Mark Zuckerberg
Photograph courtesy of Facebook

Speakers of Note

The speaker at the Commencement afternoon exercises, on May 25, will be Mark Zuckerberg ’06, co-founder and CEO of Facebook. His appearance among the honorands and at the lectern follows by a decade that of Bill Gates ’77, LL.D. ’07—another celebrated dropout whose software prowess (Microsoft) has also yielded one of the world’s largest fortunes and enabled philanthropy on a gigantic scale. Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan ’07, a pediatrician, is among the College tenth reunioners. For a full report, see The Radcliffe Medalists, to be honored May 26, will be journalists Gwen Ifill, posthumously, and Judy Woodruff—the latter in conversation with Walter Isaacson ’74. For complete Commencement information, visit


Venerable Schools

Harvard Divinity School, née 1816, is well into its bicentennial celebration (see, and Harvard Law School, 1817, will begin blowing out the candles with several events commencing this fall. Also meriting attention is Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 1867, the Medical School’s Longwood cousin, which has consolidated information for its sesquicentennial, highlighting landmark research and clinical advances, at


Lowell House Renewal

The College has unveiled plans for the renovation of Lowell House, scheduled to begin after Commencement and to conclude by the fall of 2019: the first two-year reconstruction project, and the largest to date. According to an announcement in early March, on the façade facing Mount Auburn Street, a new entryway will connect the second-floor library, new senior common room, and a lower-level, 75-seat screening room (replacing two squash courts). The wing is being named Otto Hall, honoring a gift from Alexander Otto ’90, M.B.A. ’94, a member of a German family that owns retail and real-estate assets worth many billions of dollars. The dining hall, as previously announced, has been named Lee Hall; that recognizes support from Kewsong Lee ’86, M.B.A. ’90, now one of the highest-ranking private-equity executives of The Carlyle Group, and his wife, Zita Ezpeleta ’88, J.D. ’91, who met at the House and previously established a challenge fund to advance House renewal. Also planned: a “maker space,” complete with 3-D printers and work stations, adjacent to Otto Hall.


On Other Campuses

The University of California, San Francisco—the system’s health-research and clinical-care campus—received a $500-million gift from the Helen Diller Foundation: $400 million in endowment funds to support faculty members and students, and $100 million to support innovative research. The funds complement two recent gifts, totaling $285 million, for neuroscience, and a partnership with the $3-billion Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (founded by Priscilla Chan ’07 and Mark Zuckerberg ’06; see above) aimed at eliminating major diseases.…Cornell has received a $150-million naming gift from alumnus H. Fisk Johnson and the SC Johnson company for its recently constituted College of Business, comprising its schools of applied economics and management, hotel administration, and management.…The Bill [’77, LL.D. ’07] & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $279 million to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which develops tools to improve population health.…Santa Clara University has received $100 million from alumnus John A. Sobrato and Susan Sobrato to fund a facilty for science, math, and technology education.…Peter and Paula Lunder have given the Colby College Museum of Art more than 1,000 artworks and funds to establish an eponymous research center on American art—their second such $100-million benefaction to the institution.


From Combat to Campus

Ashton B. Carter
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense

Ashton B. Carter, who concluded his service as the twenty-fifth U.S. Secretary of Defense at the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, is returning to the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He will be Belfer professor of technology and global affairs, and director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs—the locus of much of HKS’s work on international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. Dillon professor of government Graham Allison, HKS’s founding dean in its modern incarnation, has been director since 1994.


Campaign Calendars

As the University drives toward the mid 2018 conclusion of The Harvard Campaign, stirrings to the southwest point to the schedule for its likely successor in the decade to come (Harvard having missed a campaign during the first decade of this century amid leadership upheaval in Mass. Hall). The Yale Daily News reported in early March that Yale, having concluded a $3.88-billion drive in June 2011, is now well into the two-year planning period that precedes the two-year “quiet phase” of its next campaign, to be led by Peter Salovey, who became president in 2013. He subsequently suggested to the News that Yale might want to pull together its research and teaching on public-policy matters, perhaps launching a new school in the field, like those at Harvard and Princeton, and Brown’s nascent school. Separately, Yale announced that its department of statistics would morph into a department of statistics and data science (“DS squared”), complete with a new undergraduate concentration, and would make nine new departmental and joint faculty appointments—accommodating rising student and scholarly interest and, no doubt, donor support as well. (See Developing Data Science on data science locally.)


