The Harvard Medalists of 2017
The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has announced this year’s recipients of the Harvard Medal, awarded each year for extraordinary service to the University. The honorees are:
- Henry N. Cobb ’47, M.Arch. ’49, a former professor and chair of the architecture department at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) and former president of the GSD Association. Cobb designed several local buildings, including the terra cotta-clad Center for Government and International Studies complex on Cambridge Street, housing Harvard’s government department and many of its research centers and institutes. CGIS is “representative of Harry’s contributions to the University and the Harvard community, and of his vision as an architect,” says GSD dean Mohsen Mostafavi. He still occasionally teaches at the GSD as a visiting lecturer, serves as an honorary member of the GSD Campaign Committee, and contributes actively to Pei Cobb Freed & Partners LLP, the architecture firm he helped found in 1955.
- Warren Masters Little ’55, for his decades of service to Harvard’s alumni, athletic, and other organizations. “Renny” Little has served on many HAA committees since 1977, including the Happy Observance of Commencement Committee for 33 years, 18 as its secretary. “An avid Harvard fan, he served as vice president and is an advisory committee member for the Harvard Varsity Club. He is an active member of the Friends of Harvard Track and rarely misses a home meet, or football, or women’s hockey game,” according to a statement from the HAA. “For Harvard’s 350th, he created an exhibit of Harvard’s athletic memorabilia. The pro bono curator of the Lee Family Athletic Hall of History, Little has collected Crimson treasures, refurbishing many for display.” Little has also been an executive director of the Cambridge Historical Society, executive director of the Higgins Armory Museum, director of education at the New England Aquarium, and a teacher and coach at the Rivers School. He is secretary for his College class, and is personally active in historic preservation, and in curating Harvard’s historic athletic memorabilia.
- A. Clayton Spencer, A.M. ’82, for her service to four different Harvard presidents across 15 years. She was a senior administrator during the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period of significant change for the University, and was involved in the merger of Harvard with Radcliffe College and the resulting creation of the Radcliffe Institute; the creation of the financial-aid initiative, which made the College tuition-free for low-income families; and other high-profile University projects. Since 2012, she has been president of Bates College—President Drew Faust spoke at her installation ceremony. Drawing on her long professional experience as an analyst of higher-education policy, she recently reviewed an important book on the subject for the magazine.
Honorees will receive their medals during the HAA’s annual meeting, during the afternoon exercises on Commencement day, May 25.