Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Laugh Lines

July-August 2014

Timothy Barry-Heffernan

Timothy Barry-Heffernan

Photograph by Stu Rosner

Salman Kahn

Salman Kahn

Photograph by Neal Hamburg/Harvard Business School

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling

Photograph by Martha Stewart/Harvard Law School

“Well-Shampooed Squirrels”

I first came to Harvard Business School 13 years ago. I remember the first few minutes after arriving on campus at Spangler. After confirming that…this truly was the “student center,” I…inspected the marble fireplace near me, sat on a beautiful leather couch, put my feet on the finely crafted coffee table, watched the well-shampooed squirrels happily prance outside in the lawn, and told myself, “Yes, I think this should do just fine.”

Salman Kahn, M.B.A. ’03
Harvard Business School Class Day

Noble Professions

And now, with this diploma in hand, most of you will go on to the noblest pursuits, like helping a cable company acquire a telecom company. You will defend BP from birds. You will spend hours arguing that the well water was contaminated well before the fracking occurred. One of you will sort out the details of my pre-nup. A dozen of you will help me with my acrimonious divorce.…

Let’s be honest: Harvard Law is the best of the Harvard graduate programs. I can say this—we’re among friends. The Business School is full of crooks. The Divinity School is just a bunch of weird virgins. The School of Design is like European burnouts. And don’t get me started on the Kennedy School. What kind of degree do you get from there—public policy? Right—you mean a master’s in boring me to death at a dinner party? I’m sorry. Let’s just be honest.The Med School is just a bunch of nerdy Indians. I can say that!…The rest of you are out of line. That’s racial—how dare you.

Mindy Kaling
Star of The Office and The Mindy Project
Harvard Law School Class Day

After You, Alphonse

Michael Bloomberg visited me in my office at the Radcliffe Institute a few weeks after I had been invited to serve as Harvard’s president—and he said that I was much taller than he had imagined.

President Drew Faust
The Honorands Dinner, Annenberg Hall
(Their subsequent hug proved the point.)

When Drew makes a fundraising call on you, you have to say yes. I will tell you a quick story. One time, this was 10 years ago maybe, my mother was 98, something like that, and I talked to my mother every day, and I said, “Mother, what did you do today?” She said, “I didn’t go out—I had a visitor.” I said, “Who was that?” She said, “I don’t remember her name, but she was a very tall woman, and she talked about a scholarship in my father’s name at Harvard.” I knew exactly who it was, and I thought, “You really have to have a lot of guts to go on a fundraising call like that.” It was the most underhanded—and effective—call ever.

Michael R. Bloomberg, M.B.A. ’66, LL.D. ’14
The Chief Marshal’s Spread
Commencement Day

In Case Software Doesn’t Pan Out

Latin Salutatorian Timothy Barry-Heffernan ’14, a mathematics concentrator who also studied computer science, is from nearby Hingham, Massachusetts, and resided in Winthrop House. His talk, De Septuagesima Secunda et Trecentesima Legione (“On the 372nd Legion”)—something to do with the number of College classes since Harvard’s founding, adjusted for wars and other interruptions (or maybe it is the 373rd: oh, never mind)—obviously called out for a prop. Helmeted, he was quite a sight, pantomiming the basketballers’ shooting form: Et denique, in campo ludi canistri, adversarios dignos inusitatosque pugnavimus; sed sicut Ajax et Diomedes et Achilles arserunt in bello, ita Rivardus et Caseus et Currius Cincinnatos illos straverunt! Mirabile visu! (“And, at last, on the basketball court, we fought worthy foes, whom we had never encountered; but just as Ajax, Diomedes, and Achilles raged in battle, so too did Rivard, Casey, and Curry lay low those men of Cincinnati! What a sight to behold!”) If his Hewlett-Packard software gig gets stale, he might consider channeling the “King Tut”-era Steve Martin.

Harvard Names, Evolving

My personal connection to Harvard began back in 1964, when I graduated from Johns Hopkins and matriculated here at the B School.…I’ve noticed a few things have changed since I was a student here. Elsie’s, a sandwich spot I used to love near the Square, is now a burrito shop. The Wursthaus, which had great beer and sausage, is now an “artisanal gastro pub,” whatever that is. And the old Holyoke Center is now named the Smith Campus Center. Don’t you just hate it when alumni put their names all over everything? I was thinking about that this morning as I walked into the Bloomberg Center on the Harvard Business School campus across the river.

Michael R. Bloomberg
Commencement afternoon address

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