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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

In this Issue

Scenes from Havana, taken in March 2007

Raúl Castro is changing Cuba. Will the United States respond?

This portrait of Smith forms part of a mural, by Nelson Chase, that decorates the Aesculapian Room of the Harvard Club of Boston.

A brief profile of the pioneering comparative pathologist

Michael McCormick

Cutting-edge science helps historians push further and more fully into the past.

All in a day’s treatment: Khaled, seen in these photographs with hemapheresis practitioner Beverly Gedutis, R.N., and author David Nathan, spent May 8 at Children’s Hospital Boston, where for decades he has been transfused with red blood cells every three weeks. The bottles he carries below contain the iron chelator deferisirox.

One patient’s struggle with chronic illness highlights the complexities of modern medicine and the healthcare challenge.


Letters from our readers

Right Now

Robert Patterson’s letter to Thomas Jefferson included a worked example of his cipher. He began by writing his message in lower-case letters and in columns, running top to bottom like Chinese. This example begins with the words “Buonaparte has at last given peace to Europe,” legible in the first two columns.

Mathematician Lawren Smithline ’94 has decrypted an encoded message sent to Thomas Jefferson in 1801.

Traditional light-microscopy, such as this image of human brain-tumor cells in culture, still has a place in cancer research.

Modeling tumors may help scientists beat cancer.

Brain images show the differences in activity patterns between the two groups of subjects that professor of psychology Jill Hooley examined. The brains of recovered depressed subjects (left) had more active amygdalae while listening to criticism than did the brains of subjects who had never been depressed. The brains of the latter showed more activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (center) and the anterior cingulate cortex (right) compared to brains of subjects with a history of depression.

After depression patients recover, their brains still process criticism differently.

New England Regional

Paddlers enjoy the serenity of Flagstaff Lake, Maine.

Green travels around New England

Paddlers enjoy the serenity of Flagstaff Lake, Maine.

By boat, hike, and mountain bike

Cyclists of all levels can enjoy the coastal Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland.

By train, bike, bus, and boat

By train, boat, and bike

Sailboats in Newport Harbor

By boat, bus, bike and--a little more effort--train

Exploring Boston without a car

Cukes, summer squash, and plenty of other local produce and homemade goods may be found at the Farmers’ Market at Harvard

Suggestions for your summertime schedule

Request a spot on Stellina’s Italian-style back terrace.

Warm-weather oases in and around Harvard Square

John Harvard's Journal

Giving a spell-out for <a href="">Graduate English orator Joseph Claghorn</a> were fellow landscape-architecture students Vanessa Lindley Palmer (J; the ringleader), Katie Jean Powell (O), Sisi Sun (S), Joonhyun Kim (E), Simon Mark Bussiere (P), and Adrienne Re Heflich (H). Design School students still play with blocks.

Commencement celebrants and celebrations faced up to real world problems.

Anthony S. Fauci

Anthony S. Fauci

Photograph by Stu Rosner

The honorary-degree recipients, class of 2009

Latin Salutatorian Paul Mumma ’09 (<a href="">View a video of his speech</a>.)

A sampling of the 2009 Commencement week addresses

Lois Beckett

The Senior English address

Drew Faust

President Faust’s address to the alumni

The Harvard Medical School Class Day address

Albert Goldbarth

A poem for the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises

Steven Chu

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s address at the afternoon exercises

Matt Lauer

Notes and statistics, vital and otherwise

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences tackles a massive budget crisis.

With the endowment down sharply and employee compensation accounting for nearly half of University expenses recently, the administration plans to trim staff jobs.

Executive vice president Edward C. Forst, who became Harvard's principal operating officer and de facto financial strategist last September, is departing August 1; full details were <a href="">reported May 26</a> on this website.

Understanding the University's financial challenges--beyond the endowment's fall

David Malan

Expert multitasker David Malan introduces students to computer science.

Honors, arrivals, and departures

A Harvard fixture bites the dust.

Dining halls (such as Eliot's) are "the hub of House life," says a report on the residences, and every House should have its own.

Harvard has released a report on the role of the Houses in undergraduate life, in preparation for a major renovation.

Short takes on recent news

Headlines from Harvard history

As senior year winds down, a look forward—and back.

Tyler Albright

Baseball catcher Tyler Albright ’11 explains how to play his position.


Malcolm Campbell at the keyboard in Harvard's Paine Hall

Pianist Malcolm Campbell ’10 is a jazz prodigy.

<a href=""><em>The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite</em></a> (Rodale, $25.95)

Enlisting the food industry in the fight against obesity

Scheft (left) shares a laugh with his boss.

Bill Scheft ‘79 writes comedy for David Letterman, as well as novels.

A blinding sandstorm is part of <em>Journey to Mecca.</em>

"Journey to Mecca," co-produced by Taran Davies ’93, is a new IMAX film about the Hajj.

Paul M. Barrett reviews “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West,” by Christopher Caldwell ’83

In a new book, photographer Bruce Jackson presents old ID photo portraits from an Arkansas prison.

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

The Altamira oriole, a Texas resident, is America’s largest oriole.

Recent books with Harvard connections


Gregg Hurwitz

A crime novelist explores the deepest cracks in the human heart.

Results of the 2009 Overseer and Harvard Alumni Association elected director races

The elected leaders of the College class of 2009

John F. Cogan Jr.

Three alumni are honored for outstanding service to the University.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Centennial Medal honors alumni whose contributions to society emerged from their graduate study at Harvard.

Frances Pass Addelson

Harvard’s most venerable alumni

Four new graduates are bound for the other Cambridge.

Fiftieth reunioners David Leipziger, Kitty Beer, and Howard Kristol, J.D. ’62.

Reunioners and seniors of 2009 give the University a welcome assist.

Updates from Shared Interest Groups

The College Pump

Varieties of rejection experience


The most romantic tent in town