College Honors 25 Years of Yard Co-Residency

Festivities include dedication of gate in Yard

Harvard University celebrated the 25th anniversary of co-residency in Harvard Yard on Saturday, beginning with a gate dedication in the afternoon and continuing through special dinners in each undergraduate dining hall that night.

Though academic courses at Harvard College were opened to female students at Radcliffe College in 1946 and Harvard degrees were first awarded to women in 1963, it was not until 1972 that men and women began living in Yard dorms together.

The small gate to the left of Thayer Gate was dedicated as the kickoff event of the Celebration of Women at Harvard College. Unveiling the commemorative plaques on either side of the gate was Renee M. Landers '77, former president of the Board of Overseers, and Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, the first female student body president.

Rawlins invited the Harvard communityto imagine the experiences of the women of the Class of '76, the first class of women to take up residence in Harvard Yard.

"We are breaking glass ceilings-they confronted brick walls," Rawlins said.


Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 spoke of Harvard's continual evolution as a place for educating the brightest individuals, both men and women. Lewis said it was particularly appropriate to dedicate a Harvard Yard gate to women.

"We are celebrating not only co-residence but all the changes for the women since 1972," Lewis said. "It was [once] only through the gates of Radcliffe Col- lege that women could gain a Harvard education."

President Neil L. Rudenstine joined Lewis in proclaiming the occasion a "happy event" and described the dedication of the gate as a "coming of age" for the Yard.

Landers, however, said that there is still more work to do for women's equality at Harvard.

"[The community] must take this opportunity to re-dedicate the advancement of women," she said.

Despite a light rain, the ceremony continued, concluding with comments by Helen Vendler, Porter University professor. Vendler, quoting poet Anne Dudley Bradstreet, expressed her hope that, though Bradstreet could not attend Harvard College, the "next Anne Bradstreet will be one of us."

Bradstreet's words appear on one of the commemorative plaques.

"I came into this Country, where I found a new World and new manners at which my heart rose," the plaque reads.

Rising to sing Harvard's anthem, "Fair Harvard," the audience read from their programs which included a revised version of the anthem. A reference to Harvard's "sons" had been replaced by the gender neutral "we."

Following the dedication ceremony were eight panel discussions in Sever Hall. Moderated by female professors and other women distinguished in their fields, the panels focused on the advancement of women in diverse areas such as science, literature, athletics, law and popular culture.

The event participants were then invited to a reception in Robinson Hall, where Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles spoke to the students, alumni and Faculty present.

"To women at Harvard," Knowles said at the end of his brief remarks, holding a glass aloft. The audience responded in kind to the toast.CrimsonLinda S. CuckovichNANCY ZWENG '76 and KIM ADAMS '76, members of the first class of women to live in the Yard, pose in front of a gate dedicated to Co-Residency this weekend.