Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Whither the Harvard Endowment?


The University’s endowment—its largest revenue source by far—was valued at $37.6 billion as of June 30, 2015 (the end of that fiscal year, and the most recent reporting date). In nominal terms, not adjusted for inflation, that was an important milestone: the endowment at last exceeded the prior peak value of $36.9 billion reported at the end of fiscal 2008, just before the financial crisis.

Stephen Blyth Resigns from Harvard Management Company


The University announced that Stephen Blyth, president and CEO of Harvard Management Company (HMC) since the beginning of 2015, has resigned. He went on medical leave in late May, as reported.

President Faust, Before Harvard


Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, The Chronicle of Higher Education—a leading source of news for the college and university set—is reprinting vintage cover stories. The June 24 issue reprised the July 6, 1994, edition, on which “Penn’s Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian” was featured, for a story on “Policing Scholars’ Ethics” (click on the arrow to see the full page).

A Pianist on the World Stage


Aristo Sham ’19, winner of last month’s New York International Piano Competition (NYIPC), is no stranger to the big stage—he’s been playing the piano since he was three years old. Sham, who is originally from Hong Kong, and is a rising sophomore enrolled in the dual-degree A.B.-master’s program with the New England Conservatory (NEC), won the competition’s first prize of $10,000, plus concert and recital appearances to come.

Open Roads and Dead Ends on a Native American Reservation


The Seventh Fire opens with an image of a road in the dark, pulling the audience into a harsh and little-seen world: the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. The documentary’s 71 minutes are largely confined to the town of Pine Point, and its grim sights: houses covered in boards and graffiti, kids doing drugs, a car ablaze in the street. There seems to be no way out, least of all for the film’s central characters. Rob Brown, a onetime leader of the Native Gangster Disciples, confronts his violent past as he prepares for his fifth stay in prison.

Naomi Oreskes on How to Write about Science


History of science professor Naomi Oreskes talks about climate change the way one might expect of both an earth scientist and a historian. “Science has to be part of the conversation on climate change,” she says, “but it’s not the whole conversation. At this time, I actually don’t think it’s the most important piece.

Teaching Children to Care


The genesis of Education for Sharing, a nonprofit organization that has served hundreds of thousands of children by educating them about global issues through imagination and play, took place on a cruise ship. Dina Buchbinder Auron, M.P.A. ’16, a recently graduated Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Mason Fellow, is the organization’s founder and executive president, and has since guided it from a dream into reality. 

Katherine O’Dair to Replace Stephen Lassonde as Dean of Students


Katherine O’Dair, a former administrator at Boston College and MIT, has been named dean of students effective August 15, College dean Rakesh Khurana announced in an email today. She will succeed former dean of student life Stephen Lassonde, who stepped down from the position in January.

Babar Comes to Houghton Library


Published in 1935, ABC de Babar—the focus of a current exhibit at Harvard—was the fourth book in French illustrator Jean de Brunhoff’s series about a little elephant in a green three-piece suit. The children’s books (the first appeared in 1931) had grown out of a bedtime story that de Brunhoff’s wife invented for their two oldest sons when they four and five, about an orphaned elephant on a shopping spree in Paris.

This Is How the World Ends


In the imagination of Justin Cronin ’84, when the world ends, Harvard College is substantially to blame. Not that the novelist has an unkind word to say about his alma mater. He laughs—meaning “no”—when asked if he’s joined the likes of David Halberstam '55 and William F. Buckley, in the tradition of writers warning against the dangers of Ivy League education.