All sizes and each sex the Ways do throng
And black and white ride jib by jole along …
The nut-brown Country Nymphs and rural swains …
Appear there on this celebrated Day.

In 1797 a live elephant was brought from Providence, Rhode Island, to be exhibited at Commencement, along with people dressed as mermaids and mummies, and displays of two-headed calves. The Indians of Natick were invited to compete with Harvard scholars in prize competitions of target shooting with bows and arrows. The Indians won.

Both in nature and in numbers, things look somewhat different today. Still, to a discerning eye, past and present stroll hand in hand down the Yard’s dappled lanes, as the academic procession gets under way in the midmorning sun. Although 1642 lies more than 350 years behind us, Commencement numbering progressively fell more and more out of step as exercises were omitted for reasons ranging from war to plague. In 1644 the College found no candidates fit to commence upon any course of action in the world. The cumulative effect is that 2001, for example, marks only the 350th Harvard Commencement.

As recently as Francis Sargent’s 1970 attendance, the Governor of Massachusetts traditionally arrived at Commencement with 17th-century mounted, scarlet-coated guard, which escorted him from the State House to the Johnston Gate. The guard bore pikes, somewhat less useful today than when Governor Thomas Dudley rode to the first Commencement despite warnings of possible ambush by Indians.

Divided into four parts, the academic parade includes candidates for the bachelor’s degree, candidates for advanced degrees, alumni and alumnae, and the President’s Procession. Candidates for advanced degrees gather behind Sever Hall and proceed to their seats in the center right of the Theatre. The University Band, the senior speakers, the senior class officers, candidates for summa cum laude, and four Houses lead the way, advancing to form double files from the center of the Yard diagonally to the southeast corner of University Hall back to Stoughton and down to Hollis. Through these double ranks pass alumni, alumnae, and the President’s Procession. (Only the President’s Procession marches through all three groups of seniors.)

Alumni and alumnae pass to seats on the left (west) side of the Theatre, the President’s Procession advances to the platform on the South Porch of The Memorial Church, and seniors enter last to sit on the left of the center aisle.

The Sheriffs of Middlesex and Suffolk counties lead the President’s Procession, which consists of five parts. University Marshal Jacqueline O’Neill follows, escorting President Drew G. Faust and any former Harvard President who may attend. Next come members of the two Governing Boards — the Fellows of Harvard College (who, with the President and the Treasurer, form the Corporation), and the Reverend and Honorable Board of Overseers.

In 1642 and throughout the Colonial Era, the Board of Overseers consisted of the honorable members of the Great and General Court of the Bay Colony and the reverend clergy of the Colony’s six leading towns: Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown, Dorchester, Roxbury, and Watertown. Harvard’s break with church and state became final in the mid-19th century; and while no officially “Honorable” Massachusetts legislator nor any “Reverend” minister from the six towns sits on the Board of Overseers today, it remains “The Reverend and Honorable” in deference to tradition. The Governor of the Commonwealth, formerly President of the Overseers, still has a place immediately behind the Governing Boards.

Candidates for honorary degrees and their faculty escorts immediately follow the Governor, forming the second part of the President’s Division. The names of honorary degree candidates remain secret until Commencement Day. By tradition established when Harvard’s first honorary degree went to Benjamin Franklin in 1753, the recipients include men and women distinguished in public life, the arts, letters, science, and scholarship.

To herald the arrival of the presidential procession in the Tercentenary Theatre, the Band bursts forth with brass fanfare from the steps of Widener. Even when a President of the United States attends, the Band plays fanfares for Harvard’s President alone.

In the third and fourth parts of the President’s Division march the Deans and Vice Presidents of the University; then faculty members according to rank. From senior professors to junior faculty, they tread in measured cadence, clad in velvet and ermine-trimmed academic robes with the silk-lined hoods of universities the world over. Holders of Harvard graduate degrees wear crimson. When a scholar earns higher degrees elsewhere, he or she may wear gowns and silken hoods bearing the colors of other universities. Other officers of the University follow the faculty.

The fifth section brings former members of the Governing Boards, past professors, and former alumni and alumnae association officers, along with the Phi Beta Kappa President and Orator, and the Trustee of the Charity of Edward Hopkins. (Hopkins was a Massachusetts Governor who gave Harvard �500 in 1657; his generosity still touches members of the College in the form of “deturs,” undergraduate prizes for high scholarship.) Filling out the last section are “Ministers of the Six Towns” and clergy of the “Old Cambridge” churches, consuls to Boston, state and federal judges, past honorary-degree recipients, public officials, and other guests.

In this academic panoply, the late columnist Joseph Alsop ’32 saw “a sort of living summary of all the forces, public and private, civic and religious, which have promoted the rich and fruitful growth of education in America.”

Up the steps of the banner-draped platform the President’s Procession wends its way. There, President Faust sits in the Jacobean chair used at every Commencement since the time of President Edward Holyoke (in office 1737-1769). After an invocation, the Commencement Choir intones an anthem. Two seniors then deliver speeches — one in Latin, the other in English. An advanced-degree candidate also gives an address in English. Students of high standing compete for the honor of delivering these Commencement “parts.”

The “parts” are all that remains of the medieval exercise of “commencers” performing public “acts.” Scholars taking the first academic degree had to submit to a third-degree grilling by their professors during the actual Inceptiones (Commencement Exercises). Young scholars were required to defend their theses, a task for which they prepared over several weeks with their tutors in an early form of final examinations called “sitting solstices.” Theses to be defended were printed and distributed in advance (the Harvard Commencement program still lists all successfully defended doctoral theses), and the youths had to vow to defend their work against all comers.

As Morison points out in “Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century,” “A Commencement Oration or disputation was naturally a very important event in a young man’s life, for in the absence of other academic honors or extracurricular activities, his elders who had jobs to give were apt to judge him on his public performance that day.” Times have obviously changed.

The first scholar in the class traditionally gave an oration in Greek, while other scholars spoke to the assembly in Latin and Hebrew. Every student studied all three classical tongues. Latin was the language not only of the first disputations and thesis defenses but also of the President when he conferred degrees. Harvard students had to study Latin until 1883, the Commencement program was in Latin from 1866 to 1943 (preceded by mixed English and Latin), and College diplomas came in Latin until 1960.

After another anthem from the Choir, President Faust rises from the knobby chair and steps forward to confer degrees. Graduate degrees are conferred in the order in which the various schools were established. However, to pay tribute to the central role of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, its Ph.D., A.M., and Extension degrees are the first bestowed. Likewise, in recognition of the special place of the Colleges, bachelor’s degrees are conferred last, after a fourth anthem. Each degree recipient receives a diploma at separate ceremonies held at the Houses and the various graduate schools later in the day.

A third anthem, which comes between conferrals in Arts and Sciences and those in the other graduate schools, is a metrical rendering of Psalm 78. Some version of the Psalm has been sung at every Commencement since at least the early 18th century and possibly earlier. The words recall the dedication and resolve of the New England divines who officiated at the first Commencement.

The President confers the degrees with a different pronouncement for each group of candidates as they rise to receive their award. Doctoral candidates are welcomed “to the ancient and universal company of scholars,” while graduates of the Law School are bidden to “aid in the shaping and application of those wise restraints that make us free.” Like thousands before them, seniors of the latest undergraduate class are admitted to “the fellowship of educated men and women.”

Honorary degrees are the last bestowed. The audience then stands to sing the “Harvard Hymn” in Latin. Lyricist James Bradstreet Greenough, Class of 1856, had a practical bent that no fund-raiser could fail to applaud: “Largiantur donatores” (“Let the benefactors be liberal”) goes one line of it. Following the benediction, final preparations for the buffet luncheons get under way as the Band sounds the recessional.

And thus we come full circle. For between morning and afternoon exercises falls the shadow: “cakes and ale,” as it were. Colonial cakes have given way to mounds of potato salad, barnyards of chicken, glaciers of ice cream. But alumni/ae, graduate schools, and undergraduate Houses still find suitable quantities of liquid to sustain many a Commencement Day toast. Harvard Commencement thus remains a singular commingling of solemnity and festivity, tradition and modernity. Mather might countenance the day’s more solemn traditions. As for the rest, pax, good Increase! Harvard University Logo

Harvard University. History.


History of Harvard University


Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.

Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.


The Harvard University Archives are maintained by the Harvard University Library system and are a great resource to access Harvard’s historical records.


On Sept. 8, 1836, at Harvard’s Bicentennial celebration, it was announced that President Josiah Quincy had found the first rough sketch of the College arms – a shield with the Latin motto “VERITAS” (“Verity” or “Truth”) on three books – while researching his History of Harvard University in the College Archives. During the Bicentennial, a white banner atop a large tent in the Yard publicly displayed this design for the first time. Until Quincy’s discovery, the hand-drawn sketch (from records of an Overseers meeting on Jan. 6, 1644) had been filed away and forgotten. It became the basis of the seal officially adopted by the Corporation in 1843 and still informs the version used today. *


Crimson was officially designated as Harvard’s color by a vote of the Harvard Corporation in 1910. But why crimson? A pair of rowers, Charles W. Eliot, Class of 1853, and Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Class of 1858, provided crimson scarves to their teammates so that spectators could differentiate Harvard’s crew team from other teams during a regatta in 1858. Eliot became Harvard’s 21st president in 1869 and served until 1909; the Corporation vote to make the color of Eliot’s bandannas the official color came soon after he stepped down.

But before the official vote by the Harvard Corporation, students’ color of choice had at one point wavered between crimson and magenta – probably because the idea of using colors to represent universities was still new in the latter part of the 19th century. Pushed by popular debate to decide, Harvard undergraduates held a plebiscite on May 6, 1875, on the University’s color, and crimson won by a wide margin. The student newspaper – which had been called The Magenta – changed its name with the very next issue.


After George Washington’s Continental Army forced the British to leave Boston in March 1776, the Harvard Corporation and Overseers voted on April 3, 1776, to confer an honorary degree upon the general, who accepted it that very day (probably at his Cambridge headquarters in Craigie House). Washington next visited Harvard in 1789, as the first U.S. president.

Other U.S. presidents to receive an honorary degree include:

1781  John Adams

1787  Thomas Jefferson

1822  John Quincy Adams

1833  Andrew Jackson

1872  Ulysses S. Grant

1905  William Howard Taft

1907  Woodrow Wilson

1917  Herbert Hoover

1919  Theodore Roosevelt

1929  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

1946  Dwight Eisenhower

1956  John F. Kennedy


Harvard Governance


The oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere, the Harvard Corporation – known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College – is the University’s executive board. It is the smaller of Harvard’s two governing boards; the other is the Board of Overseers.

Significant matters of educational and institutional policy are also brought before the President and Fellows by the President and Deans.


The Board of Overseers is elected by graduates of Harvard and Radcliffe. Through its Standing and Visiting Committees, the Board is informed about educational policies and practices of the University and provides advice to, and approves important actions of, the Corporation. Both the Corporation and Overseers must approve major teaching and administrative appointments.


Office of the President
Office of the Provost
Harvard Corporation
Board of Overseers
Administrative offices


Historical Facts


The Harvard University Archives are maintained by the Harvard University Library system and are a great resource to access Harvard’s historical records.

Harvard is perhaps best-known because of its enduring history of innovation in education. But even die-hard Harvard buffs are not likely to know all of these Harvard firsts and historical snippets.

1607 – John Harvard, the College’s future namesake and first benefactor, was baptized at St. Saviour’s Church (now Southwark Cathedral), London.

