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'Exciting' Year for Harvard

Exhaustion, Rescission, Murder-Suicide Shake College

By Valerie J. Macmillan

For Harvard, its been quite a year. "Exciting" would be one way to describe it.

The president took an unexpected three months leave of absence, an attempted bank robbery ended in a Harvard Square shootout, the University revoked the acceptance of Gina Grant after learning she had killed her mother and an undergraduate brutally murdered her roommate before hanging herself on the day after final exams ended.

Of course, there was also the helicopter crash, the embezzlement convictions and the publishing of The Bell Curve, a controversial book by a Harvard professor and a graduate of the College.

On the positive side, Harvard received one of the largest gifts ever, $70.5 million form the Loeb family, and gaining admission to the College was tougher than ever before.

Rudenstine's Departure

In the middle his efforts to lead Harvard's $2.1 billion fund drive (of which $908 million has been raised so far) and the search for the Kennedy School of Government's dean, President Neil L. Rudenstine took a sudden medical leave of absence for an indefinite period of time.

Rudenstine was "suffering from severe fatigue and exhaustion of unknown origin," a University press release said. Albert Carnesale, provost and dean of the Kennedy School, was named acting president.

Information on Rudenstine's health was difficult to come by. Carnesale repeatedly refused to identify Rudenstine's physicians, and the Harvard News Office provided little information throughout the leave of absence.

After three months, a tanned and rested Rudenstine was back, but not before Newsweek had put him on the cover with the word "Exhausted" over his face in large letters.

Shootout in the Square

In broad daylight, three would-be robbers in fake hair, mustaches and eyeglasses tried to steal nearly $300,000 from a Harvard Square bank.

The lunchtime crowd in front of Au Bon Pain wasstunned by the flying bullets which missedcustomers by inches. No bystanders were injured,although three loaded weapons were discovered inthe getaway car with the shot-out windows.

Two of the suspects, Keith A. Leahy, 25, andBrendon F. Smith, 24, were seriously wounded in agunfight with a security guard and are nowstanding trial. The third suspect is still atlarge.

Gina Grant's Recission

In April, Harvard rescinded the earlyactionadmittance of Gina Grant after learning that shehad killed her mother in 1990.

Harvard confirmed that an admission had beenrescinded but refused to comment further orspecify their reasons for denying the admission.The press statement seemed to hint that Grant hadmisrepresented herself in her application, butnothing definitive was said.

Grant herself also refused to comment, though.

In the midst of the national debate about thejuvenile justice system and Harvard's ethicalresponsibilities, tow members of the FacultyStanding Committee on Admissions and Financial Aidtold The crimson that Grant had lied to her alumniinterviewer, reportedly saying that her mother haddied in a car accident.

Joshua D. Liston, president of theUndergraduate Council, organized a rally toprotest Harvard's decision. Reporters outnumberedprotesters and some Undergraduate Council memberscriticized Liston for implying he spoke for thestudent body on that issue.

Dunster Murder-Suicide

The day after finals ended, the most bizarreand disturbing event of the year occurred. SineduTadesse, a junior living in Dunster House,murdered her roommate Trang Phuong Ho '96 andwounded a friend of Ho's who was spending thenight, Thao Nguyen.

At 8 a.m. in the morning, Tadesse turned offher alarm, grabbed a knife and stabbed Ho 45times, wounding Nguyen in the wrist and foot whenNguyen tried to stop her. Tadesse then went ot herbathroom where she hung herself. She waspronounced dead at the hospital.

Later the same day, police found a letter inThe Crimson's dumpster which contained Tadesse'spicture and a brief, typewritten note. "Keep thispicture," the letter read, "There will soon be ajuicy story about this person."

Shocked undergraduates continued to move out asquestions swirled. Why had Tadesse murdered herroommate? Should Harvard's counseling resourceshave caught someone who was obviously troubled?Could this type of action be prevented in thefuture?

The answers to these questions remain elusive.Inexplicably, one woman killed her best friendafter they had decided not to live together nextyear. Neither Tadesse, an Ethopian, nor Ho, anative of Vietnam, had many friends outside theAfrican Students Association and the VietnameseStudent's Association, respectively. Both pre-medswere described as quiet, studious, and nice.

Other Events

Of course, there was more:

In February, a helicopter crashed into theHarvard Yacht Club, killing the four passengers,none of whom were Harvard affiliates.

Two undergraduates confessed to embezzlingapproximately $120,000 from the Jimmy Fund, achildren's cancer charity. Charles K. Lee '93 andDavid G. Sword '93 were in charge of the annualEliot House Fundraiser, "An Evening withChampions," in 1992. The money was discoveredmissing in 1993, when the new chairs took over.

Lee was sentenced to four to five yearsimprisonment, one of which he will be expected tocomplete. Three to 10 years of probation,community service and full restitution were alsopart of the sentence. Sword received one year ofprobation and is required to make full restitutionas well.

The Bell Curve, a controversial bookwritten by two Harvard professors, the lateRichard J. Hernstein and Charles A. Murray '65implied a tie between race and intelligence.

The book's thesis sparked many protests, andthe Black Students association organized a rallyon Widener's steps and walked out of Murray'sdiscussion of the book at the IOP.

Hundreds of first-years began vomiting in theevening and throughout the night on December 6.More than 200 students went to University HealthServices (UHS), and many more stayed in their dormrooms and threw up there.

Students recovered quickly from the illness,which was fround to be a norwalk virus thatprobably spread through the Union's salad bar.

