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President Neil L. Rudenstine apologized for missing the annual president's tea with first-year students and plans to make up for it with a cookout, a Harvard spokes-person said yesterday.
Rudenstine failed to show up for the traditional reception on Saturday because a meeting with the executive committee of the Board of Overseers--one of the school's chief governing boards--lasted longer than expected, according to spokesperson Peter Costa.
Several first-year students who attended the event were disappointed that Harvard's new president didn't make an appearance, and many said they were upset because officials could not explain his absence.
Rudenstine could not be reached for comment, and Costa was not able to offer an explanation on Monday.
Instead of scheduling another reception, Rudenstine will host a cookout for the first-year on Saturday, October 5, before the Harvard Holy Cross football game, Costa said.
Although the details are still being worked out with proctors, plans for the cookout are fairly definite, he said.
"He very much wants to be a president for the students. That's why he's going to do this make-up," said Costa.
Rudenstine, who succeeded former president Derek C. Bok over the summer, has met with several student organizations since his appointment and will hold his first open office hours for students next Thursday.
All undergraduate and graduate students at the University have also received invitations for Rudenstine's formal inauguration on October 18.
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