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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Kerry M. Healey

By Noah S. Bloom, Crimson Staff Writer

Kerry M. Healey ’82 was finishing the spring semester of her senior year of high school when she received an invitation from the head of the Harvard men’s crew team to try out for a selective spot as varsity coxswain. At 5’9” and with a (self-acknowledged) androgenous name, she found herself the lone woman amid some 80 men at the tryout.

While her coxswain career didn’t quite take off, Healey—her surname was Murphy then—was allowed to attend several practices. But it wasn’t easy. “During the review of a practice that took place in the men’s locker room, the coach saw I had my hands on my face the whole time.”

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