1635 – John Harvard received his M.A. from Cambridge University, England.

1636 – First College in American colonies founded. The “Great and General Court of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England” approves £400 for the establishment of “a schoale or colledge” later to be called “Harvard.”

1637: The Great and General Court orders the “colledge” established one year earlier to be located at Newetowne (renamed “Cambrige” in 1638).

Late 1637 or early 1638 – the Overseers purchased the College’s first piece of real estate: a house and an acre of land from Goodman Peyntree. Located on the southern edge of “Cow-yard Row” and soon distinguished as the “College Yard,” this tract became the nucleus of present-day Harvard Yard and remains at the southern end of the Old Yard (the area west of Thayer, University, and Weld halls).

1638 – John Harvard wills his library (400 books) and half his estate to the College.

1639 – In recognition of John Harvard’s bequest, the Great and General Court orders “that the colledge agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shalbee called Harvard Colledge.”

1640 – Reverend Henry Dunster is appointed first president of Harvard.

1642 – First Harvard Commencement with nine graduates.

1649 – The Town of Cambridge and President Henry Dunster give Harvard the “College Farm” at Billerica, Mass., which paid annual rent to the College until the farm was sold in 1775.

1650 – Harvard granted Charter, still in effect today (with 2010 amendments).

1653 – John Sassamon, a Massachuset Indian, became the first known Native American to study at Harvard (probably for a term or so). A disciple of Indian Bible translator John Eliot, Sassamon later became a scribe and interpreter to Wampanoag Chief Metacom (a.k.a. Metacomet, Pometacom, King Philip). In 1675, Sassamon was murdered as an English informant, touching off King Philip’s War, New England’s most devastating conflict between Natives and newcomers.

1692 – Increase Mather awarded Harvard’s first Doctor of Divinity degree.

1755 – John Adams, future U.S. president, graduates.

1764 – Original Harvard Hall burns, destroying some 5,000 volumes and all but one of John Harvard’s books.

1775 – Continental soldiers are quartered in Harvard buildings.

1776 – Eight Harvard alumni sign the Declaration of Independence.

1780 – The Massachusetts Constitution went into effect and officially recognized Harvard as a university. The first medical instruction given to Harvard students in 1781 and the founding of the Medical School in 1782 made it a university in fact as well as name.

1781 – Oldest continuous chapter of Phi Beta Kappa formed at Harvard.

1782 – Twenty-nine-year-old John Warren was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the Medical School. During the previous year while head of the army hospital in Boston, he had given Harvard students their first formal medical instruction. Benjamin Waterhouse was named to a second Medical School professorship, in the “Theory and Practice of Physic.”

1783 – With high ceremony, Harvard Medical School officially opened as the “Medical Institution of Harvard University.” Its first home was the ever-versatile Holden Chapel.

1787 – John Quincy Adams, future U.S. president, graduates.

1791 – A writer in the Boston press accused Harvard of poisoning students’ minds with Edward Gibbon’s monumental History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-88). President Joseph Willard replied that far from even considering Gibbon, the College used a text by French historian Abbé Millot. Nathaniel Ames, who left Harvard around 1812, recalled Millot’s as “the most utterly worthless and contemptible work of that kind or any other extant.”

1810 – John Thornton Kirkland begins 18-year presidency.

1815 – University Hall is completed.

1816 – The Divinity School is established.

1817 – Harvard Law School is established (first reference to law school is Dane hall, 1832 in list).

1829 – Josiah Quincy begins his 16-year presidency.

1832 – Dane Hall, the Law School’s first new building, was formally dedicated in Harvard Yard and served for more than half a century thereafter.

1836 – Harvard Bicentennial.

1836 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow appointed professor.

1837 – Ralph Waldo Emerson ’21 delivers Phi Beta Kappa oration.

1839 – Harvard Observatory is founded.

1845 – Rutherford B. Hayes, future U.S. president, graduates from the Law School.

1846 – John Collins Warren, Medical School professor, conducts first public demonstration of ether as surgical anesthetic.

1848 – Louis Agassiz appointed professor of zoology and geography.

1849 – Dr. George Parkman disappeared at the Medical School in one of the most famous murder cases in Harvard history. Earlier, Parkman had lent money to colleague Dr. John White Webster. To secure the loan, Webster gave Parkman a mortgage on his personal property, including a valuable collection of minerals. When Parkman learned that Webster had backed another loan with the same collection, he began relentlessly pursuing Webster to collect the debt. A week after the disappearance, a suspicious janitor broke through a brick vault below Webster’s lab and found human body parts, which the authorities soon discovered all around the lab. Found guilty of first-degree murder, Webster belatedly confessed and appealed for clemency, but was hanged on Aug. 30, 1850. Parkman’s widow led a fund drive to support Webster’s wife and children.

1852 – Harvard wins first intercollegiate sports event, a boat race against Yale on Lake Winnipesaukee.

1854 – Henry David Thoreau ’37 publishes Walden.

1855 – Holworthy Hall gets first gas lights in the Yard.

1862 – The Overseers confirmed the Rev. Thomas Hill, Class of 1843, as Harvard’s 20th President. His brief tenure brought higher admissions standards, a series of public “University Lectures” (est. 1863) by distinguished Harvard and non-Harvard scholars that paved the way for the “Graduate School of Arts and Sciences” : and University Extension, and progress toward a system of elective courses. Hill also conducted nationwide searches for new faculty appointees.

1865 – Election of Overseers placed in the hands of alumni, severing legal ties with the Commonwealth.

1867 – The Harvard Dental School made its first appointments: Daniel Harwood, professor of dental pathology and therapeutics; and Nathan Cooley Keep, professor of mechanical dentistry.

1869 – At the meetinghouse of First Church, Unitarian, Charles William Eliot was formally installed as Harvard’s 21st President. From the outset, Eliot’s 105-minute address delineated his broad educational purposes: “The endless controversies whether language, philosophy, mathematics, or science supplies the best mental training, whether general education should be chiefly literary or chiefly scientific, have no practical lesson for us to-day. This University recognizes no real antagonism between literature and science, and consents to no such narrow alternatives as mathematics or classics, science or metaphysics. We would have them all, and at their best.”

1870 – The Rev. Phillips Brooks laid the cornerstone of Memorial Hall.

1872 – Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is founded.

1872 – Arnold Arboretum is established.

1873 – Charles Sprague Sargent officially began a 54-year term as first director of the Arnold Arboretum (est. 1872). Sargent soon enlisted the aid of pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted – then busy designing the Boston park system – to help him lay out the grounds. “Olmsted immediately grasped the idea that an arboretum where the public could see varied plantations of rare and exotic trees and shrubs skilfully [sic] selected, artistically arranged, and grown under scientific oversight, would not only be an appropriate feature in the park system [now known as Boston’s “Emerald Necklace”] but might well become its culminating attraction,” Benjamin Lincoln Robinson, the Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany, wrote in the late 1920s. Nonetheless, the Arboretum proved a hard sell, Robinson noted. “Neither the City [of Boston] nor the Harvard Corporation welcomed the idea. The press was indifferent, and the public apathetic. Nine years of persistent effort were required before it was possible to draft a plan of procedure acceptable both to the City and to the University and to secure its approval by the General Court of Massachusetts.”

1874 – Department of Fine Arts is established.

1879 – The Harvard Annex, later known as Radcliffe College, opens with 27 female students

1875 – New Haven, Conn., hosted the first Harvard-Yale football game, which Harvard won, to the delight of some 150 student boosters from Cambridge.

1880 – Theodore Roosevelt makes Phi Beta Kappa.

1886 – 250th anniversary celebrated with more than 2,500 alumni and friends with President Grover Cleveland in attendance.

1890 – Land given by Major Henry Lee Higginson ’55 dedicated as Soldiers Field, honoring alumni who died in the Civil War.

1894 – Radcliffe College is incorporated.

1896 – Fogg Art Museum opens.

1901 – First course offered in landscape architecture and city planning.

1903 – Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president of the Harvard Crimson.

1903 – Country’s first concrete football stadium is built.

1904 – FDR graduates.

1908 – With 59 students, the Graduate School of Business Administration formally opened as a Graduate Department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Through this initial connection to established departments, President Eliot and Dean Edwin Francis Gay hoped to get the newcomer off to a well-supported start. Other U.S. universities began offering business training as early as 1886, but the course of study was overwhelmingly undergraduate. In seeking to establish business as a profession, Harvard Business School became the country’s first business program limited to college graduates. By the end of the first academic year, the School had 80 students (regular and special) from 14 colleges and 12 states.

1909 – Abbott Lawrence Lowell begins his 34- year presidency.

1910 – President Lowell establishes Commission on Extension Courses.

1910 – Theodore Roosevelt, Class of 1880, served as the 34th president of the Harvard Alumni Association (est. 1840).

1913 – Harvard University Press is established.

1914 – Professor Theodore William Richards wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for determination of atomic weights; he is the first of 28 Harvard Nobel laureates.

1914 – Henry Cabot Lodge, Class of 1871, served as the 38th president of the Harvard Alumni Association (est. 1840).

1915 – Widener Library opens.

1920 – The College Library contained about 1,127,500 volumes.

1920 – The Business School issued Marketing Problems, its first case book, developed by Marketing Professor Melvin Thomas Copeland.

1920 – Graduate School of Education is established.

1922 – School of Public Health is established.

1924 – The Harvard-Boston (Egyptian) Expedition began excavation of the royal cemetery of King Cheops (Khufu) near the Great Pyramid and soon identified the tombs of Prince Kawa’ab (Cheops’s eldest son), four other princes, Princess Meresankh II, and two pyramid priests.

1926 – Samuel Eliot Morison is appointed official historian for Tercentenary.

1928 – First “iron lung” is devised by two doctors at the School of Public Health.

1930 – The House Plan is established with the opening of Dunster House and Lowell House.

1933 – James Bryant Conant begins his 20-year presidency.

1936 – Harvard’s Tercentenary Celebration with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in attendance.

1936 – Graduate School of Design is established.

1936 – Graduate School of Public Administration is established.

1939 – Walter Gropius, founder of Bauhaus, becomes head of architecture at Graduate School of Design.

1940 – John F. Kennedy graduates.

1943 – Two hundred Army Quartermaster officers arrived at the Business School for a three-month intensive course in business methods. They formed a new unit of lieutenants and captains known as the Army Supply Officers’ Training School, a counterpart to the Navy Supply Corps School.

1943 – The Harvard Alumni Bulletin tally of Harvard men in active military service equaled “the mythical 10,000 men of Harvard.” Seventy-eight Harvard men had been killed in the line of duty, 20 were missing in action, and another 20 were prisoners of war.

1944 – IBM Mark I computer begins operation at Harvard.

1945 – Publication of President Conant’s General Education in a Free Society; its recommendation will have wide influence.

1945 – At the Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond, Calif., the 10,800-ton SS Harvard Victory was launched as the first of a new series of U.S. Maritime Commission ships named after U.S. educational institutions. The Harvard Corporationlater voted to give the ship a library of about 140 volumes selected by the American Merchant Marine Library Association. A simple plaque acknowledged the University’s gift.

1947 – General George C. Marshall receives honorary degree: announces “Marshall Plan” at commencement.

1953 – Nathan M. Pusey begins his 18-year presidency.

1955 – Helen Keller is the first woman to receive Harvard honorary degree.

1956 – Pusey announces major fund drive, the Program for Harvard College.

1956 – Memorial Hall tower burns down.

