Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

March-April 2003

On Diversity

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments this spring on the University of Michigan's race-conscious admissions policies, Harvard will file a brief supporting the right of higher-education institutions to consider race as a factor in a well-constructed admissions program. Justice Lewis Powell famously cited the College's policies in his opinion in the landmark 1978 Bakke case, which outlawed admissions quotas or numerical set-asides, but upheld the consideration of race as one factor in making admissions decisions, so long as that practice was necessary to promote a substantial interest and treated applicants as individuals. Briefs favoring Michigan's position were due by February 18, after this issue went to press.

 

A Master's Higher Calling

The College's longest-serving House master and co-master have announced their intention to step down at the end of the academic year. William A. Graham and Barbara S. Graham will have completed 12 years in residence at Currier House. He is Albertson professor of Middle Eastern studies and professor of the history of religion; she is the Harvard University Library's associate director for administration and programs. Those responsibilities did not limit their service to the House, the Grahams wrote in a January e-mail to the House community, but William Graham's appointment as dean of Harvard Divinity School last August (see "Rethinking the Divinity School," November-December 2002, page 61) made it necessary for Currier to have new leadership.

MASTER OF LINE

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Image courtesy of the Harvard Theatre Collection

Artist Al Hirschfeld died in his sleep in January at the age of 99, having continued to produce his drawings for the New York Times until two weeks before his death. The Harvard Theatre Collection has a deep and representative gathering of his works to remember him by (see "Hirschfeld Center Stage," May-June 1998, page 91). The collection includes nearly 200 originals and many prints, almost all the gift of Melvin R. Seiden '52, LL.B. '55. Among the originals, on posterboard measuring 27 by 21 inches, is this deft and economical rendering of actor and former Harvard Overseer John Lithgow '67, made in 1988 when Lithgow appeared at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York as René Gallimard in David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly. A big exhibition of Harvard's Hirschfelds appeared at the Morgan Library in New York last summer, and about 50 drawings may be seen this summer at San Antonio's McNay Museum.  

Another Quad Couple

The Grahams' announcement was followed by the late-January news from Cabot House, also in the Radcliffe Quadrangle, that master James H. Ware and co-master Janice Ware will decamp, too, after seven years of service. Both emphasized their research commitments: she is instructor in psychology at Children's Hospital, he is the School of Public Health's dean for academic affairs and Mosteller professor of biostatistics. The Wares emphasized academic experiences in Cabot, initiated student reviews of tutor performance, and presided over the College's most formidable intramural teams (Cabot won the Straus Cup five times and came in second once). Dean of Harvard College Harry R. Lewis has organized searches for the Grahams' and Wares' successors, as he also pursues new Winthrop House leaders: master and co-master Paul D. Hanson and Cynthia Rosenberger having last fall announced their decision to step down.

 

Early Action...and After

Harvard College received 7,620 early-action applications for admission to the class of 2007 by the November 1 deadline, nearly 25 percent more than in the prior year, and a harbinger of things to come. By the time all applications were in, the College had received 20,918—a new record, up from the then-record 19,609 for the class of 2006. But early birds do not necessarily generate more worms: just 1,150 students were granted early admission when notices went out December 13, a slight decrease from the 1,174 early admissions in the prior year. Almost all the remaining early applicants were deferred for consideration in the regular admissions pool.

 

Signal Punishment

Their theft of nearly $100,000 from Hasty Pudding Theatricals (see "Underhanded Undergraduates," May-June 2002, page 59) will apparently cost Suzanne M. Pomey and Randy J. Gomes more than restitution, guilty pleas, and probation. A University official confirms that at the recommendation of the Administrative Board, the Faculty Council approved their dismissal from the College, costing each of these members of the class of 2002 their degrees. The full Faculty of Arts and Sciences was to vote on the punishment at its February 11 meeting, after this issue went to press.

