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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

First Top Female Cadet Enrolls at Med School

By Valerie J. Macmillan

Harvard Medical School (HMS) will soon number among its students one who made history before even enrolling.

Rebecca E. Marier isn't a top researcher or 11-year-old high school graduate. Instead, she is the first woman in the history of West Point Military Academy to graduate first in the class.

"I applied [to HMS] because I want to be a doctor and Harvard is the best," Marier said.

Marier has been assigned to the Medical core and will be training to be an Army doctor, according to a West Point spokesperson.

Marier said she is looking forward to "calming down a little bit" in medical school.

And though she has yet to settle on a specialty, Marier said she will have only one thing on her mind: "I'm looking forward to being able to concentrate on one goal--to be a great doctor," she said.

Marier applied to Harvard as a high school senior but turned down the College to attend West Point.

"I chose West Point because I thought it would offer more of a challenge mentally [and] physically," Marier said. "West Point is more of a leadership institution, and I want to be a leader."

According to a West Point spokesperson, academic, physical and military performance are all evaluated when the cadets are ranked. Marier excelled in all three areas.

Marier, who played soccer, volleyball and tennis in high school, was captain of the women's tennis team at West Point.

"Being a team captain was one of the greatest challenges," Marier said. "I had a lot of different responsibilities. It was a great experience."

Marier said that her time as a regimental commander at Fort Knox, Kentucky was one of the best experiences she had at West Point.

"The summer before my senior year, I was the commander of a training exercise for four weeks," Marier said. "It was a great learning experience."

According to a West Point spokesperson, theoffice of regimental commander involves organizingactivities for more than 1,000 cadets and is thethird-highest position a cadet can hold.

Not surprisingly, the graduate also said herlast day at West point was one of the best.

"The best experience is graduation day," Mariersaid. "You've been working for so long, and it's avery exciting time.

According to a West Point spokesperson, theoffice of regimental commander involves organizingactivities for more than 1,000 cadets and is thethird-highest position a cadet can hold.

Not surprisingly, the graduate also said herlast day at West point was one of the best.

"The best experience is graduation day," Mariersaid. "You've been working for so long, and it's avery exciting time.

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