1959 – Fidel Castro is guest of Law School Forum.

1960 – Mary I. Bunting establishes Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study.

1960 – Loeb Drama Center opens.

1963 – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, designed by Le Corbusier, opens.

1968 – Kennedy School of Government begins its Public Policy Program.

1969 – Harvard Community Health plan begins serving patients.

1969 – Student strike and takeover of University Hall.

1970 – Helen H. Gilbert elected first woman member of the Board of Overseers.

1971 – Derek C. Bok begins his 20-year presidency.

1974 – President Bok and FAS Dean Henry Rosovsky launch study teaching and curriculum in the College.

1975 – George W. Bush, future U.S. president, graduates from Business School.

1975 – Equal admissions policy for male and female undergraduates is adopted.

1978 – Core curriculum adopted.

1979 ­– President Bok announces the Harvard Campaign, the largest capital campaign in Harvard’s history.

1980 – American Repertory Theater comes to Harvard.

1982 – Semitic Museum, closed for 40 years, is reopened.

1983 – Democratic presidential candidates debate nuclear arms control at the Kennedy School.

1984 – Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler Museums combine to become the Harvard Art Museums.

1986 – Harvard celebrates its 350th anniversary.

1991 – Barack Obama, future U.S. president, graduates from the Law School.

1991 – Neil Rudenstine is appointed president of Harvard.

1992 – Harvard Kennedy School Forum hosts Mikhail Gorbachev.

1994 – Harvard Business Publishing is founded.

1995 – New cholera vaccine developed at Harvard Medical School.

1997 – Mary Fasano became the oldest person ever to earn a Harvard degree when she graduated from the Extension School at the age of 89.

1998 – Nelson Mandela awarded honorary degree at special convocation.

1999 – Radcliffe College merges with Harvard College.

2001 – Lawrence Summers is appointed president.

2001 – On the eve of the 350th Commencement, Harvard’s four living Presidents—past, present, and future—gather for a group portrait in Loeb House.

2002 – Former Astronomy Prof. Riccardo Giacconi shares half the Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering work in astrophysics that led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources.

2004 – Harvard Financial Aid Initiative is launched.

2007 – School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is established.

2007 – Drew Gilpin Faust begins duties as Harvard’s 28th President. She is the first woman to hold the position.

2009 – Unified University-wide calendar is launched.

2010 – The Harvard Corporation expands from 7 to 13 members.

2010 – Harvard University will welcome ROTC back to campus now that Congress has repealed a ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

2011 – Harvard University awards degree to Native American student who died in 1665 just before Commencement.

2011 – Harvard celebrates its 375th anniversary. Harvard University Logo

Harvard University. History of the Presidency.

– Drew Gilpin Faust

Term of office: 2007

Drew Gilpin Faust is the 28th President of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She has expanded financial aid to improve access to Harvard College for students of all economic backgrounds and advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research.

– Lawrence H. Summers

Term of office: 2001-2006 (b. Nov. 30, 1954).

Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1975), Harvard University (Ph.D. 1982). Professional background: Economics professor, served in a series of public-policy positions. Immediate past position: Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

– Neil L. Rudenstine

Term of office: 1991-2001 (b. Jan. 21, 1935).

Education: Princeton University (B.A. 1956), Oxford University (B.A. 1959; M.A. 1963), Harvard University (Ph.D. 1964). Professional background: English and American literary scholar. Immediate past position: Executive Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York.

– Derek Bok

Term of office: 1971-1991, 2006-2007 (b. March 22, 1930).

Education: Stanford University (A.B. 1951), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1954), George Washington University (A.M. 1958). Professional background: Lawyer, Harvard law professor. Immediate past position: Dean of Harvard Law School.

– Nathan Marsh Pusey

Term of office: 1953-1971 (1907-2001).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1928), Harvard University (A.M. 1932; Ph.D. 1937). Professional background: College president. Immediate past position: President of Lawrence College, Appleton, Wis.

– James Bryant Conant

Term of office: 1933-1953 (1893-1978).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1913, as a member of the Class of 1914), Harvard University (Ph.D. 1916). Professional background: Chemist. Immediate past position: Sheldon Emery Professor of Organic Chemistry (Harvard).

– A(bbott) Lawrence Lowell

Term of office: 1909-1933 (1856-1943).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1877), Harvard Law School (LL.B. 1880). Professional background: Harvard government professor. Immediate past position: Eaton Professor of the Science of Government.

– Charles William Eliot

Term of office: 1869-1909, longest presidency in Harvard history (1834-1926).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1853; A.M. 1856). Professional background: Chemist. Immediate past position: Professor of Analytical Chemistry (M.I.T.).

– Thomas Hill

Term of office: 1862-1868 (1818- 1891).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1843; A.M. 1846), Harvard Divinity School (completed studies, 1845; HDS did not grant degrees at this time). Professional background: Clergyman, mathematician, educator. Immediate past position: President of Antioch College, Ohio

– Cornelius Conway Felton

Term of office: 1860-1862, died in office on Feb. 26 (1807-1862).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1827; A.M. 1830). Professional background: Educator (with service on the Massachusetts Board of Education, as Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, and as president of a Boston physical-education society). Immediate past position: Eliot Professor of Greek Literature (Harvard).

– James Walker

Term of office: 1853-1860 (1794-1874).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1814; A.M. 1817), Harvard Divinity School (studies, 1817; HDS did not grant degrees at this time). Professional background: Harvard professor. Immediate past position: Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity (Harvard).

– Jared Sparks

Term of office: 1849-1853 (1789-1866).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1815; A.M. 1818), Harvard Divinity School (studies, 1818; HDS did not grant degrees at this time). Professional background: Clergyman, historian. Immediate past position: McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History (est. and first held [by Sparks] in 1838, Harvard).

– Edward Everett

Term of office: 1846-1849 (1794-1865).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1811; A.M. 1814); University of Göttingen, Germany (Ph.D. 1817) Professional background: Clergyman, orator, government official (with service in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Massachusetts governorship). Immediate past position: U.S. Minister to Great Britain.

– Josiah Quincy

Term of office: 1829-1845 (1772- 1864).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1790; A.M. 1793). Professional background: Lawyer (with service in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Massachusetts Senate). Immediate past position: Mayor of Boston.

– John Thornton Kirkland

Term of office: 1810-1828 (1770-1840).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1789; A.M. 1792). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past position: (Probably) Pastor of New South Church, Boston, Mass.

– Samuel Webber

Term of office: 1806-1810, died in office on July 17 (1759-1810).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1784; A.M. 1787). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past position: Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy (Harvard).

– Joseph Willard

Term of office: 1781-1804, died in office on Sept. 25 (1738-1804).

Education: Harvard College (A.B., 1765; A.M. 1768). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past positions: Pastor of the First Parish, Beverly, Mass.; first corresponding secretary (1780) of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

– Samuel Langdon

Term of office: 1774-1780 (1723-1797).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1740; A.M. 1743). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past position: Pastor in Portsmouth, N.H.

– Samuel Locke

Term of office: 1770-1773 (1732-1778).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1755; A.M. 1758). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past position: Pastor in Sherborn, Mass.

– Edward Holyoke

Term of office: 1737-1769, died in office on June 1, not long before his 80th birthday, making him the oldest to serve as Harvard President (1689-1769).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1705; A.M. 1708). Professional background: Clergyman. Immediate past position: Pastor to a church in Marblehead, Mass.

– Benjamin Wadsworth

Term of office: 1725-1737, died in office on March 27 (1670-1737).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1690; A.M. 1693). Professional background: Clergyman.

– John Leverett

Term of office: 1708-1724, died in office on May 14 (1662-1724).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1680; A.M. 1683). Professional background: Lawyer, judge, legislator, provincial envoy. Immediate past position: Provincial Councilor, Eastern.

– Increase Mather

Terms of office: Acting President, 1685-1686; Rector (a unique title), 1686-1692; President, 1692-1701, died in office on May 14 (1639-1723).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1656); Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (A.M. 1658). Professional background: Pastor of North (Second) Church, Boston, Mass. Immediate past position: As above (Mather continued his Boston pastorate during his 16-year Harvard executive term).

– John Rogers

Term of office: 1682-1684, died in office on July 12 (1630-1684).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1649; A.M. 1652). Professional background: Assisted (without ordination) his brother-in-law William Hubbard’s ministry and practiced medicine (without medical training) on parishioners in Ipswich, Mass. Immediate past position: Presumably as above.

– Urian Oakes

Terms of office: Acting President, 1675-1680; President, 1680-1681, died in office on Aug. 4 (ca. 1631-1681).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1649; A.M. 1652). Professional background: Ecclesiastical posts in England, grammar-school headmaster, orator. Immediate past position: Minister in Cambridge, Mass.

– Leonard Hoar

Term of office: 1672-1675, died in office on May 14 (ca. 1630-1675).

Education: Harvard College (A.B. 1650; A.M. 1653); Cambridge University, England (M.D. 1671). Professional background: Ecclesiastical posts in England, biblical scholarship.

– Charles Chauncy

Term of office: 1654-1672, died in office in February (1592-1672).

Education: Trinity College, Cambridge University (B.A. 1614; M.A. 1617; B.D. [Bachelor of Divinity] 1624). Professional background: Greek lecturer at Trinity; vicar to several English churches. Immediate past position: Minister in Scituate, Mass.

– Henry Dunster

Term of office: 1640-1654 (1609-1659).

Education: Magdalene College, Cambridge University, England (B.A. 1631; M.A. 1634). Professional background: Clergyman, educator. Immediate past position: Schoolmaster and church curate in Bury, England Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Honors & Prizes.

Harvard’s reach stretches far beyond the traditional classroom. Harvard faculty, students, and staff hold global leadership roles in a wide variety of disciplines, with some garnering national and international recognition. Faculty of Harvard’s Schools have won a wide selection of prizes; for your convenience we’ve published the Nobel laureates and Pulitzer prizes, and provided a selective list of heads of statenotable alumni, and University Professorships.

Heads of State

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj 2002 President of Mongolia
Felipe Calderón Hinojosa 2000 President of Mexico
Barack Obama 1991 President of the United States
José María Figueres Olsen 1991 President of Costa Rica
Jamil Mahuad 1989 President of Ecuador
Eduardo Rodriguez 1988 President of Bolivia
Masako Owada 1985 Crown Princess of Japan
Ban Ki-Moon 1984 Secretary-General of the United Nations
Sir Donald Tsang 1982 Chief Executive & President, Executive Council, Hong Kong
Ma Ying-jeou 1981 President of Taiwan
Juan Manuel Santos 1981 President of Colombia
Lee Hsien Loong 1980 Prime Minister, Singapore
Annette Lu 1978 Vice President of the Republic of China
Sebastian Pinera 1976 President of Chile
George W. Bush, Jr. 1975 President of the United States
Benazir Bhutto 1973 Prime Minister of Pakistan
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf 1971 President of Liberia
Al Gore 1969 Vice President of the United States
Miguel de la Madrid 1965 President of Mexico
William Rehnquist 1950 Chief Justice of the United States
Pierre Trudeau 1945 Prime Minister of Canada
John F. Kennedy 1940 President of the United States
Fan S. Noli 1912 Prime Minister of Albania
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1904 President of the United States
William Lyon Mackenzie King 1898 Prime Minister of Canada
Theodore Roosevelt 1880 President of the United States
Rutherford B. Hayes 1845 President of the United States
John Quincy Adams 1787 President of the United States
John Adams 1755 President of the United States


Nobel Laureates

Established in 1895 by the Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the Nobel Prize is an annual award acknowledging outstanding contributions to physics, physiology, medicine, literature, peace, or chemistry. Several Harvard faculty and alumni have been honored with this prestigious award.

