Faust Delivers a Welcome in Latin

At yesterday’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting, University President Drew G. Faust revealed her weak spot in Latin.

While presenting honorary degrees to newly tenured members of FAS who had not graduated from Harvard—a practice dating back to 1942—Faust began to read aloud a traditional Latin motto from a piece of paper.

“Ut in gre...” she began, hesitating as she turned to Classics Professor Richard F. Thomas. Faust then proceeded to deliver the full translation of the traditional welcome, which reads, "in order that he/she may be counted among our flock," and Thomas approved the translation.

“I haven’t had Latin since eighth grade,” Faust admitted.

Eleven tenured professors from across FAS were formally introduced to the Faculty, though seven of the new Harvard degree holders had formerly been untenured professors at the University.


Faust said that the seven promotions from within were a testament to the “vibrancy of our tenure track system.”

“So let’s have a round of applause for that,” she added.


Dean of FAS Michael D. Smith had good news to deliver at yesterday’s meeting: Harvard is qualified to grant degrees as an academic institution.

Smith was not stating the obvious, but announcing that the New England Association of Schools and Colleges had officially reaccredited Harvard.

“I am pleased to say that Harvard has successfully been reaccredited,” Smith said. “Good news for us.”

Reaccreditation is a voluntary process in which universities and colleges demonstrate to the public that they meet the standards in areas like academic programs and financial resources. Harvard, which had its last comprehensive review in 1997, undergoes the peer-review process every decade.

The review committee—a group of officials from peer institutions that is led by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia—spent a year examining various aspects of the University and interviewing faculty, staff, and students.

Harvard formulated a 141-page “self-study report” detailing the University’s administrative structure, institutional history, recent changes, and current challenges.

Smith named several Harvard administrators who played important roles in the reaccreditation process, thanking those “who helped us achieve this successful outcome.”