The Senior Seniors

Marjorie Thomas and Donald F. Brown

Photograph by Jim Harrison

George Barner

The oldest graduates of Harvard and Radcliffe present on Commencement day were Marjorie (Prince) Thomas ’42, 92, of Bedford, Massachusetts (accompanied by her husband, Edward Thomas ’41, who was celebrating his seventieth reunion), and Donald F. Brown ’30, Ph.D. ’55, 102, of Stow, Massachusetts. Both were recognized at the afternoon ceremony. (The oldest class representative was George Barner ’29, 102, of Kennebunk, Maine, who is three and a half weeks younger than Donald Brown.) Marjorie and Edward Thomas were married while she was still at Radcliffe College. Because he was in the U.S. Navy at the time, she left college to be with him, but more than three decades later she returned to campus “because I had made a promise to my mother that I would graduate.” She received her bachelor’s degree in 1978.

According to University records, the oldest alumni include: Halford J. Pope ’25, M.B.A. ’27, 107, of Hilton Head, South Carolina; Rose Depoyan ’26, 105, of Brockton, Massachusetts; Edith M. Van Saun ’29, 104, of Sykesville, Maryland; Priscilla Bartol Grace ’58, 104, of Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Ruth Leavitt Fergenson ’28, 103, of Rockville, Maryland; Dorothy P. Collins ’30, 103, of Hyde Park, Massachusetts; Rawson L. Wood ’30, 102, of Center Harbor, New Hampshire; Elliott C. Carter ’30, 102, of New York City; and Bertha Fineberg ’31, 102, of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

You might also like

Threats Foreign and Domestic

Joseph Nye discusses geopolitics and Harvard’s challenges.

Harvard’s New Football Coach: A Real Tiger

The magazine’s football correspondent advises fans to deal with it.

The Interim President’s Agenda

Alan Garber on campus speech, academics, and his other Harvard priorities

Most popular

Open Book: The Photographer’s Art

Robin Kelsey probes the place of photography within art.

An Ipswich Idyll

Restorations revive the grand spirit of a North Shore estate.

Harvard Corporation to Drop Law School Shield Linked to Slavery

The announcement follows a Law School committee’s recommendation to abandon the shield. 

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults