The 2013 Centennial Medalists

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences honors four distinguished alumni.

From Left: Arnold Rampersad, Louise Richardson, Sherry Turkle, and Everett Mendelsohn

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Centennial Medal, first awarded in 1989 on the occasion of the school’s hundredth anniversary, honors alumni who have made contributions to society that emerged from their graduate study at Harvard. It is the highest honor the Graduate School bestows, and awardees include some of Harvard’s most accomplished alumni.


The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
2013 Centennial Medal Winners

Everett Mendelsohn, Ph.D. ’60, history of science

Everett Mendelsohn, JF ’60, Ph.D. ’60, is professor of the history of science emeritus at Harvard, where he has been on the faculty since 1960. He has worked extensively on the history of the life sciences as well as on aspects of the social and sociological history of science and the relations of science and modern societies. Prior to retirement, he taught a large undergraduate course as part of Harvard's Core Curriculum, which focuses on science and society in the twentieth century; also he is the former master of Dudley House, the graduate student center. He is past president of the International Council for Science Policy Studies and has been deeply involved in the relations between science and modern war as a founder of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Science, Arms Control, and National Security, and the American Academy of Arts and Science's Committee on International Security Studies.


Arnold Rampersad, Ph.D. ’73, English

Arnold Rampersad, Ph.D. ’73, is Kimball professor in the humanities emeritus at Stanford. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1975 and stayed until 1983, when he left for a position at Rutgers. He went on to teach at Columbia and Princeton, before returning to Stanford in 1998. His teaching and research focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; American autobiography; race and American literature; and African-American literature. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and is a 2010 recipient of the National Humanities Medal. He has just published Ralph Ellison, a biography of the novelist (1914 - 1994). His other books include The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. DuBois (1976); The Life of Langston Hughes (2 vols., 1986, 1988); Days of Grace: A Memoir (1993), co-authored with Arthur Ashe; and Jackie Robinson: A Biography (1997).


Louise Richardson, Ph.D. ’89, government

Louise Richardson, Ph.D. ’89,  is professor of international relations and principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews. She was a professor of government at Harvard for 12 years and, immediately prior to her 2009 appointment to St Andrews, was executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She was instrumental in the transformation of Radcliffe, once a women’s college, into an interdisciplinary center promoting scholarship across a wide range of academic fields and the creative arts.  A political scientist by training, she has specialized in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. She has written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations. In 2011, she was appointed to the Scottish government’s Council of Economic Advisers.


Sherry Turkle, Ph.D. ’76, sociology

Sherry Turkle ’69, Ph.D. ’76, is Mauzé professor of the social studies of science and technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A licensed clinical psychologist, Turkle writes on the "subjective side" of people's relationships with technology, especially computers. She is an expert on mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics. Profiles of Professor Turkle have appeared in such publications as The New York TimesScientific American, and Wired. She has been named "woman of the year" by Ms. magazine and among the "forty under forty" who are changing the nation by Esquire. She is a featured media commentator on the social and psychological effects of technology for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the BBC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as NightlineFrontline20/20, and The Colbert Report.


Read the full text of the Centennial Medalist citations.

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