Radcliffe held its annual Strawberry Tea last Wednesday, with a new category of guests in attendance--men--and the conspicuous absence of a decades-old tradition.
In years past, the awarding of the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize, what had been Radcliffe's highest honor for a graduating woman, formed the focal point of the event.
Mary Maples Dunn, acting dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Jeremy R. Knowles, dean of the Faculty said they decided not to give the prize this year because they feared there would not be enough time before graduation to ensure that the criteria for the prize complied with Harvard's non-discrimination policy. They also said they wanted to establish a set of criteria for the prize that was in keeping with the mission of the Institute.
Wednesday, Dunn welcomed the crowd, and then in a brief set of remarks, said that "womanliness has a special place at Radcliffe as the years go on, manliness will too as the our future begins to unfold."
Dunn's comments were a good- natured poke at the Paul Revere Frothingham Prize, a Harvard College prize whose criteria includes "manliness." The Frothingham will be given this year at Commencement.
"I think that they should have given the Fay prize this year. With the [Frothingham] if feels like a double standard," said Tea attendee Gisela I. Mohring '00.
Both men and women gathered on the grassy lawn next to Greenleaf, the large Victorian-styled residence on Brattle Street, traditionally the home of Radcliffe's leader.
With more than 500 RSVPs, this year's Strawberry Tea outgrew the Horner Room in Agassiz House, where it had been held in years past.
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