Monday, February 12, 2007

Harvard University elects first female president.

Drew Gilpin Faust, a historian of 59, was named the university's 28th president. She is the first woman president in Harvard's 371 year history. Faust is the first Harvard president who did not graduate at the university itself since 1672. (Charles Chauncy, a former Cambridge alumnus from England died in office at Harvard that year). Faust attended Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also a professor of history. Born Catherine Gilpin in a privileged family in Virginia, Faust was dean of Radcliffe since 2001, a think-tank with 87 employees and a $17 million budget. The Radcliffe women’s college was merged into Harvard University in 1999, as a research center with a mission to study gender issues. Faust will preside now over Harvard's 11 schools and colleges, 24.000 employees and a budget of $3 billion. The Harvard presidency is considered by many the most prestigious job in higher education worldwide. Harvard is the oldest university in the US.