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Alumni

Celebrating Senior Alumni

July-August 2017

Leon Starr and Rhoda Lesser Diamond brave the inclement weather on Commencement Day.

Photograph by Jim Harrison


Leon Starr and Rhoda Lesser Diamond brave the inclement weather on Commencement Day.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Rhoda Lesser Diamond ’42, of Martha’s Vineyard, and Leon Starr ’40, of Rye, New York, were the oldest Harvard and Radcliffe alumni present on Commencement Day. Each wore rain gear and had seats on the Tercentenary Theatre stage (to avoid the sloppy weather) during the afternoon program, when they were publicly honored by Harvard Alumni Association president Martin J. Grasso Jr. ’78. “I was here 70 years ago when George Marshall delivered his famous speech that saved the world,” noted Starr, “and now we’re here and going to hear from Mark Zuckerberg about the Brave New World.” Starr turns 99 in June and was accompanied by his wife, Jacquie, and his son, Jonathan ’69. Asked about how he’s lived so long, and so well, Starr credited “clean living, lots of exercise. I played tennis and squash. And the love of two good women.” (“He means me, and his first wife,” a smiling Jacquie piped up.) Nearby, the 96-year-old Diamond said she had traveled from her island home “to celebrate my seventy-fifth reunion.” She was flanked by her sons, Paul ’82 and John, a Yalie, who quipped: “We’ve always been a Yale-Harvard family—but we’re more Harvard today.”

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