Harvard Picks First BGLTQ Director

UPDATED: July 4, 2012, at 10:10 a.m.

Harvard has appointed Vanidy “Van” Bailey as the College’s first permanent director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life. Bailey, the assistant director for education at the University of California, San Diego, will assume the new position on July 16.

Last April, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds announced her intention to hire a full-time staffer dedicated to serving the BGLTQ community on campus.

In a statement to students, Hammonds said that the decision was based on recommendations made by the BGLTQ Working Group, which she created in October 2010 to evaluate BGLTQ experiences and needs at the College.

In an email, Bailey expressed excitement for connecting with BGLTQ students and staff at Harvard and said that the first task for the new director would be setting goals for the upcoming academic year.

At UCSD, Bailey oversees programs at the BGLTQ Resource Center and advises student organizations.

In September 2011, the College announced that Lisa “Lee” Forest of Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts would be its first director of BGLTQ student life. However, one month later, Forest turned down the position at Harvard for “personal and professional reasons.”

During the search for a new director, Emily J. Miller, a student at the Divinity School, served as interim coordinator. She oversaw the opening of the College’s first Office of BGLTQ Student Life, in Boylston Hall, in March.

—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can be reached at nmiraval@college.harvard.edu.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: July 3

An earlier version of this article used the pronoun "she" to refer to Vanidy "Van" Bailey, the newly appointed director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life. In fact, Bailey prefers not to be referred to by any gendered pronoun.

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