Deborah A. Batts '69 — who unexpectedly died in February 2020 at age 72 due to complications from knee surgery — had an extraordinary legal career by any standard. But she also accomplished an important national first. With her confirmation to the federal bench in 1994, she became the first openly gay federal judge in the United States.
As I read about these students who’d navigated Harvard’s campus 53 years before me, they put words to the internal struggles that I’d brushed off as my own exaggerations. Whether it was misogyny within the Black community, the ever-present shade drawn over Harvard’s inner workings and how to navigate them, or the seemingly unbreakable fortitude of an unchanging institution.
Morisey looks back on her experience at Radcliffe with bittersweet pride. Even as she reminisces on the difficulty of being a Black Cliffie, I sense that she sees a bigger picture, one beyond each negative moment she experienced as an undergraduate. This doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring pain and strife or dismissing her 1969 self’s experiences, but Morisey refuses to let these moments define her.
Housing Day videos are now as much of a tradition as Housing Day itself. While the tradition’s history is brief — the earliest videos on YouTube date back to 2009 —, it has garnered both mass celebration and incited widespread controversy.
Archie C. Epps III was one of few Black senior administrators in Harvard's history, becoming Dean of Students in 1971. At age 32, he was one of the youngest appointments in the school’s history — and his term as dean one of the most eventful.
The Cambridge Harmonica Orchestra, a historic gem of the Cambridge music scene, had its glorious debut more than 40 years ago. Well known for their vibrant yellow jackets and laid-back attitudes, this group of musicians hopped between bars and music fests, bringing the blues harp to Cambridge and beyond.
The old Conductor’s Building on Mount Auburn Street stands as an awkwardly narrow wedge, sitting next to an alleyway wider than itself. But while the exterior of the building remains inconspicuous, the inside has been transformed into a Chinese tiki bar and restaurant named Wusong Road after the first Conductor’s Building in Wusong, China.
Today, many believe MCI-Framingham is a dangerous and non-restorative home for women convicted of crimes in Massachusetts. But that hasn’t always been the case.
Adams: artsy and queer. Eliot: preppy, blue-blooded schmoozers. Kirkland: jocks. Lowell: studiers. The Quad: Black and Hispanic students with an emphasis on activism. These were just some of the reputations that Harvard Houses had from the 1930s to 1995.