Harvard University has made a historic appointment with the school’s 30th president.
Claudine Gay, a political scientist who received her Ph.D. in government at the school in 1998 and has served as Edgerley Family Dean for Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 2018, has been named the Ivy League institution’s first Black president since it was founded in 1636.
“I love this place. Harvard is where I found my intellectual home. It has nurtured and inspired me since I first set foot in the Yard,” said Gay, 52, in a speech on Thursday, によると The Harvard Gazette. “I am deeply invested, not only in what Harvard is today, but also in what Harvard’s leadership means for the future.”
With her election, Gay is also Harvard’s second-ever female president in the school’s 386-year history, after Drew Gilpin Faust served in the position from 2007 に 2018.
During her speech after Thursday’s election results were announced, Gay spoke of her Haitian immigrant parents and their belief “that education opens every door,” in addition to reflecting on her years as a graduate student at Harvard.
“That Claudine could not possibly have imagined that her path would lead here,” 彼女は言いました. “But I carry forward both her excitement, and her belief in the infinite possibility of Harvard.”
Gay explained her goals of making Harvard more accessible to more people through scholarships and partnerships with for-profits and nonprofits. “The idea of the Ivory Tower, that is the past, not the future, of academia,” 彼女は言いました.
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“We don’t exist outside of society, but as part of it,” Gay continued. “Harvard has a duty to lean in and engage, and to be in service to the world. Our people, our collections, our research, how we use our convening power in business, in law, in public policy for all of that, our commitment must be to openness and engagement.”
Gay will take office July 1, after current President Larry Bacow announced that he would step down at the end of the 2022-2023 school year after serving for five years.