At the Head of the Class

Upon getting into both Harvard and Stanford, the soon-to-be high school graduate turned to his uncle for the advice which would ultimately lead him to the East Coast.

“He told me ‘Any man can drive a Corvette, but it takes a real man to drive a Ferrari. Harvard is a Ferrari,’” Bahadu recalls.

“It’s hard to say no to this place,” he adds, grinning.

And saying no is something Bahadu has tried to avoid as First Class Marshal. In planning senior events, Bahadu says he has kept the successes and failures of his predecessors in mind, paying particular attention to last year’s Class Committee.

“We wanted to avoid the discontent they had,” he says, though he adds that he thinks much of it was unavoidable.  “It’s really not their fault, certain things happened—one was weather.”


Bahadu says he has had to work hard to overcome personal traits which make his First Class Marshal duties particularly overwhelming.

“I’m a bit of a micro-manager—a bit like [former Undergraduate Council president Rohit [Chopra ’04],” he admits.

Bahadu and the Senior Class Committee have also made efforts to improve Senior Week, relocating and rescheduling the Senior Soiree due to weather and crowding concerns and  introducing new events such as the Senior Olympics. Pitting students from each house against each other in a giant athletic competition held on the lawn of Harvard’s coliseum-like stadium, the games marked the kickoff of this year’s week-long celebration.

The day went off nearly without a hitch, save for an altercation in between the dizzy bat and potato sack race events that left one student with a bloody nose. As Bahadu dealt with police and the injured student, he ran back and forth to the center of the field, helping his volunteers at the next game get started.

At the end of the day, though, the host remembers throwing a decidedly successful shindig.

“All those people in different colors hamming it up,” he says. “It’s nice to everyone smiling for a change.”

—Staff writer David S. Hirsch can be reached at