More than 300 administrators, students and friends from across the country attended a dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston Friday night to honor Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57.
On July 1, Jewett will step down from the deanship, a position he has held for the past 10 years. McKay Professor of Computer Science Harry R. Lewis '68 will succeed him.
"There was universal praise for [Jewett's] work over the years," said Dean of Student Archie C. Epps Ill.
Speakers at the dinner included President Neil L. Rudenstine, Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Peter J. Gomes, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons, Pforz-heimer House Master J. Woodland Hastings, Director of Athletics William J. Cleary Jr. '56 and three of Jewett's former first-year advisees.
Knowles delivered his speech "very cleverly and with respect," said Ryan C. Kubacki '95, who spoke at the dinner as one of the advisees.
"A lot of [Knowles'] jokes were aimed at the administration and the people who have known [Jewett] for a long time," Kubacki said.
Knowles read passages from letters Jewett had written as a boy of 12 or 13 discussing his favorite subjects in school, Kubacki said.
Hastings said he spoke about Jewett on behalf of the masters.
"It was just a few words of salutation and congratulation to Fred, expressing on behalf of the masters our admiration and appreciation for the way he has facilitated continuing efforts of the masters in every sense, including the educational function of the houses," Hastings said yesterday.
Examples of Jewett's support for more educational opportunities in the houses include his "getting more house sections offered, getting more sections of large courses taught in the houses [and] having programs such as the North House forum," Hastings said.
Kubacki said his own speech emphasized Jewett as a person rather than just a dean.
"He is more than a dedicated academic advisor," Kubacki said in the speech. "He's true friend."
"What I respect most about Mr. Jewett is his sincerity, his genuine interest in the welfare of Harvard and its students and his humility," Kubacki said this weekend.
Before the dinner in the Harvard Club's Harvard Hall, the Harvard University Band played fight songs at a reception held upstairs.
Grant M. Dixton '96, manger of the band, said the band was happy to play for Jewett's dinner.
"As long as he has been around here, he has been a supporter [of the band]," Dixton said.
The night's other musical appearance was by the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, performing selections from Iolanthe and Ruddigore.
The evening "represented a range of people from members of admissions to the athletic community of undergraduates, as well as performing arts reflecting his interests at the College," Epps said.
A caricature of Jewett drawn by Michal Hlavac '97 spiced up the Harvard Club decor.
It was on the mugs, the programs and the wine bottles, according to Hlavac.
"People came from all over the country. It was really quite amazing," Hastings said. "The wine came from all the way across the country, too--it was his picture on the label."