Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

March-April 2004

Cellist Celebrated

The tenth annual Harvard Arts Medal will be conferred on internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma '76, D.Mus. '91, during the annual Arts First weekend. The ceremony for Ma is scheduled for Saturday, May 8. His career and burgeoning musical interests, from the classical repertory to his ongoing Silk Road project, were profiled in this magazine's March-April 2000 issue ("Yo-Yo Ma's Journeys," page 42). The article appears on line at www.harvardmagazine.com/issues/ma00/yoyoma.html.

 

Extra! Extra! See all about it!

Now the Crimson can truly be crimson. Taking advantage of new presses, the newspaper debuted color printing on the front page (with interior pages to follow) in the issue of Monday, January 12, which also featured a new design. Readers of the Wall Street Journal may find the look familiar: for its makeover, Cambridge's only breakfast-table daily engaged the consultants who oversaw that newspaper's redesign. Including the new equipment, the Crimson reported, it spent $400,000 on the conversion project — and so joins the ranks of other college newspapers already published in color, including the Yale Daily News and the Stanford Daily.

Paul J. Barriera
McLean Hospital

Minding Mental Health

As a committee examines undergraduate use and abuse of alcohol (see "Aiming at Alcohol," January-February, page 70), a separate Student Mental Health Task Force has also been organized by the University provost, Steven E. Hyman, and Harvard College dean Benedict H. Gross. Drawing on survey and clinical data indicating an upsurge in student mental-health problems during the past decade, the task force will work to educate the community about such issues, to decrease the stigma associated with acknowledging mental or emotional problems, and to facilitate treatment. The group, chaired by Paul J. Barreira, associate professor of psychiatry at McLean Hospital, hopes to speed implementation of recommendations from earlier student and University Health Services studies. It will report by late April.

 

Christopher F. Edley Jr.
Courtesy Christopher F. Edley Jr.

Nota Bene

Westward Ho. Christopher F. Edley Jr., professor of law and cofounder of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard (see "Pushing Civil Rights," September-October 2003, page 82), has been appointed dean of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

 

Borrowing for building. At year-end, the University issued $350 million of commercial paper to fund the new medical and dental research buildings and the renovation of the Business School's Baker Library, continuing a program of borrowing to pay for major capital projects (see "Buildings and Benefits," January-February, page 56).

Crimson pre-college. The Office of the President has created a Crimson Summer Academy, which will admit its first class of 30 financially disadvantaged, academically talented high-school students from Boston and Cambridge this July. Students — nominated by principals, teachers, and counselors after their ninth-grade year — will have four weeks of classes, workshops, and mentoring, and will receive free tuition, meals, and a stipend to replace summer earnings. Those who succeed in 2004 will be invited back for a six-week course in 2005, followed by eight weeks of summer school in 2006 and a $3,000 scholarship toward higher education.

 

Early admits. As expected, the number of "early action" applicants for admission to Harvard College last fall declined sharply, to 3,889 from 7,614 in the prior year, following a decision not to permit simultaneous early applications to other institutions. Among the 906 students offered admission, 51 percent were women — the first time they have outnumbered men.

 

Film fans. An undergraduate honors concentration track in film studies, within the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, has been approved by the Educational Policy Committee and will accept students beginning this fall. The interdisciplinary program will require three introductory courses in cinema history and visual representation and film analysis. In the meantime, in late January the Harvard Film Archive (HFA) was transferred from VES to the Fine Arts Library, and HFA curator Bruce Jenkins (see "Film Archive Goes Silver," January-February, page 57) has left the University.

 

Development developments. After only a year on the job, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) dean for development Beth B. Raffeld resigned as of January 5. Thomas M. Reardon, Harvard's vice president for alumni affairs and development until his retirement last October, will fill in on a temporary basis while FAS recruits a new, permanent development director....Meanwhile, the University's alumni affairs and development organization, even between capital campaigns, remains a large group. To be sure everyone is acquainted, December 15-19 was "nametag week," with all staff asked to wear identifying nametags during business hours.

 

Lewis C. Cantley
Harvard Medical School

Attacking anthrax. Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers led by professor of systems biology Lewis C. Cantley have identified small molecules that inhibit a toxin associated with inhalational anthrax, a key step toward developing a treatment for the disease's deadly effects even after the bacterium itself has been destroyed by antibiotics.

 

Laurie Glimcher
Harvard School of Public Health

Biodefense budget. The School of Public Health has received a $20.5-million biodefense research grant to study immune-system response to pathogens. The lead investigator will be Given professor of immunology Laurie Glimcher.

 

Intra-ivy promotion. Political theorist Amy Gutmann '71, Ph.D. '76, provost and Rockefeller University Professor of politics at Princeton, has been named president of the University of Pennsylvania effective July 1. She succeeds Judith Rodin. Gutmann was reported to be among the candidates seriously considered for the Harvard presidency during the search that culminated with the 2001 selection of Lawrence H. Summers.

 

Groping suspect apprehended. A rash of winter attacks on women around campus may have been stemmed, at least in part, when one victim was able to summon help by cell phone after she was groped on Mount Auburn Street on January 20. Geremias Cruz Ramos, a contract employee hired to provide housekeeping services at the infirmary at Holyoke Center, was identified and put under arrest. He has been arraigned for indecent assault.

 

Molecular master. Latham Family Professor of pathology Timothy Springer, of Harvard Medical School, is 2004 cowinner of the $500,000 Crafoord Prize, conferred by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for work on how white blood cells migrate to fight disease.

 

Julius B. Richmond
Jim Harrison

Miscellany. The new FAS registrar, serving both College and graduate students, is Barry S. Kane, previously registrar at Yale and at Colgate....A $250,000 Heinz Award has been conferred on Julius B. Richmond, professor of health policy emeritus, a former U.S. Surgeon General and a founder of Head Start.... The Nieman Foundation has named the new wing on its Walter Lippmann House the Knight Center, reflecting support from the Knight Foundation for Nieman journalism fellows from Latin America and Africa and for the Nieman narrative-journalism program....Law School dean emeritus Robert C. Clark, a specialist in corporate law, has put his expertise to work by joining Time Warner's board of directors. He is the first outside appointee since Time Warner's megamerger with America Online.

 

Library Facelift

Library rendering courtesy of the Office of Communications, Radcliffe Institute

Even as work nears completion on overhauling Widener and rebuilding the Business School's Baker Library ("Baker, Bisected"), the Radcliffe Institute's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America has closed for a renovation estimated to cost $6 million to $7 million and scheduled to be completed this fall. During construction, books and manuscripts have been moved to the Harvard Depository, but research services are being maintained in Agassiz House. The refurbished facility will have improved environmental controls, better security for the collections, and restored lower-floor reading rooms and public spaces.