Law legacy, and more

Maureen Scalia
Photograph by Martha Stewart/Harvard Law School


The family of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, LL.B. ’60, has donated his papers to the Harvard Law School Library. Materials will begin to become available for scholars in 2020.…Separately, whatever their original intent, students from diverse fields of study who decide to pursue the law can now submit Graduate Record Exam results, rather than the Law School Admissions Test, with their Harvard Law applications. The change takes effect this fall, and is intended to broaden access to the school and to diversify the academic backgrounds of prospective students in an era where scientific and technical knowledge is broadly relevant.


Nota Bene

Coming to the college. On March 30, the College announced that 2,056 of the 39,506 applicants to the class of 2021 had been offered admission: 5.2 percent, essentially level with the admissions rate last year. Some 15.1 percent of those admitted are the first members of their families to attend college. The bill for tuition, room, board, and fees for 2017-2018 (in other words, the list price, before financial-aid awards) is $65,609, up $2,584, or 4.1 percent, from the current academic year. Read full details at


Better than entrepreneurship? The complex of innovation centers at the edge of the Harvard Business School campus—the iLab, Launch Lab, and Life Lab—has spawned a new kind of growth: early March job postings advertised positions for associate directors of business development and of social enterprise, each carrying the University salary range of $72,900 to $124,700; an assistant director of technology programming; and student “community assistant” positions.


How about working at harvard? Charles Skorina, who runs a San Francisco-based search firm focusing on investment managers, devoted his late-February and early-March newsletters to Kim Y. Lew, M.B.A. ’92, chief investment officer of the Carnegie Corporation, in New York City. Turns out that Lew, who oversees somewhat more than $3 billion, has realized an 11.1 percent annualized rate of return for the 5 years ending in 2015, and an 8.3 percent rate of return for Skorina’s most recent 10-year period, ranking among such leaders as the University of Virginia, MIT, Princeton, and Yale—and far ahead of the results for Harvard Management Company, where N. V. Narvekar is now making sweeping changes. Perhaps he should give Lew a call.


Heather Gerken
Photograph by John Nienhuis

Martha Nussbaum
Photograph by Sally Ryan

Miscellany. Classical philologist Martha Nussbaum, Ph.D. ’75, Freund Distinguished Service professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, will deliver this year’s National Endowment for the Humanities Lecture, on May 1.…Brian C. Rogers ’77, M.B.A. ’82, chairman and chief investment officer of T. Rowe Price Group, which has more than $800 billion of assets under management, has joined Harvard Management Company’s board of directors; he is also a Johns Hopkins trustee.…The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT has conferred its Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an annual honor recognizing outstanding advances in the field, on Catherine Dulac, Higgins professor of molecular and cellular biology (see “The Mr. Mom Switch,” May-June 2015).…Election-law expert Heather Gerken (Harvard Portrait, March-April 2002), who taught at Harvard Law School from 2000 to 2006 before decamping for New Haven, has been appointed dean of Yale Law School, the first woman to hold that office.…

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

John Holdren
Courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls

Sylvia Mathews Burwell ’87, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama, has been appointed president of American University, effective June 1.…John Holdren, who served as national science adviser in the Obama administration, has returned to Harvard Kennedy School as Heinz professor of environmental policy.…Hilary Lewis, G ’08, an expert on architect Philip Johnson ’27, B.Arch. ’43, has been appointed chief curator and creative director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Glass House, the celebrated house Johnson designed in New Canaan, Connecticut (see “Modern and Historic,” September-October 2007, page 32F). Johnson also designed the Business School’s soon-to-be-replaced Burden Hall.

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