Dunster House Master Karel F. Liem--the first minority to be appointed to that position--has announced that he will step down at the end of this year.
Liem and his wife Hetty, who is co-master, have served for the past 12 years and headed the House during one of its most troubled times. In 1995, when a murder-suicide involving two Dunster students rocked the College and shocked the country, Dunster House drew national media attention--and Harvard's advising system drew considerable scrutiny.
Liem, who is 65, said he decided to give up his post as master because the time was right.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dunster, but it's time for a younger person to take the lead," he said.
Some current Dunster residents describe the Liems as strong student advocates. According to Michael T. Coscetta '01, Liem is "probably the most popular House master on campus."
"He'll do whatever the students want," Coscetta said. "He'll fight for us against other House masters and the administration."
Melissa H. Coleman '02 remembers approaching the masters with a plan to start an art studio that would require $800 to set up.
"As a sophomore asking for this sum, I was very nervous. But from the first, they were enthusiastic and gave us the money...So we love our masters," she said.
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