Jack Szostak
Physiology and medicine, 2009
“for pioneering work in the discovery of telomerase, an enzyme that protects chromosomes from degrading.”

What began as a simple question regarding yeast cells, has broadened the scientific community’s understanding of aging and death on the cellular level, and quite possibly, our bodies as a whole. Described as a “scientist’s scientist,” Szostak has been studying the ends of chromosomes and a special enzyme, called telomere, which helps hold the ends of chromosomes together and protect them from deterioration. In his research, he discovered that some cells whose telomeres do not activate normally have a way of evading destruction – enter cancer cells – and this finding has brought forth a flood of larger questions surrounding cancer research and the aging process. British born, Jack Szostak is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Since his award-winning reaching on telomeres, Szostak has shifted his intellectual curiosity from the death of cells, to the genesis of life itself as co-director of the Origins of Life Initiate at Harvard University.

Al Gore
Nobel Peace Prize, 2007
“for efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

Through his political and media efforts, Al Gore has been a leading voice on the complex issues surrounding climate change and humanity’s role in it. Gore graduated from Harvard University in 1969. He established himself as a vital public figure, as a U.S. senator from Tennessee, as vice president under President Clinton, and as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000. In recent years, his name is synonymous with environmental activism. His 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” examined global warming, its causes and prevention, and served as a platform to bring the increasingly important issue to public attention. The Nobel Prize committee recognized his efforts to educate and engage people concerning climate change, and his award-winning film has been hailed as a pivotal moment that helped to re-energize the environmental movement worldwide.

Eric S. Maskin ’72, Ph.D. ’76
Economics 2007
“For having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory”

Eric S. Maskin is an economist and a 2007 Nobel laureate recognized (along with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger B. Myerson) “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.” Among other applications, that theory has helped economists identify socially valuable trading mechanisms, regulation schemes, and voting procedures. Maskin is a Professor of Economics at Harvard. After earning his doctorate at Harvard, Maskin went to the University of Cambridge in 1976, where he was a research fellow at Jesus College, and then taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1977-84), at Harvard (1985-2000), where he was the Louis Berkman Professor of Economics, and at the Institute for Advanced Study (2000-2011), where he was the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science. Besides mechanism design, he has made contributions to game theory, political economy, and other areas of economics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Royal Spanish Academy of Economics and Finance, and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. He was president of the Econometric Society in 2003 and is currently president of the Game Theory Society. He received the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2010.

Thomas C. Schelling 
Economics 2005
“For having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis”

In 1958, Schelling was appointed professor of economics at Harvard, but he spent his first year on leave working for the RAND Corp. In 1960, Harvard University Press published what would become Schelling’s best-known work, “The Strategy of Conflict,” in which he used game theory to analyze international conflict, thereby encouraging the use of game theory throughout the social sciences. In 1969, Schelling became one of the “founding fathers” of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Kennedy School annually bestows the Thomas C. Schelling Award for transformative work in public policy. Retiring from Harvard in 1990, Schelling became a professor at the University of Maryland. Schelling shared the 2005 Nobel in economics with Robert J. Aumann of Hebrew University.

Roy J. Glauber
Physics 2005
“For his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence”

A friendly, unassuming man and a popular teacher, Glauber updated the theory of the nature of light from its origins in the 19th century to include modern quantum principles. He helped explain how light can travel in the form of quanta (particles) as well as rays or waves. As an undergraduate at Harvard, Glauber took graduate level math courses and worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb, before he graduated. He first worked at what he calls “routine” tasks, and then participated in the “calculations that were important in determining the critical mass (of explosives) and the efficiency of the explosion.” Glauber has been tenured longer than any currently active member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, having received tenure on July 1, 1956. Despite his position at the apex of discovery, Glauber continues to teach the complex science to freshmen and to the public through a well-attended course at the Harvard Extension School. Glauber shared the prize with John L. Hall of the University of Colorado and Theodor W. Hansch of the Institute for Quantum Optics in Munich, Germany.

Linda B. Buck 
Physiology or Medicine 2004
For discoveries of “odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”

Buck received the Nobel Prize for work relating to the sense of smell, which the Nobel committee noted had “long remained the most enigmatic of our senses. The basic principles for recognizing and remembering about 10,000 different odours were not understood.” Buck and Richard Axel, with whom she shared the prize, published the fundamental paper describing odorant receptors in 1991. That year Buck became an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “The discoveries on the organization of the olfactory system that were cited by the Nobel Foundation were made over a period of 10 years, during which I was a faculty member at Harvard,” she said. Since 2002, Buck has been at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Riccardo Giacconi
Physics 2002
For pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored Riccardo Giacconi with the prize because of his pioneering work with X-ray astronomy, including developing instruments to detect X-rays in space. He did much of this work while Associate Director of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Professor of Astronomy between 1973 and 1982.
Giacconi contributed to the development of the Einstein X-ray Observatory, which was a great improvement over earlier X-ray telescopes because it provided sharper images and was stronger. He also initiatived the construction of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, known for its extraordinarily detailed images in X-rays. Giacconi shared the Nobel Prize with Raymond Davis Jr. and Masatoshi Koshiba.

A. Michael Spence
Economics 2001
For analyses of markets with asymmetric information

A. Michael Spence, Ph.D. ’72, won for economic theories based on his Harvard doctoral thesis. Markets with asymmetric information happen when people on one side have much better information than those on the other: for instance, borrowers who know more about their repayment prospects than lenders, or Nobel Prize committee members who know who the winners are before anyone else does.
When Spence chose his dissertation topic, he did it out of personal interest, not because he was trying to win prizes. In a 1984 interview with The New York Times, Spence said, “I can’t imagine people making decisions [about what to study] on the basis of how much something would contribute to their winning a Nobel Prize or a John Bates Clark Medal (which Spence won in 1981). A large amount of winning such prizes is randomness. To win a Nobel you have to be a certified genius, which I am not, or lucky, which I have been. But you can’t bet on it, so it doesn’t enter into the decision-making. You spend so much time doing this, that if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, it just wouldn’t work.”
In addition to holding a number of professorial appointments at Harvard, Spence served as dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1984 to 1990. He is also a former dean at Stanford University, where he is currently the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus. Spence shared the Nobel Prize with George A. Akerlof and Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Amartya Sen
Economics 1998
Research on welfare economics

Three million people died in India’s 1943 Bengal famine. Witnessing it was 9-year-old Amartya Sen, who 55 years later won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on poverty and famine. Sen has made key contributions to the research on problems in welfare economics. Almost all of Sen’s works deal with development economics, which is often devoted to the welfare of the poor. His work has improved the theoretical foundation for comparing different distributions of society’s welfare and enhanced understanding of the economic mechanisms underlying famines.

Robert C. Merton
Economics 1997
For a new method to determine the value of derivatives

When Robert C. Merton was a graduate student in applied mathematics he had an unusual moonlighting job – he’d visit a local brokerage at 6:30 every morning and spend a few hours trading securities. Later, when he went to M.I.T. to study economics under Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson, it struck him that his early morning activity could be placed on a scholarly footing. “I realized that what I’d been doing could be a field of economics.” And so it became. Since the 1960s, Merton has been researching the financial risk associated with derivatives, a financial instrument connected to a stock. Merton is the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration.

Seamus Heaney
Literature 1995
For poetic works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past

Raised in a thatched farmstead in County Derry, Ireland, Heaney studied as a “scholarship boy,” as his father called him, at Queens University in Belfast, where he began to write poems. In 1966 his collection Death of a Naturalist was published. In the nine volumes since, he has treated subjects ranging from farmwork to politics to the beauty of the Irish language. “I rhyme / to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.” Heaney is the Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet in Residence.

Elias J. Corey
Chemistry 1990
Devised rules that allow scientists to make complex new molecules from ordinary chemicals

Before Corey’s work, organic chemists synthesized compounds through trial and error. Now they use his guidelines to build complex compounds. Fellow Harvard Nobelist Dudley Herschbach has said, “E.J. changed the whole way that chemistry is done . . . his syntheses are like great works of art. Like Beethoven, he takes the equivalent of simple notes and rhythms and puts them together into marvelous creative works.” Corey is Sheldon Emery Professor of Organic Chemistry.

Joseph E. Murray
Medicine 1990
Developed new procedures for organ transplants (with E. Donnall Thomas, formerly of the University of Washington)

The ambidextrous Murray, who performed the first successful human kidney transplant, is one of the few surgeon-scientists to win the Nobel. Although committed to his lab work, Murray’s first concern has always been the patient. During World War II, doing reparative surgery, particularly with burns patients, Murray became intrigued by the dynamics of tissue rejection and acceptance, leading him to his interest in transplant surgery.

Norman Ramsey
Physics 1989
Research on separate oscillatory fields to make precise measurements of how various parts of atoms and molecules interact with each other

“When I learned,” said Ramsey about his vocation, “that you could make a living studying how nature operates, I knew that was what I wanted to do.” Ramsey’s explorations have had many applications: from his research on radar and the atomic bomb during World War II to the work which led to the invention of phenomenally accurate atomic clocks – devices that are able to operate for thousands of years without losing a second. Ramsey is Higgins Professor of Physics Emeritus.

Dudley R. Herschbach
Chemistry 1986
Developed techniques enabling scientists to see collisions taking place between pairs of molecules and detect the products of such collisions

A die-hard Red Sox fan, Herschbach describes his research by pitching baseball metaphors. “Think of a crowd at a baseball game. In ordinary chemistry, you have to deal with the whole crowd at once. You observe the general behavior of a crowd of molecules but want to know more about individual molecules. In effect, what we’ve done is eavesdrop on conversations between molecules, as if listening to a pair of people in that crowd.” Herschbach actively promotes the public appreciation and understanding of science, hosting a PBS special on the Nobel Prize, and even appearing in a commercial for Sears Roebuck stores.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Bernard Lown,
co-founder 1921-
Peace 1985

Lown, a pioneer in research on sudden cardiac death, invented the defibrillator and introduced the drug Lidocaine, which controls disturbances of the heartbeat. Along with Evgueni Chazov of the Soviet Union, he enlisted physicians around the world to band together against nuclear war and nuclear arms proliferation. Head of the Lown Cardiovascular Center in Brookline, Mass., he has more recently explored “the social contract of doctoring,” and has written a book on the subject, The Lost Art of Healing.

Carlo Rubbia
Physics 1984
Discovery and investigation of new subatomic particles and their properties

Rubbia has been the dynamic leading force in some of the most dazzling recent advances in physics, including the discovery of the sixth (or final) quark. Quarks are believed to be the fundamental constituent of which all particles are made. The flamboyant Rubbia has been characterized by fellow Harvard Nobelist Sheldon Glashow as “a wild man in the best tradition of wild men . . . emotional, ebullient, and full of life.” Rubbia is the former Director-General ofCERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in Geneva.

Nicolaas Bloembergen
Physics 1981
Discovery of laser spectroscopy, whereby atoms can be studied with higher precision

As a 26-year-old graduate student at Harvard, Bloembergen worked with Edward Purcell to develop the theory of nuclear magnetic resonance, for which Purcell was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize. Bloembergen’s subsequent work with masers and lasers have found hugely diverse practical applications, from surgical operations to boring and cutting metal to the development of fiber optics. Bloembergen is Gerhard Gade University Professor Emeritus.

