'Exciting' Year for Harvard

Exhaustion, Rescission, Murder-Suicide Shake College

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In April, Harvard rescinded the earlyactionadmittance of Gina Grant after learning that shehad killed her mother in 1990.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