When Bishop C. Holifield was a student at Harvard Law School in 1967 at the apex of the civil rights movement, the fledgling organization he had founded—the Harvard Black Law Students Association—had just two members: himself and co-founder Reginald E. Gilliam.
When Department Chair Nathan I. Huggins died in December of 1989, it looked like the end of Afro-American Studies at Harvard.
A new generation of activists is at the Law School’s helm. Student activists’ demands are broader and their tactics adapted, as they have drawn inspiration from their predecessors and built their own movement on the foundation of a vibrant history of protest at the Law School.
Almost 25 after graduating, the Class of 1991 has selected Sandberg as its Chief Marshal in this year’s Commencement ceremony—a position awarded to a class member who has achieved success in their careers, contributed to their communities, and served the College, according to the Harvard Alumni Association’s website.
At Harvard, unexpected changes in University leadership resulted in unforeseen budget cuts and delays in the new capital campaign, exacerbating the University’s economic difficulties in 1990 and 1991.
For almost all the members of the Class of 1991, the Gulf War was the first major U.S. military operation in their memory. To some students, the Gulf War was like a flash in the pan, seemingly over before it started. To others, the intervention was an important event that signaled what role the U.S. would play in world affairs in the coming years.
As a lawsuit alleging discrimination in Harvard’s admissions practices remains delayed—awaiting a Supreme Court decision on the related affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin—the College’s use of race as a factor in admissions decisions has once again come under scrutiny.
Secret and oft-turbulent deliberations yielded a result that surprised many so-called “Harvard insiders.” The presidential search committee selected former Harvard and Princeton professor Neil L. Rudenstine, a later addition to the list of candidates and a figure largely unknown to those outside of the elite academic circles of the Ivy League.