Torsten Wiesel
Medicine 1981
Research on information-processing in the visual system (with David Hubel)

When told he’d been awarded the Nobel Prize, Wiesel said, “Oh, no, I was afraid of that! I better go and hide.” For Wiesel, what really counts is the research and its results, like improvements in the treatment of congenital cataracts and other blinding conditions found in children. Wiesel is President Emeritus of The Rockefeller University.

David Hubel
Medicine 1981
Research on information-processing in the visual system (with Torsten Wiesel)

In a partnership spanning decades, Hubel and Torsten Wiesel have provided the basis for our understanding of how the brain analyzes visual information. The pair describe their work as a 50-50 effort. Says Hubel, “It’s been a real Gilbert and Sullivan sort of thing. Not that we would compare ourselves to those celestial people, but they did do different things and you wouldn’t say one did more than the other.” Hubel is John Franklin Enders University Professor of Neurobiology and Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows.

Walter Gilbert
Chemistry 1980
Developed methods to work out the structure of DNA

Gilbert discovered a rapid method to decode the base sequences in DNA and then apply this knowledge to induce bacteria to produce medically useful substances, such as insulin and interferon. In 1988, the physicist-turned-biologist called for the scientific community to engage in the “human genome project,” a massive effort to chart, by the year 2000, the entire sequence of DNA that makes up our genetic material. Gilbert is Carl M. Loeb University Professor.

Baruj Benacerraf
Medicine or Physiology 1980
Discovered that disease-fighting ability is passed on genetically, although the immune-response gene varies from person to person

Benacerraf’s discovery has several dramatic applications, helping us to understand: 1) the body’s ability to repel microbial invasions, 2) the mechanism by which the body accepts or rejects skin grafts or organ transplants, and 3) the growth of tumors, invaders that outwit or fool the body’s defense system. Benacerraf is the George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology Emeritus.

Steven Weinberg
Physics 1979
Used mathematical hypotheses to explain electromagnetism and “weak” interactions (with Sheldon L. Glashow)

In addition to his primary task – that of elucidating the unity and simplicity underlying nature’s apparent complexity – Weinberg’s avocation is history, specifically medieval and military history. His interest in the subject goes way back: his book The First Three Minutes (1977) graphically recreates the birth of the universe. Weinberg, a colleague notes, is “dedicated but not driven. He even works with the television on.” Weinberg holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sheldon L. Glashow
Physics 1979
Used mathematical hypotheses to explain electromagnetism and “weak” interactions – two of the four basic forces in nature – according to the same laws (with Steven Weinberg)

Despite the fact that Glashow and co-winner Steven Weinberg attended Bronx High School of Science and Cornell University together, and remained friends through their Harvard years, they separately developed this stunning advance toward a unified field theory. Glashow was driven by a curiosity which many more modest homeowners would understand, saying about the universe, “It is intellectually vital to know what the place in which you live is made of.” Glashow is Higgins Professor of Physics Emeritus.

John H. Van Vleck
Physics 1977
Pioneered the application of quantum mechanics to the study of magnetism

Van Vleck, known for his love of the arts, his quietly piercing wit, and his intense loyalty to Harvard, made cutting-edge contributions to the fields of radioastronomy, microwave spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance. His application of quantum mechanics altered both physics and chemistry, deepening our understanding of atomic systems – from single molecules to crystalline solids.

William N. Lipscomb
Chemistry 1976
Research on the structure of boranes, which has increased the understanding of chemical bonding

Lipscomb had had quite a bit of experience by the time he elucidated the unusual chemical make-up of boron – off to college in 1937, he donated his elaborate chemistry set to his high school, doubling the school’s chemistry inventory. The scientist, known for his clarinet playing and Western-style bow ties, describes his mode of reasoning: “I am inclined to make large intuitive jumps and then set about to test the conclusions.” Lipscomb is the Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Chemistry Emeritus.

Wassily W. Leontief
Economics 1973
Developed the input-output analysis used in forecasting and planning the economy

Leontief’s pioneering formulas allowed economists to determine with unprecedented precision how changes in one sector of the economy impact on the performance of others. The third Harvard professor to win the Nobel in Economics in three straight years, the activist-economist joked, “Do you think there should be an anti-trust investigation?”

Kenneth J. Arrow
Economics 1972
Contributed to the general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory

Arrow’s work, incorporating advanced mathematical methods into economics and political science, has helped shape state economic policies around the world. A humanist as well as a “technical superscientist,” Arrow has always tried to apply his complex, abstract theory to concrete social realities, such as education, racial discrimination, medical care, and the environment. He is professor emeritus at Stanford University.

Simon S. Kuznets
Economics 1971
Developed the concept of using GNP as a measure of change in the nation’s economic growth

Kuznets was a major figure in the development of quantitative economic research. During World War II, his ideas were pivotal in the country’s successful transition to war production. An understated, modest man devoted to work, family, and friends, Kuznets, even in his last weeks, always greeted visitors with two questions: First, “What are you working on?” Then, “Tell me about your family.”

George Wald
Medicine or Physiology 1967
Research on the biochemistry of vision

Wald contributed greatly to our knowledge of the human eye, particularly the visual pigments and how light affects them. He was on the forefront of the revolution that changed biology from a cellular to a molecular science. An early and outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, Wald was always a lively, engaged, and formidable figure in the political arena.

Robert Burns Woodward
Chemistry 1965
Laboratory synthesis of complex molecules

Building a large, complicated molecule like chlorophyll is analogous to the construction of a great work of architecture. The Frank Lloyd Wright of organic chemistry, Woodward dominated the field for nearly half a century. His intense devotion to his work is vividly illustrated by the fact that he named a synthetic steroid Christmasterol because it was first crystallized in his laboratory on Christmas day.

Julian S. Schwinger
Physics 1965
Contributed to the study of quantum electrodynamics

The son of a dress designer and manufacturer, Schwinger found his calling by reading scientific pulp magazines. In the ensuing years he, along with other physicists, restructured the equations of quantum mechanics to make them fully consistent with Einstein’s special relativity theory. Robert Oppenheimer noted that Schwinger’s “greatest work has been to give us a new understanding of that old and deep problem of the interaction of light and matter.”

Konrad E. Bloch
Medicine or Physiology 1964
Studied the pattern of reactions involved in the biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids

Bloch’s painstaking research helped cap the half-century dubbed the “Golden Age of Biochemistry.” Determined to communicate with the intelligent layperson outside of the scientific community, the emeritus professor in (1994) published a book of lively pieces titled Blondes in Venetian Paintings, The Nine-Banded Armadillo, and other Essays in Biochemistry, which demonstrates (among other things) that many Renaissance portraits featured “bottle blondes.”

James D. Watson
Medicine or Physiology 1962
Described the structure of DNA
In 1953, at the tender age of 25, the enfant terrible Watson, with British scientist Francis Crick, presented a model for DNA, beating Linus Pauling in a neck-and-neck race to one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century. His controversial book, The Double Helix, “has been called,” says The New York Times, “the most honest book ever written about scientific research.” Watson is currently president of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y.

Georg von Bekesy
Medicine or Physiology 1961
Demonstrated the physical principles involved in the mechanism of hearing

This engineer, who in his youth was intrigued by the high-pitched Gypsy music of his native Hungary, has been lauded for “fathoming the enigmas and disclosing the elegance of the auditory system.” His delicate engineering feats included the design of special scissors, whose blades were a few thousandths of an inch long, to manipulate the cochlea, a minute structure in the inner ear.

Thomas H. Weller
Medicine or Physiology 1954
Application of tissue-culture methods to the study of viral diseases (with J.F. Enders and F.C. Robbins)

In addition to his work on the polio virus, Weller made significant contributions to the study of human parasites and the viruses that cause rubella (German measles) and chicken pox. Later in his career, Weller distinguished himself as an administrator, serving as director of the Center for Prevention of Infectious Diseases at Harvard’s School of Public Health, where he significantly advanced the School’s international reputation. Weller is the Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Tropical Public Health Emeritus.

Frederick C. Robbins
Medicine or Physiology 1954
Application of tissue-culture methods to the study of viral diseases (with J.F. Enders and T.H. Weller)

At Harvard Medical School in the late 1930s, Robbins studied with John Enders and roomed with Thomas Weller. After earning his M.D., he served in North Africa and Italy during the war, investigating bacterial diseases. He was awarded a Bronze Star. By 1950, he was back with his old college colleagues, Enders and Weller, doing the experiments which led to their Nobel Prize — and a vaccine for polio.

John F. Enders
Medicine or Physiology 1954
Application of tissue-culture methods in developing a polio virus, the ingredient of the polio vaccine (with F.C. Robbins and T.H. Weller)

Without Enders’ subtle triumph of learning how to grow a virus, the more celebrated Jonas Salk would have been unable to bring his own work to its powerful conclusion. In addition to his many achievements in human biology, “The Chief,” as Enders was called, was esteemed for his impeccable standards of personal and scientific honesty.

Fritz A. Lipmann
Medicine or Physiology 1953
Identified “coenzyme A” and discovered basic principles in the understanding of proteins

A slow starter and a self-admitted failure at academic politics, Lipmann wandered early in his career from laboratory to laboratory as a researcher. His wife remembers that he “had no position, no prospects, and it did not seem to trouble him.” This lack of obsessive focus is, perhaps, related to his famed ability to see the wider picture, a trait which eventually led to pivotal discoveries about how living organisms function.

Edward M. Purcell
Physics 1952
Discovered the nuclear resonance method that measures magnetic fields in atomic nuclei

Purcell’s work resulted in applications ranging from the making of more accurate medical diagnoses to the mapping of our galaxy by radioastronomers. During World War II, he helped develop advanced microwave radar. Purcell was as devoted to teaching as he was to research, debunking the myth that research scientists make poor teachers. He once called the overhead projector “the greatest invention since chalk.”

Ralph J. Bunche
Peace 1950
Negotiated an armistice in the Middle East

Bunche, the first African-American to be appointed to Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, dedicated his life to issues of race and colonialism, and was a prominent figure in the early civil rights movement. His studies on race relations in the United States and colonialism in Africa brought him to the United Nations, where he was appointed to negotiate a cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Upon hearing that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Middle East, he respectfully declined the honor, claiming that he did not work in the UN Secretariat to win prizes; he was only doing his job. The Nobel committee gave it to him anyway, however, stating it was “for the good of the United Nations.”

Henry J. Cadbury
Peace 1947
Chairman, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) of Philadelphia

Cadbury, AM ’04, Ph.D. ’14, was the Hollis Professor of Divinity and director of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library. A humanitarian, pacifist, biblical scholar, and prolific writer, Cadbury proposed the formation of the American Friends Service Committee – a Quaker relief organization – in order to spearhead relief activities in Europe after World War I. Under Cadbury’s leadership, the AFSC became involved with black schools in the South, in settlement houses, and in depressed areas of Appalachia. In 1931, at the request of President Herbert Hoover, the Service Committee fed children of coal miners. A pacifist organization, the AFSC was organized to offer Quakers and young conscientious objectors “a service of love in wartime.”

Percy W. Bridgman
Physics 1946
Investigations in changes that occur when various materials are subjected to extremely high pressure

The quintessential Harvard man, Bridgman, born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1882, received three degrees from the University and remained to teach with brilliance, intensity, and dedication. His discoveries made possible the artificial production of diamonds and other mineral forms, and his The Physics of High Pressure (1931) remains the outstanding work in the field.