"We were all sitting in the UHS waiting roomthrowing up for about two hours," said Lydia C.Johnson '98. "It was the greatest freshman bondingexperience ever."

A Few Good Happenings

The University received a record gift of $70.5million dollars from John L. Loeb '24 and FrancesL. Loeb, which gave the Capital Campaign a hugeboost. The gift, which was announced in March, wasthe ninth largest in the history of Americanhigher education.

Admission rates dropped to a record low. Morethan 17,000 people applied to Harvard, and 11.8percent of them received acceptance letters, thelowest rate in the country. Record numbers ofminorities were admitted and the average financialaid award continued to grow.

Congratulations on being in that 11.8 percent.Welcome to a very "exciting" place.Photo courtesy Harvard GazetteThe wreckage of a state helicopter whichcrashed into the Harvard Sailing Paviliion.

The lunchtime crowd in front of Au Bon Pain wasstunned by the flying bullets which missedcustomers by inches. No bystanders were injured,although three loaded weapons were discovered inthe getaway car with the shot-out windows.

Two of the suspects, Keith A. Leahy, 25, andBrendon F. Smith, 24, were seriously wounded in agunfight with a security guard and are nowstanding trial. The third suspect is still atlarge.

Gina Grant's Recission

In April, Harvard rescinded the earlyactionadmittance of Gina Grant after learning that shehad killed her mother in 1990.

Harvard confirmed that an admission had beenrescinded but refused to comment further orspecify their reasons for denying the admission.The press statement seemed to hint that Grant hadmisrepresented herself in her application, butnothing definitive was said.

Grant herself also refused to comment, though.

In the midst of the national debate about thejuvenile justice system and Harvard's ethicalresponsibilities, tow members of the FacultyStanding Committee on Admissions and Financial Aidtold The crimson that Grant had lied to her alumniinterviewer, reportedly saying that her mother haddied in a car accident.

Joshua D. Liston, president of theUndergraduate Council, organized a rally toprotest Harvard's decision. Reporters outnumberedprotesters and some Undergraduate Council memberscriticized Liston for implying he spoke for thestudent body on that issue.

Dunster Murder-Suicide

The day after finals ended, the most bizarreand disturbing event of the year occurred. SineduTadesse, a junior living in Dunster House,murdered her roommate Trang Phuong Ho '96 andwounded a friend of Ho's who was spending thenight, Thao Nguyen.

At 8 a.m. in the morning, Tadesse turned offher alarm, grabbed a knife and stabbed Ho 45times, wounding Nguyen in the wrist and foot whenNguyen tried to stop her. Tadesse then went ot herbathroom where she hung herself. She waspronounced dead at the hospital.

Later the same day, police found a letter inThe Crimson's dumpster which contained Tadesse'spicture and a brief, typewritten note. "Keep thispicture," the letter read, "There will soon be ajuicy story about this person."

Shocked undergraduates continued to move out asquestions swirled. Why had Tadesse murdered herroommate? Should Harvard's counseling resourceshave caught someone who was obviously troubled?Could this type of action be prevented in thefuture?

The answers to these questions remain elusive.Inexplicably, one woman killed her best friendafter they had decided not to live together nextyear. Neither Tadesse, an Ethopian, nor Ho, anative of Vietnam, had many friends outside theAfrican Students Association and the VietnameseStudent's Association, respectively. Both pre-medswere described as quiet, studious, and nice.

Other Events

Of course, there was more:

In February, a helicopter crashed into theHarvard Yacht Club, killing the four passengers,none of whom were Harvard affiliates.

Two undergraduates confessed to embezzlingapproximately $120,000 from the Jimmy Fund, achildren's cancer charity. Charles K. Lee '93 andDavid G. Sword '93 were in charge of the annualEliot House Fundraiser, "An Evening withChampions," in 1992. The money was discoveredmissing in 1993, when the new chairs took over.

Lee was sentenced to four to five yearsimprisonment, one of which he will be expected tocomplete. Three to 10 years of probation,community service and full restitution were alsopart of the sentence. Sword received one year ofprobation and is required to make full restitutionas well.

The Bell Curve, a controversial bookwritten by two Harvard professors, the lateRichard J. Hernstein and Charles A. Murray '65implied a tie between race and intelligence.

The book's thesis sparked many protests, andthe Black Students association organized a rallyon Widener's steps and walked out of Murray'sdiscussion of the book at the IOP.

Hundreds of first-years began vomiting in theevening and throughout the night on December 6.More than 200 students went to University HealthServices (UHS), and many more stayed in their dormrooms and threw up there.

Students recovered quickly from the illness,which was fround to be a norwalk virus thatprobably spread through the Union's salad bar.

"We were all sitting in the UHS waiting roomthrowing up for about two hours," said Lydia C.Johnson '98. "It was the greatest freshman bondingexperience ever."

A Few Good Happenings

The University received a record gift of $70.5million dollars from John L. Loeb '24 and FrancesL. Loeb, which gave the Capital Campaign a hugeboost. The gift, which was announced in March, wasthe ninth largest in the history of Americanhigher education.

Admission rates dropped to a record low. Morethan 17,000 people applied to Harvard, and 11.8percent of them received acceptance letters, thelowest rate in the country. Record numbers ofminorities were admitted and the average financialaid award continued to grow.

Congratulations on being in that 11.8 percent.Welcome to a very "exciting" place.Photo courtesy Harvard GazetteThe wreckage of a state helicopter whichcrashed into the Harvard Sailing Paviliion.

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