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Radcliffe Alumna Recall 25 Years With Harvard

By Molly Hennessy-fiske, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Orientation Week has always signaled change, from new rooms, friends and interests to startling self-discoveries.

But when 442 first-year women entered the Yard in the fall of 1972, ready to lug suitcases into formerly all-male first-year dorms, move-in meant more than just a change of scene-it meant revolution.

"Some of the [upperclass] houses did already have women in them, but from an official standpoint this was an important moment," said Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68.

Lewis said the anniversary was chosen "for its symbolic significance" and not "specifically to celebrate co-ed housing or examine co-ed housing."

"We want to celebrate all that has been accomplished by women at the College in the past 25 years," he said.

College and University officials collabo- rated in organizing the celebration, enlisting the help of alumna from the class of '76-the first co-ed class to hit the Yard.

"There was a division between women who chose to live in the Yard and those that didn't," said Alison N. Mitchell '76, chief congressional correspondent for The New York Times, who will speak at the celebration as part of one of seven scheduled panels.. "It was between women who saw feminism as going out and breaking barriers...and those that felt they should go to women's schools [like Radcliffe] because women's solidarity didn't exist in the Yard."

Panel member Phyllis M. Lugger '76, professor of astronomy at Indiana University, recalled life in the Yard for a female science concentrator as a series of "road-blocks."

"In the Yard, specifically in the are of science and [more] specifically in the physical sciences, the number of women was very low," Lugger said. "What I found was that women tended to work together against the feeling of being outnumbered."

Lugger will offer advice to undergraduate women in the sciences regarding what she sees as the "leaky pipeline" that drains women academics in the science fields before they reach positions of power.

"There are fewer women as you go on. That's something that has generally been true throughout my career," she said. "If you want a career you have to have the interest, but you also need good teachers, and the support of others, especially fellow students."

The celebration will begin with a public dedication of a gate located behind Canaday Hall at 2 p.m., followed by seven panel discussions held simultaneously from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Sever Hall.

The panels-all but one moderated by women Faculty and including some students and distinguished alumna-focus on volunteerism and public service, science, music and the arts, athletics, literature and writing, law and business, journalism and media and popular culture.

"I've provided them with a list of questions and suggested they talk about what interests them," said Porter University Professor Helen Vendler. Vendler will moderate the panel on literature and writing that includes Allegra Goodman '89; author and visiting lecturer Jamaica Kincaid; Natalie Kusz, Briggs-Copeland lecturer on English and American literature and language; and Masoumeh Tadjedin '99.

"They will talk about being women, about being writers and ways different facets of the two intersect," Vendler said. Mitchell said that as part of the panel concerning journalism and media she hopes to advise undergraduate women on career and academic interests.

"I wanted to participate in the panel, one, because I'm a woman in journalism and I'm proud of being one of the women to do that and succeed and two, because I see it as a chance to answer a lot of questions and work with female students," she said.

Some of the most prominent speakers on the seven panels are: Massachusetts Supreme Court Associate Justice and former Harvard Vice President and General Counsel Margaret H. Marshall; Bryn Mawr College President Nancy Vickers; Professor of Biology Colleen M. Cavanaugh; Kenan Professor of English Marjorie Garber; and Professor of Government and of Sociology Theda Skocpol.

Students Nicole A. Barry '98, Crystal A. Redd '98 and Tadjedin will also participate in the panels.

Lewis and Assistant Dean of the College Karen E. Avery '87 invited a short list of student leaders to attend the panels, but panel tickets are available to all students in limited quantities.

"It's good to notice the progress that's been made, for undergraduates to notice the history of women at Harvard," said Radcliffe President Linda S. Wilson, who will be a science panel member at the celebration.

"[Students] tend to focus on the present and not the mountains that have been climbed to get here," she said. "This is a milestone for both Harvard and Radcliffe and a chance to concentrate on all the changes that have happened."

Avery encouraged students-both male and female-to take advantage of the panels as a time to meet alumna and forge connections.

"That's why it's so important that the booklets are being distributed to all students," Avery said. "That's part of heightening awareness."

Panel discussion topics will be determined by individual moderators, but Avery said all panelists will share aspects of their lives and careers inextricably linked with gender.

