Class of 1986

Daniel Mudd

As the financial markets unraveled in the fall of 2008, politicians and media pundits scrambled to find someone to blame for the panic engulfing global economies, and 1986 Harvard Kennedy School graduate Daniel H. Mudd found himself among the many thrust into the spotlight.

Dudley Herschbach

Though Herschbach, at that time a farm boy in rural California, had never heard of Harvard, he would later become not only a Junior Fellow and a Nobel Prize-winning chemist at the same institution as Menzel, but also a House master and an inspirational mentor for many students.

Jeff Zucker

Almost exactly 25 years ago, Jeffrey A. Zucker ’86 was in the middle of his graduation ceremony at Mather House when he received a phone call. It was NBC.

Arne Duncan

Webster’s teammate, current Secretary of Education Arne S. Duncan ’86, suddenly caught the ball as it nearly soared out of bounds near the half-court line. The 6’5” Chicago native held the ball for only a split-second before releasing it towards the distant hoop.

Tom Morello

But twenty-five years ago, Morello was still a student concentrating in social studies in Currier House—one who worked hard in school, but practiced guitar even harder.

Joel Podolny

Nearly 30 years later, Podolny has come full circle, leaving behind a two-decade career in academia—and a deanship at the Yale School of Management—to head Apple University, the company’s internal training program.

Cecilia Rouse

Economist and Princeton professor Cecilia E. Rouse ’86 wanted to become an engineer when she first came to Harvard, but her academic path took a quick turn when she enrolled in the popular freshman course Social Analysis 10, better known as “Ec 10.”

Students Infuriated After Cue Guide Responses Altered

In a preface to the guide, the editors contended that a Harvard official had pressured them to make revisions to criticisms of several instructors, such as the deletion of words such as “arrogant” and “condescending.”

AIDS Leads to Stigma on Campus

Although numerous suites in Mather House continue to share adjoining bathrooms, Lorelee S. Stewart ’86 recalls an instance in which the dorm room design was deemed unacceptable: a room of straight male students refused to use the same facilities as their gay neighbors for fear of being exposed to AIDS.

Students Protest Ad Board

The Administrative Board—the primary disciplinary body of Harvard College—came under fire in 1986 after the Board handed down punishments in two separate cases that were perceived by students as unduly harsh given the nature of the offenses.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Though the personal computers available in 1986 were roughly 300 times slower than today’s laptops, they began what would become a technological revolution on Harvard’s campus.

Remembering the Challenger Disaster

The Challenger—with McNair, high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, and five other astronauts onboard—had exploded 73 seconds into its flight. As news of the tragedy spread across Harvard’s campus, the disaster set into motion emotional, professional, and institutional changes in how students and researchers viewed the space program.

Protesting Apartheid

On an April night in 1986, more than 200 South Africa divestment activists erected a shantytown and a symbolic 16-foot ivory tower in front of University Hall to protest Harvard’s investment in companies doing business in South Africa.

Controversy Erupts Over Professors’ Ties to the CIA

In 1985, a Harvard informant came forward to The Crimson and hand-delivered a package of documents that had never before been made available to the public. The package contained extensive information about the Central Intelligence Agency’s dealings with Nadav Safran, then-director of Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

The striped exterior of the Sackler—originally planned to be colored pink and green—drew mixed reviews from the community as the building neared completion

Higher Drinking Age Leads to Stricter Policies

But social gatherings on campus became more confined within Houses and individual dorm rooms when Massachusetts adopted a new law in June 1985 increasing the legal drinking age from 20 to 21. The hike was in response to federal legislation that required all states to enforce a drinking age of 21 or risk losing government highway funds.

After a Decade, the Sackler Finally Opens Its Doors

When the Arthur M. Sackler Art Museum opened its doors in October 1985, many involved in the project dubbed its completion “The Miracle on Quincy Street.”

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