William P. Murphy
Medicine or Physiology 1934
Research on liver treatment of the anemias (with George Minot)

The cure for pernicious anemia, George Minot suspected, was – simply – a diet of liver. He enlisted Murphy, then a resident at Boston’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, to conduct a survey of anemia patients. Murphy was hard-pressed at first to persuade his subjects to eat the potential remedy. The seemingly miraculous recovery of those who did, however, convinced the more squeamish. Soon, a palatable extract was developed, based on the team’s work.

George Minot
Medicine or Physiology 1934
Research on liver treatment of the anemias (with William P. Murphy)

The scion of a Boston Brahmin family, the at-first unambitious Minot eventually became a pioneer in the field of hematology, the study of blood. While researching the deadly blood disease known as pernicious anemia, Minot himself was stricken by diabetes. It was the discovery of insulin in 1921 that allowed him to continue his research, which ultimately led to his own discovery of the cure for pernicious anemia.

T.W. Richards
Chemistry 1914
Research on fixing the atomic weights of chemical elements

Educated at home by his mother, a poet unimpressed by the local public schools, Richards started attending lectures at the University of Pennsylvania when he was 13. At 17 he graduated from college at the head of his class. He became interested in atomic weights (weights of the elements) as a graduate student at Harvard, and eventually discovered and corrected crucial and misleading errors in earlier calculations.


Notable Graduates

Ashley Judd (Kennedy School) 2010
After establishing a strong career as an actor, Ashley Judd chose to go back to school to get a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She has been an active humanitarian working with Population Services International and YouthAIDS and traveling around the world to work with these causes.

Elisabeth Shue AB 2000
Although she took a break from her studies to pursue her acting career, during which time she earned an Academy Award nomination, Shue returned to finish her degree in 2000 after working on a documentary about education with her husband.

Rashida Jones AB 1997
An actor at Harvard who performed numerous times in Loeb Theatre, Rashida also echoed her father Quincy’s musical talents. She wrote scores for the Hasty Pudding Club, including one for their “Man of the Year” award production her senior year.

Montana Miller AB 1996
Author, mime, daredevil, Miller went from the flying trapeze to the Crimson diving team to Acapulco, Mexico, where she was among the first women to dive from the jagged cliffs into the wild Pacific.

Barack Obama JD 1991
Before becoming president of the U.S., Obama served as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. First lady Michelle Obama JD ’88 also attended HLS, although the couple met when Obama returned to Chicago after graduation.

Mira Sorvino AB 1989
The Oscar-winning actress majored in Chinese while at Harvard and lived in Beijing for a year before deciding to focus all her energy on acting.

Amy Brenneman AB 1987
A comparative religion concentrator, Amy was also focused on theater, founding the Cornerstone Theatre Company as an undergrad. She came back to campus in 2011 to create and direct the piece “Mouth Wide Open,” performed at the Loeb Drama Center in May 2011.

Shaun Donovan AB 1987, MAR 1995, MPA 1995
An alumnus of the College, the Kennedy School and the Graduate School of Design, Donovan is U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. All of his Harvard experiences informed his path—at the College he volunteered at a homeless shelter, at the GSD he resolved to design affordable housing, and at HKS he came to understand the complexity of housing development.

Arne Duncan AB 1986
Despite his many duties as Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan still finds time for his alma mater. In addition to being active as an alumni interviewer and serving on other Harvard Alumni Association committees, he was voted by his classmates in the HAA to be Chief Marshal for the 2011 Harvard Commencement.

Lisa Henson AB 1982
The Columbia Pictures president was also the first woman president of the Harvard Lampoon. She put together a Newsweek parody whose cover story was “Nuclear Arms and Terrific Legs.”

Mira Nair AB 1979
An Indian director creating both documentary films and fictional works, Nair returned to Harvard in 2003 to receive the Harvard Arts Medal. She spoke to a packed Sanders Theatre and answered questions posed by fellow alumnus John Lithgow about her life and work, and why she does what she does.

Yo-Yo Ma AB 1976
In addition to his 1976 AB, the internationally acclaimed cellist won an honorary doctorate in music from Harvard in 1991. He returned in 1993 for a benefit concert to help Phillips Brooks House and The Family Center Inc.

George W. Bush, MBA 1975
The U.S. president earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale (like his father before him), but later came to Harvard to acquire business savvy.

Ben S. Bernanke AB 1975
Returning to give the 2008 Class Day Address, the chairman of the Federal Reserve reflected on his time at Harvard. He noted the differences between 1975 and 2008. For example, his class had invited a comedian, and the class of 2008 invited an economist. He admitted he was less funny.

Benazir Bhutto AB 1973
Pakistan’s first female prime minister, known as “Pinky” while at Harvard, was one of the first women to live in Eliot House.

Tommy Lee Jones AB 1969
The Academy Award-winning hunter of fugitives roomed with Al Gore, graduated cum laude, and said he’s grateful to Harvard for “cultivating my conscience.” Jones narrated the admissions video “Harvard: There is no place like it.”

Al Gore AB 1969
The former vice president was a politician even at Harvard: a government concentrator, Freshman Council chairman, and a member of the Harvard Undergraduate Council and Young Democrats. In 2008, the Nobel Peace Prize winning laureate addressed a crowd of 15,000 at Harvard about the important role of sustainability at universities.

John Lithgow AB 1967
While at Harvard, John Lithgow may have been easier to find on the stage than anywhere else. He participated in everything from opera to ballet to directing. Lithgow returned in May 2011 to help create and perform at Arts First.

Stockard Channing AB 1965
The Oscar-nominated actress was a history and literature concentrator who first developed an interest in acting while at Radcliffe.

Michael Crichton AB 1964, MD 1969
The best-selling science fiction author isn’t making it all up. The Jurassic Park creator’s scientific background includes an M.D. earned at Harvard Medical School.

Ellen Holtz Goodman AB 1963
The newspaper columnist said her class was caught between the 1950s and the rebellious ’60s. “The Radcliffe women didn’t have many role models for the lives we have lived. Now, I guess we have become them.”

Elizabeth Dole MAT 1960, JD 1965
The U.S. senator worked in the Law School’s Langdell Library before applying for admission. She was a leader of the International Law Club during 1964-65.

Ralph Nader LLB 1958
The consumer rights crusader began campaigning against the auto industry after seeing an accident on the way to Harvard Law School in 1955. He wrote a paper on unsafe automobile design and then an article for the Harvard Law Review.

Edward M. Kennedy AB 1954
Beloved in Massachusetts as a devoted senator who worked on health care and many other causes, Ted Kennedy received praise as an undergrad for a very different reason. In the 1955 Harvard- Yale football game, he caught the Crimson’s only touchdown!

John Updike AB 1954
The prize-winning author was already prolific in college, writing most of each issue of the Lampoon, of which he was president. The yearbook sums up: “Not all the issues were bad.” In 2009, Harvard acquired a massive trove of Updike’s papers.

Fred Gwynne AB 1951
The future star of television’s The Munsters acted up at Harvard too, starring in the Hasty Pudding’s production ofBuddha Knows Best and working at the Lampoon, where he was known as “the funniest man in college.”

William Rehnquist AM 1950
Armed with degrees from Harvard and Stanford, the future chief justice drove through a snowstorm from Wisconsin to D.C. in a Studebaker to clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson and get his first taste of Supreme Court life in 1952.

Robert Coles AB 1950
The psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize winner had varied interests while at Harvard, including playing House tennis, participating in Circle Français, and going on excursions with the Outing Club.

George Plimpton AB 1948
Although George Plimpton is known for his sports writing, books, and his role as the first editor in chief of the Paris Review, his writing career goes back to his college days. As an undergrad at Harvard, he was one of many talented writers to grace the pages of the Harvard Lampoon.

Jack Lemmon AB 1947
Two-time Academy Award winner Lemmon was a war service sciences concentrator who was also vice president of the Dramatic Club in 1944, having starred in The Playboy of the Western World.

Norman Mailer AB1943
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author actually concentrated in engineering sciences while at Harvard. His literary interests were well-represented, however, in his activities as a member of the Advocate‘s literary board.

Philip Johnson AB 1930 GSD 1943
Despite his influence as an architect and the many buildings Johnson designed throughout his career, he did not study architecture when he attended Harvard. His initial studies were in classics and philosophy, and he returned to receive his Bachelor of Architecture ten years later.

Ben Bradlee AB 1943
The editor who oversaw the Washington Post‘s Watergate coverage worked at The Crimson while at Harvard, but also found time for baseball, squash, and hockey.

Leonard Bernstein AB 1939
Bernstein’s life at Harvard was as full of music as his life after. The famed conductor and composer was a member of the Musical Club, musical editor of the Advocate, and an accompanist with the Glee Club. In 2009, a ‘symbiotic’ web archive about Bernstein’s Boston roots was launched.

David Rockefeller AB 1936
Before embarking on a career in which he eventually became chief executive officer of Chase Manhattan Bank, Rockefeller dabbled in journalism as a member of The Crimson board — the Business Board, of course.

William S. Burroughs AB 1936
Despite the fact that William S. Burroughs graduated from Harvard College 75 years ago, he can still be found in classrooms and dorm rooms around campus. Many of this alumnus’ literary works are found in syllabi for a range of courses within the English department.

Archibald Cox AB 1934
The special prosecutor who frightened the elite of the Republican Party during the Watergate investigations was a fierce competitor on the squash court as an undergraduate.

E. E. Cummings AB 1915
Poet and author E.E. Cummings, whose writing was notoriously ambivalent towards Cambridge, grew up on the Harvard campus as the son of a professor in the early department of sociology. While a student at the College, Cummings helped found the Harvard Monthly literary magazine and was a member of the Harvard Poetry Society.

T.S. Eliot AB 1910
The great modernist poet and critic began his writing career as a Harvard undergraduate, publishing his first poems in the Advocate, which he later edited. Surprisingly, Eliot was on academic probation during his Harvard tenure.

Helen Keller AB 1904 (Radcliffe)
Author and activist Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, which she received from Radcliffe College. She began her writing career as student here, when she lived in South House now known as Cabot House. Keller was awarded the first honorary doctorate from Harvard, which she received in 1955.

Franklin D. Roosevelt AB 1903
As an undergrad, the future president was Editor-in-Chief of The Crimson and lived in Adams House, while his cousin Theodore Roosevelt AB1880 was inaugurated president of the U.S. Long after graduation, Roosevelt maintained a deep connection to his classmates—he hosted a reception for them at the White House when he could not attend his thirtieth year class reunion.

W.E.B. Du Bois AB 1890, AM 1891, PhD 1895
The NAACP founder was a member of Harvard’s Philosophical Club as an undergraduate and said of his student days, “I was in Harvard, but not of it.”

Theodore Roosevelt AB 1880
Despite Teddy’s many activities as an undergrad, his interest in nature stood out. He was not only part of the Natural History club, but also kept a small zoo with lobsters, snakes, and a tortoise in his room! This passion was echoed later in his development of the national parks system.

Oliver Wendell Holmes AB 1861, LLB 1866
Before he was Supreme Court Justice, Holmes was Class Poet. He wrote the poem after joining the army and delivered it during Harvard College’s Class Day in 1861.

Henry James AB 1863
The brilliant authority on the laws of human nature had little interest in torts and misdemeanors during his 1862-63 stay at Harvard Law School, but did kick off his writing career with magazine contributions.