"It's a bit of both really," she said. "[Panel members] will speak about their lives, and their careers as professionals, but they will speak with women's voices. As a result, women's concerns will definitely play a role [in discussions]."

Avery called the celebration a "Kickoff" for a fall season of events that will bring women leaders to the Yard. Marshall is set to return and address students in Sever Hall Oct. 12, and Avery said similar events are in the process of being organized

"There was a division between women who chose to live in the Yard and those that didn't," said Alison N. Mitchell '76, chief congressional correspondent for The New York Times, who will speak at the celebration as part of one of seven scheduled panels.. "It was between women who saw feminism as going out and breaking barriers...and those that felt they should go to women's schools [like Radcliffe] because women's solidarity didn't exist in the Yard."

Panel member Phyllis M. Lugger '76, professor of astronomy at Indiana University, recalled life in the Yard for a female science concentrator as a series of "road-blocks."

"In the Yard, specifically in the are of science and [more] specifically in the physical sciences, the number of women was very low," Lugger said. "What I found was that women tended to work together against the feeling of being outnumbered."

Lugger will offer advice to undergraduate women in the sciences regarding what she sees as the "leaky pipeline" that drains women academics in the science fields before they reach positions of power.

"There are fewer women as you go on. That's something that has generally been true throughout my career," she said. "If you want a career you have to have the interest, but you also need good teachers, and the support of others, especially fellow students."

The celebration will begin with a public dedication of a gate located behind Canaday Hall at 2 p.m., followed by seven panel discussions held simultaneously from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Sever Hall.

The panels-all but one moderated by women Faculty and including some students and distinguished alumna-focus on volunteerism and public service, science, music and the arts, athletics, literature and writing, law and business, journalism and media and popular culture.

"I've provided them with a list of questions and suggested they talk about what interests them," said Porter University Professor Helen Vendler. Vendler will moderate the panel on literature and writing that includes Allegra Goodman '89; author and visiting lecturer Jamaica Kincaid; Natalie Kusz, Briggs-Copeland lecturer on English and American literature and language; and Masoumeh Tadjedin '99.

"They will talk about being women, about being writers and ways different facets of the two intersect," Vendler said. Mitchell said that as part of the panel concerning journalism and media she hopes to advise undergraduate women on career and academic interests.

"I wanted to participate in the panel, one, because I'm a woman in journalism and I'm proud of being one of the women to do that and succeed and two, because I see it as a chance to answer a lot of questions and work with female students," she said.

Some of the most prominent speakers on the seven panels are: Massachusetts Supreme Court Associate Justice and former Harvard Vice President and General Counsel Margaret H. Marshall; Bryn Mawr College President Nancy Vickers; Professor of Biology Colleen M. Cavanaugh; Kenan Professor of English Marjorie Garber; and Professor of Government and of Sociology Theda Skocpol.

Students Nicole A. Barry '98, Crystal A. Redd '98 and Tadjedin will also participate in the panels.

Lewis and Assistant Dean of the College Karen E. Avery '87 invited a short list of student leaders to attend the panels, but panel tickets are available to all students in limited quantities.

"It's good to notice the progress that's been made, for undergraduates to notice the history of women at Harvard," said Radcliffe President Linda S. Wilson, who will be a science panel member at the celebration.

"[Students] tend to focus on the present and not the mountains that have been climbed to get here," she said. "This is a milestone for both Harvard and Radcliffe and a chance to concentrate on all the changes that have happened."

Avery encouraged students-both male and female-to take advantage of the panels as a time to meet alumna and forge connections.

"That's why it's so important that the booklets are being distributed to all students," Avery said. "That's part of heightening awareness."

Panel discussion topics will be determined by individual moderators, but Avery said all panelists will share aspects of their lives and careers inextricably linked with gender.

"It's a bit of both really," she said. "[Panel members] will speak about their lives, and their careers as professionals, but they will speak with women's voices. As a result, women's concerns will definitely play a role [in discussions]."

Avery called the celebration a "Kickoff" for a fall season of events that will bring women leaders to the Yard. Marshall is set to return and address students in Sever Hall Oct. 12, and Avery said similar events are in the process of being organized

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