The Dean, for Certain

L. Fred Jewett '57

In early July, when he was still dean of admissions, L. Fred Jewett '57 said he was looking for a job that paid more and required less work.

Beginning Thursday, Jewett will be the dean of Harvard College.

Jewett now says: "I'm not sure either of those goals have been reached."

Uncertainty has always followed Fred Jewett, who will replace outgoing Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59. But certainty has always followed uncertainty.

Jewett contends that he never intended to spend his life at Harvard, but says he planned instead to take his 1960 MBA into the business world. But since he became one of the original senior advisors back in 1958, Jewett has been as much a part of Harvard as the Ivy on University Hall.


Jewett spent the following 19 years living in Harvard Yard, five of them while serving as dean of admissions and financial aids.

In between graduating from business school and becoming the College's top administrator, Jewett has moved up the admissions ladder, getting promoted every time he tired of doing the job he was doing.

In 1962, Jewett was assistant dean of freshmen, but still unsure whether he wanted to remain in the academic world. In 1964, he was hired by then-Dean of Admissions Fred Glimp.

In 1967, he was uncertain whether he wanted to stay in the admissions world, but a job quickly opened up and he became director of freshman scholarships (a position that no longer exists). When Jewett tired of than post in 1972. Chase Peterson stepped down as dean of admissions, and Jewett found a new home.

Ever since, Jewett has been synonymous with Harvard admissions. His tenure at the admissions office also saw the continued maintenance of need-blind admissions (in which students are accepted no matter their financial status), he also led the admissions office through what he called the "integration and merger of Harvard and Radcliffe."

"He will certainly be remembered for his continued work on minority admissions, maintaining strong regional representation and diversity, and increasing the number of women," says former Director of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons '68.

But after 13 years of diversity, Jewett was again ready for a change. He says he probably would have moved on event if he bad not been named dean of the College yesterday by A. Michael Spence, the dean of the Faculty.

"One brings to this job an initial burst of energy and ideas, but I felt it was about time for a new person in this area," says Jewett, who claims he "had given what there was to give to the area of admissions and financial aids."

Now, after being the only administrator who students know before rather than during their four years at Harvard, Fred Jewett is the College's top official. And, for the first time in 13 years, he will deal directly with upperclassmen.

Jewett says he is looking forward to the change. His new job now gives him what he calls the opportunity to "try to help make Harvard the place we [at the admissions office] say it is to incoming freshmen."