Ralph Waldo Emerson AB 1821
Known as “Waldo”, Emerson entered Harvard College at the tender age of 14. An average student, he worked throughout his Harvard education, taking on jobs such as the messenger for then-University President John Thornton Kirkland. He also served as class poet and read an original poem at Class Day a month before graduation.

John Quincy Adams AB 1787, AM 1790
Of this future president’s many accomplishments at Harvard, such as graduating second out of 54 students, being a member of Phi Beta Kappa honors society, and later becoming the first president of the Harvard Alumni Association, one is often overlooked. He was also a flutist in the college band!

Charles Bulfinch AB 1781
Although this acclaimed architect graduated long before any of the College’s living alumni were born, everyone walking around campus still feels his presence. The designer of the unmistakable University Hall, and first to create an image of “Harvard Yard,” his architectural impact is hard to avoid.

John Adams AB 1755, AM 1758
The first graduate of Harvard to become President of the United States, John Adams was surprisingly nervous to apply. However, once he began as an undergrad, he loved studying so much he claimed to have “read forever,” ignoring sports and even “the Society of the Ladies.”

John Hancock AB 1754
Before signing his now famous signature to the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock had plenty of practice writing letters home from Harvard College. He would often write home to his sister, sometimes playfully nagging her to write him back.


Pulitzer Prize Winners

The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for outstanding contributions to American journalism, letters, and music. Since 1919, Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded numerous times to Harvard faculty members — and some professors have won multiple times.

Caroline Elkins 2006 Nonfiction
Geraldine Brooks 2006 Fiction
Samantha Power 2003 Nonfiction
Jorie Graham* 1996 Poetry
Bert Hölldobler 1991 Nonfiction
Edward O. Wilson 1991 Nonfiction
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich* 1991 History
David Donald 1988 Biography
Bernard Bailyn 1987 History
Thomas K. McCraw 1985 History
Bernard Rands* 1984 Music
Paul E. Starr 1984 Nonfiction
Edward O. Wilson 1979 Nonfiction
Walter Jackson Bate 1978 Biography
Alfred Chandler Jr. 1978 History
John E. Mack 1977 Biography
Donald Martino* 1974 Music
Robert Coles 1973 Nonfiction
Mario Davidosky* 1971 Music
Bernard Bailyn 1968 History
George F. Kennan 1968 Biography
Leon Kirchner 1967 Music
Bernard Malamud 1967 Fiction
Perry Miller*** 1966 History
Howard Mumford Jones 1965 Nonfiction
Walter Jackson Bate 1964 Biography
David Donald* 1961 Biography
Walter Piston 1961 Music
Samuel Eliot Morison** 1960 Biography
Archibald MacLeish 1959 Drama
Archibald MacLeish 1953 Poetry
Oscar Handlin 1952 History
Walter Piston 1948 Music
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. 1946 History
Robert Frost 1943 Poetry
Samuel Eliot Morison 1943 Biography
Paul Herman Buck 1938 History
Ralph Barton Perry 1936 Biography
Robert Hillyer 1934 Poetry
Archibald MacLeish* 1933 Poetry
Frederick J. Turner 1933 History
Edward Channing 1926 History
Harvey Cushing 1926 Biography
Mark A. DeWolfe Howe 1925 Biography
Charles McIlwain 1924 History
Henry Adams 1919 Biography

* Prize awarded before appointment to the faculty.
** Prize awarded after retirement from the faculty. 
*** Prize awarded posthumously.


Harvard University Professorships

The University Professorships, first created by the President and Fellows in 1935, are chairs intended for “individuals of distinction … working on the frontiers of knowledge, and in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties.”

Christoph Wolff, Adams University Professor

Stanley Hoffmann, Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor

Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor

Stephen Owen, James Bryant Conant University Professor

Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Marc W. Kirschner, John Franklin Enders University Professor

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor

George M. Whitesides, Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor

Barry C. Mazur, Gerhard Gade University Professor

William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor

Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor

Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor

Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor

Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor

Rebecca M. Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor

Dale W. Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris University Professor

Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor

Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor

Helen Vendler, A. Kingsley Porter University Professor

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Three Hundredth Anniversary University Professor

Irwin Shapiro, Timken University Professorship

Frank Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor

Gary King, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor

Douglas A. Melton, Xander University Professor Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Student Life.

Harvard University has around 20,000 students across the College, graduate, and professional schools located in Cambridge and Boston. When people refer to Harvard students, often they mean the subset of roughly 6,400 students who attend Harvard College. Students arrive every year in late August.

Harvard College’s diverse student population makes it hard to describe the typical student and even harder to describe the quintessential Harvard student experience. Students come from all 50 states and from over 80 countries; from cities, suburbs, small towns and farms; from public, private and parochial schools; from every ethnic and religious background; and from across the economic spectrum. Based on longstanding tradition and an extensive financial aid program, Harvard is committed to making educational opportunity accessible to all, with over 60% of the undergraduate population receiving financial aid.

With over 400 official student organizations including extra-curriculars, co-curricular and athletic opportunities in addition to academics, Harvard students are active around and beyond campus. Whether in Harvard Stadium playing on the field or cheering on The Harvard Crimson, volunteering through organizations like PBHA, researching in one of the many labs, writing or editing at The Harvard Crimson or The Harvard Lampoon, Harvard students are continuously learning — and constantly busy!

Demographics for the class of 2015:

  • 16% are from New England
  • 22% are from the Mid Atlantic
  • 18% are from the South
  • 11% are from the Midwest
  • 17% are from the Pacific
  • 4% are from the Mountain states
  • 12% are international

Harvard College is committed to making a college education affordable for all admitted students. Learn more about Harvard College financial aid programs.


The housing system at Harvard is designed to create a full collegiate experience for all four years of undergraduate education. As freshmen, students live in one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, a prime location, and eat in the historic and picturesque Annenberg dining hall.

After their first year at Harvard, students are placed into one of the 12 houses on campus and continue to live there for the remainder of their residential life at Harvard. Over ninety-seven percent of Harvard undergrads choose to live on campus for all four years, creating a strong campus community and undergraduate experience.

Each house has a resident master and a staff of tutors, and includes a dining hall, common areas, and recreational and cultural spaces that help give them each a distinct character. Many even field their own intramural sports teams or theater ensembles. The houses themselves also have unique histories and traditions that bring the students together and help to foster the close and long-lasting ties amongst the residents of each house. Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Frequently Asked Questions




> Harvard University. Academic Experience.

With an enduring dedication to the pursuit of excellence, Harvard University offers unparalleled student experiences across a broad spectrum of academic environments.

Please note that not all academic units at Harvard University maintain websites. The most current information about many academic programs of study at the University will be found on the website of the school.



Accounting and Management (Business)
African Studies (FAS)
African and African American Studies (FAS)
Anthropology (FAS)
Applied Mathematics (FAS)
Architecture (Design)
Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Planning (Design)
Arts in Education (Education)
Astronomy (FAS)


Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (Med School)
Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine (GSAS)
Biological Sciences in Public Health (GSAS)
Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (SEAS)
Biophysics (FAS)
Biostatistics (Public Health)
Business Economics (Business)
Business, Government and the International Economy (Business)
Byzantine Studies (GSAS)


Cell Biology (Med School)
Chemical Physics (GSAS)
Chemistry and Chemical Biology (FAS)
Classics (FAS)
Comparative Literature (GSAS)
Computer Science (SEAS)
Core Program (FAS)


Division of Continuing Education (Continuing Ed)
Division of Medical Sciences (FAS)


Earth and Planetary Sciences (FAS)
East Asian Languages and Civilizations (FAS)
Economics (FAS)
Education Policy and Management (Education)
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEAS)
Engineering Sciences (SEAS)
English and American Literature and Language (FAS)
Entrepreneurial Management (Business)
Environment, Harvard University Center for
Environmental Health (Public Health)
Environmental Science and Public Policy (FAS)
Environmental Sciences and Engineering (SEAS)
Epidemiology (Public Health)
Expository Writing Program (FAS)


Finance (Business)
Folklore and Mythology (FAS)
Forestry (FAS)
Freshman Seminar Program (FAS)


General Management (Business)
Genetics (Med School)
Genetics and Complex Diseases (Public Health)
Germanic Languages and Literatures (FAS)
Government (FAS)


Harvard University Native American Program
Health Care Policy (Med School)
Health Policy and Management (Public Health)
Health Policy, PhD Program in (FAS)
Higher Education (Education)
History and East Asian Languages (FAS)
History and Literature (FAS)
History (FAS)
History of American Civilization (FAS)
History of Art and Architecture (FAS)
History of Science (FAS)
Human Development and Psychology (Education)

I, J, K

Immunology and Infectious Diseases (Public Health)
Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (FAS)
International Development (Government)
International Education Policy (Education)


Landscape Architecture (Design)
Language and Literacy (Education)
Learning and Teaching (Education)
Linguistics (FAS)
Literature (FAS)


Marketing (Business)
Mathematics (FAS)
Medieval Studies Committee (FAS)
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (Med School)
Middle Eastern Studies (GSAS)
Mind, Brain, and Behavior (FAS)
Mind, Brain, and Education (Education)
Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative
Molecular and Cellular Biology (FAS)
Music (FAS)


Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets (Business)
Neurobiology (Med School)
Nutrition (Public Health)


Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity, Department of (Dental)
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (FAS)
Organizational Behavior (Business)

P, Q

Pathology (Med School)
Pediatric Dentistry (Dental)
Philosophy (FAS)
Physics (FAS)
Political Economy and Government (Government)
Population and International Health (Public Health)
Programs in Professional Education (Education)
Psychology (FAS)
Public Administration in International Development (Government)
Public Administration (Mid-Career Master) (Government)
Public Administration (Two-Year Program) (Government)
Public Policy (GSAS)
Public Policy (Government)
Public Policy and Urban Planning (Government)


Regional Studies: East Asia (FAS)
Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (FAS)
Religion, Committee on the Study of (FAS)
Risk and Prevention (Education)
Romance Languages and Literatures (FAS)


Sanskrit and Indian Studies (FAS)
School Leadership (Education)
Slavic Languages and Literatures (FAS)
Social Medicine, Division of (Med School)
Social Policy (GSAS)
Social Policy (Government)
Social Studies (FAS)
Society, Human Development, and Health (Public Health)
Sociology (FAS)
Statistics (FAS)
Strategy (Business)

T, U, V

Teacher Education Program (Education)
Technology in Education (Education)
Technology and Operations Management (Business)
Urban Planning and Design (Design)
Visual and Environmental Studies (FAS)

W, X, Y, Z

Women, Gender, and Sexuality (FAS)
Women’s Studies in Religion (Divinity) Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Maps & Directions.

Please see the Harvard University map or the Longwood Medical Area map for detailed campus information.

Athletic Facilities



Harvard College
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Business School
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Graduate School of Design
Divinity School
Graduate School of Education
Kennedy School of Government
Harvard Law School
School of Public Health
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study


Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Cambridge Hospital
Children’s Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Joslin Diabetes Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Harvard University Health Services


Quad Library
more libraries


Loeb Drama Center
Sanders Theatre


Arnold Arboretum
Harvard Forest
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Harvard University Art Museums
Peabody Museum


Malkin Athletic Center
Rugby Pitch
Jordan Field


David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
Dumbarton Oaks
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Personnel Services
Harvard Faculty Club
Harvard Film Archive
Harvard Herbaria
Harvard Hillel
Health Care Policy Dept. (Med School)
Office of Technology and Trademark Licensing
Ukrainian Research Institute




Harvard University Telephone and Address Directory
Harvard Medical School White Pages


Departmental Listings


Research Program Web Sites
An Index of Harvard University Web Sites A-L
An Index of Harvard University Web Sites M-Z


University Officers and Deans
Administrative Web Sites
An Index of Harvard University Web Sites A-L
An Index of Harvard University Web Sites M-Z Harvard University Logo

> Harvard University. Harvard’s President & Leadership.

