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Following charges of sexual discrimination by Brookline High School administrators, the Harvard Club of Boston Book Prize, which has traditionally been awarded to male high school juniors for scholastic and academic excellence, is now available to women.
In a letter to the book prize committee, two Brookline High School administrators asked that women be made eligible for the prize because the Harvard Club was obviously discriminating on the basis of sex, Carmen P. Rinaldi, headmaster of the school, said yesterday.
The chairman of the prize committee at first rejected the suggestion because "the spirit of the original bequest" reserved the prize exclusively for men, Rinaldi said.
Rinaldi said the same administrators sent a letter to President Bok this year, and after an inquiry into the matter, Bok announced in a letter dated May 2 that the Harvard Club Book Prize would be open to both men and women.
Philip D. Orcutt '22, chairman of the book prize committee, said yesterday making women eligible "has emasculated the whole idea of the prize." He added it was no longer being awarded for the purpose for which it was created.
Instead of being a prize to attract to Harvard its traditional scholar-athelete, it has now become a prize for general excellence, he said. "Dammit, we still like to beat Yale," he added.
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