 

Nota Bene

Chief financial officer. Ann Berman is Harvard's new vice president for finance; details will appear in the next issue.

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Ray Halbritter
Harvard Law School Bulletin
Indian academics. The Oneida Nation, represented by Ray Halbritter, J.D. '90, has established the Oneida Indian Nation Professorship of Law, Harvard's first endowed chair in American Indian studies. The new professorship builds on the Law School's recent course offerings on tribal treaties, federal Indian law, and related topics, and adds prominence to the University's Native American Program (see www.ksg.harvard.edu/hunap).

 

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Howard K. Koh
Harvard School of Public Health
Public physician. Howard K. Koh, formerly commissioner of public health for Massachusetts, has joined the School of Public Health as a professor and associate dean responsible for the division of public health practice. He succeeds Deborah Prothrow-Stith, professor of public health practice, who will focus on directing the school's Center for Public Health Preparedness; she also remains associate dean for faculty development.

 

Global and local reach. Harvard's office of government, community, and public affairs has created two new positions overseeing the University's communications with world and local audiences. Vice president Alan J. Stone announced that Lucie McNeil, formerly senior communication adviser to British prime minister Tony Blair, has come to the American Cambridge to shape communications strategies, respond to international news queries, and assist Harvard's leaders with media relations. On the home front, Lauren Marshall has relocated from Columbia University; she will manage communications concerning Harvard's relationship with Boston and Cambridge, as planning and development proposals advance in both cities.

 

College counselors. College assistant dean Karen E. Avery '87, Ed.M. '90, director of the Ann Radcliffe Trust and the contact person for sexual-assault and -harassment issues, is moving to Washington, D.C., with her family. She will be succeeded by Julia G. Fox effective July 1. Fox, who has twice served as acting assistant dean, is a liaison to the Committee to Address Sexual Assault at Harvard, which will report this spring. While assuming Avery's portfolio, Fox remains responsible for transfer and visiting students.

 

Staying put. After publicly considering whether to follow his former colleagues and collaborators K. Anthony Appiah and Cornel West to Princeton, Henry Louis Gates Jr.—Du Bois professor of the humanities and chair of Afro-American studies—said in December that he intends to remain at Harvard, where he hopes to recruit several new faculty members for the department.

 

Gender studies advance. A course guide on gender and sexuality studies—like those on health policy, ethics, and other multidisciplinary subjects—has been approved by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences administration and will be forthcoming this fall; Bradley S. Epps, professor of Romance languages and literatures, and lecturer Heather K. Love have been leading the effort for more recognition of "queer studies" and related scholarship on gender, the family, and associated topics (see "Toward Gender and Sexuality Studies?" May-June 2002, page 57).

 

Gender studies rethought. A much-ballyhooed $12.5-million pledge to the Graduate School of Education (see "Fonda Gift Creates Gender Studies Center," May-June 2001, page 65) has been significantly scaled back, the University announced in January. While Jane Fonda continues to support limited research on a curriculum concerning gender, a separate center and a professorship will not be established, and other funds and pledges will revert to her.

 

Energizing entrepreneurship. Arthur Rock, M.B.A. '51, whose venture investments helped launch companies such as Intel and Apple Computer, has given Harvard Business School $25 million. The funds will support faculty research on entrepreneurship, scholarships, and symposia. South Hall will be renamed the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. The gift brings HBS close to $300 million raised in its $500-millon capital campaign.

 

Brevia-Scorsese Theatrical duo. The Woman and Man of the Year, anointed by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, are Anjelica Huston and Martin Scorsese. Huston won an Oscar in 1985 as best supporting actress for her role in Prizzi's Honor; other films include The Dead, The Grifters, and, recently, The Royal Tenenbaums. Director and producer Scorsese is celebrated for his films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and, currently, for Gangs of New York. The 155th Hasty Pudding production, entitled It's a Wonderful Afterlife, was set to premiere on February 13.
Martin Scorsese
Harvard News Office