Harvard’s leadership is responsible for the strategic vision for the University.

President Drew Gilpin Faust leads Harvard, and is the 28th President of the University. President Faust is the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Office of the Provost, led by Provost Alan M. Garber, fosters collaboration across the University and manages changes in policies and practices that affect the academic life of the university as a whole. The Schools are led by officers and deans, who are responsible for Harvard’s academic programs and curricula.

The oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere, the Harvard Corporation – known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College – is the University’s executive board. It is the smaller of Harvard’s two governing boards; the other is the Board of Overseers. The Board of Overseers is elected by graduates of Harvard and Radcliffe. Through its Standing and Visiting Committees, the Board is informed about educational policies and practices of the University and provides advice to, and approves important actions of, the Corporation. Both the Corporation and Overseers must approve major teaching and administrative appointments.


> Officers & Deans


Drew Faust
President, Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138


Michael D. Smith
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
University Hall 5
Cambridge, MA 02138

Allan M. Brandt
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
University Hall 18
Cambridge, MA 02138

Nitin Nohria
Dean, Harvard Business School
Morgan Hall 339
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163

Evelynn Hammonds
Dean, Harvard College
University Hall 4
Cambridge, MA 02138

Michael Shinagel
Dean, Continuing Education and University Extension
51 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

R. Bruce Donoff
Dean, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
188 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115

Mohsen Mostafavi
Dean, Graduate School of Design
Gund 301
Cambridge, MA 02138

William A. Graham
Dean, Harvard Divinity School
Andover 200
45 Francis Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Kathleen McCartney
Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Longfellow 101
Cambridge, MA 02138

Cherry A. Murray
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Pierce 217a
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

David T. Ellwood
Dean, Kennedy School of Government
79 J.F. Kennedy St., L220
Cambridge, MA 02138

Martha Minow
Dean, Harvard Law School
Griswold 200
Cambridge, MA 02138

Jeffrey S. Flier
Dean, Harvard Medical School
Building A-111
25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115

Julio Frenk
Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115-5819

Lizabeth Cohen
Interim Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Fay House
10 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138


Alan Garber
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138


James Rothenberg
Treasurer, Harvard University
Loeb House
17 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138


Katherine N. Lapp
Executive Vice President
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Lisa Hogarty
Vice President for Campus Services
Harvard University
Holyoke Center
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tamara Rogers
Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Dan Shore
Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mark R. Johnson
Vice President for Planning and Project Management
Harvard University
Holyoke Center
Cambridge, MA 02138

Marc Goodheart
Vice President, Secretary of the University,
Secretary to the Corporation, Assistant to the President; Secretary of the Board of Overseers
Harvard University
Loeb House
Cambridge, MA 02138

Robert Iuliano
Vice President and General Counsel
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Christine Heenan
Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Marilyn Hausammann
Vice President for Human Resources
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

A. Clayton Spencer
Vice President for Policy
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Anne Margulies
Vice President for Harvard Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Harvard University
Holyoke Center
Cambridge, MA 02138


> President and Fellows (Harvard Corporation)

The oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere is the Harvard Corporation, known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College. It is the smaller of Harvard’s two governing boards; the other is the Board of Overseers. Following are the members of the Harvard Corporation.

Drew G. Faust, President
BA ’68, Bryn Mawr
MA ’71, PhD ’74. U. Pennsylvania

Drew Gilpin Faust took office as Harvard’s 28th president on July 1, 2007. A historian of the Civil War and the American South, she is also the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Previously she served as founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a post she took up on Jan. 1, 2001. For more, please see Office of the President.

Lawrence S. Bacow
SB ’72, MIT
JD, MPP ’76, PhD ’78, Harvard

Please see article Three to Join Harvard Corporation.

Susan L. Graham
AB ’64, Harvard
MS ’66, PhD ’71, Stanford

Please see article Three to Join Harvard Corporation.

Nannerl O. Keohane
BA ’61, Wellesley
BA, MA ’63, Oxford
PhD ’67, Yale
LLD (hon.) ’93, Harvard

Past president of Duke University and of Wellesley College, Nan Keohane currently serves as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton. A political theorist with interests in leadership and inequality, she taught earlier in her career at Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University, where she chaired the faculty senate. Her publications include Thinking about Leadership (2010), Higher Ground: Ethics and Leadership in the Modern University (2006), and Philosophy and the State in France (1980), as well as essays on feminism, the history of political thought, and higher education. She joined the Harvard Corporation in July 2005, and she chairs the University’s Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees. She also chairs the board of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and is vice chair of the board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Patricia A. King
BA ’63, Wheaton
JD ’69, Harvard

Pat King is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics and Public Policy at Georgetown Law Center. She joined the Georgetown law faculty in 1974 and has also served since 1990 as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her scholarship and teaching range across the fields of law, medicine, ethics, and public policy, with a focus on ethical questions in biomedical science. Elected to both the Institute of Medicine and the American Law Institute, she is a member and past chair of the board of trustees of her undergraduate alma mater, Wheaton College (Mass.), past vice chair of the boards of both the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, and a director of Mathematica Policy Research. She was elected to the Harvard Corporation in 2006.

William F. Lee
AB ’72, Harvard
MBA ’76, Cornell
JD ’76, Cornell

A Boston-based intellectual property expert, Bill Lee is co-managing partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, a law firm with some 1,000 lawyers and twelve offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has taught intellectual property litigation at Harvard Law School, as well as the innovative problem-solving workshop that HLS introduced in January 2010. His numerous trials have focused on such diverse matters as laser optics, secure Internet communications, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and genetically engineered food. A member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers from 2002 to 2008, he was chair of the board’s committee on finance, administration, and management and a member of the Joint Committee on Inspection. Active in public service, he has served on numerous advisory committees to federal and state courts.

Joseph J. O’Donnell
AB ’67, MBA ’71, Harvard

Please see article Three to Join Harvard Corporation.

Robert D. Reischauer
AB ’63, Harvard
MIA ’66, Columbia
PhD ’71, Columbia

Bob Reischauer has served since 2000 as president of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization in Washington, DC. From 1989 to 1995, he was director of the Congressional Budget Office. Before and after his tenure as CBO director, he was a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program of the Brookings Institution. A member of the Institute of Medicine, he is a recognized policy expert on the federal budget, Medicare, Social Security, poverty, and welfare, and is past vice chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. He served a six-year term on Harvard’s Board of Overseers before joining the Harvard Corporation in 2002. Chair of the Joint Committee on Inspection, he became the Corporation’s senior fellow on July 1, 2010.

James F. Rothenberg
AB ’68, Harvard
MBA ’70, Harvard

Jim Rothenberg is chairman, principal executive officer, and director of Capital Research and Management Company, a leading investment management firm based in Los Angeles, affiliated with the American Funds family of mutual funds. As Harvard’s Treasurer since 2004, he serves both as a member of the Harvard Corporation and as an ex officio member of the University’s Board of Overseers. He also chairs the board of directors of Harvard Management Company. Active in an array of educational, civic, and community pursuits in the Los Angeles area, he serves on the boards of the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Memorial Hospital, and is a member and past chair of the board of public television station KCET.

Robert E. Rubin
AB ’60, Harvard
LLB ’64, Yale
LLD (hon.) ’01, Harvard

Former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Bob Rubin is the co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. He joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1966 and rose to become the firm’s co-senior partner and co-chairman from 1990 to 1992. From 1993 to 1995 he served in the federal government as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the first Director of the National Economic Council. He was then the nation’s 70th Treasury Secretary from 1995 to 1999. After leaving government, Mr. Rubin served as a member of the board of directors at Citigroup and as a senior advisor to the company from 1999 to 2009. He chairs the board of the community development organization known as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and is co-founder of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. He also serves on the board of trustees of Mount Sinai Medical Center.


> Board of Overseers

The Board of Overseers is elected by graduates of Harvard and Radcliffe. Through its Standing and Visiting Committees, the Board is informed about educational policies and practices of the University and provides advice to, and approves important actions of, the Corporation. Both the Corporation and Overseers must approve major teaching and administrative appointments. Following are the members of the University’s Board of Overseers, with their terms of service shown in parentheses.

Flavia B. de Almeida (2011-2017)
São Paulo, Brazil
Partner, The Monitor Group

Photeine Anagnostopoulos (2009-2015)
New York, NY
Chief Executive for Finance and Administrative Operations, Newark Public School District

Joshua Boger (2009-2012)
Concord, MA
Founder and CEO (retired), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Lynn Wan-Hsin Chang (2008-2014)
Newton, MA
Concert violinist, violin professor

Morgan Chu (2009-2015)
Los Angeles, CA
Partner, Irell & Manella LLP

Walter Clair (2009-2015)
Nashville, TN
Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Ronald Cohen (2007-2013)
London, England
Chairman, The Portland Trust and Bridges Ventures, and Director of Social Finance Inc.

Cheryl Dorsey (2010-2016)
New York, NY
President, Echoing Green

Sandra M. Faber (2006-2012)
Santa Cruz, CA
University Professor and Astronomer, University of California Observatories,
and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Anne Fadiman (2008-2014)
New Haven, CT
Author; Francis Writer-in-Residence, Yale University

Leila Fawaz (2006-2012)
Medford, MA
Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies and Director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Professor of History, and Professor of Diplomacy in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Paul J. Finnegan (2008-2014)
Chicago, IL
Co-CEO, Madison Dearborn Partners

Lucy Fisher (2007-2013)
Culver City, CA
Film Producer and Co-Head, Red Wagon Entertainment

Richard W. Fisher (2011-2017)
Dallas, TX
President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Verna C. Gibbs (2011-2017)
San Francisco, CA
Professor of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco; Director, NoThing Left Behind

Linda Greenhouse (2009-2015)
New Haven, CT
Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence and
Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale University

Eve J. Higginbotham (2008-2014)
Washington, DC
Visiting Scholar for Health Equity, Association of American Medical Colleges

Walter Isaacson (2010-2016)
Washington, DC
President and CEO, The Aspen Institute

Nicholas D. Kristof (2010-2016)
New York, NY
Columnist, The New York Times

Richard A. Meserve (2007-2013)
Washington, DC
President, Carnegie Institution for Science

Karen Nelson Moore (2010-2016)
Cleveland, OH
U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Diana Nelson (2010-2016)
San Francisco, CA
Director, Carlson Companies

David W. Oxtoby (2008-2014)
Claremont, CA
President and Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College

Nicole M. Parent (2011-2017)
Greenwich, CT
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Vertical Research Partners, LLC

Emily Rauh Pulitzer (2006-2012)
St. Louis, MO
Founder and Chair, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Cristián Samper (2009-2015)
Washington, DC
Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Richard R. Schrock (2007-2013)
Cambridge, MA
Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry, MIT

Robert N. Shapiro (2006-2012)
Boston, MA
Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP

Stephanie D. Wilson (2007-2013)
Houston, TX
Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kenji Yoshino (2011-2017)
New York, NY
Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law

Drew Gilpin Faust
President, Harvard University

Ex officio

James F. Rothenberg
Treasurer, Harvard University

Ex officio


*  The above information is adapted from materials provided by Harvard University

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