History by degrees

first_imgEarly in the afternoon of Sept. 23, 1642 — the first Commencement at Harvard College — all nine graduates lined up in front of President Henry Dunster. He conferred degrees on the group in order of their parents’ prominence, which made Benjamin Woodbridge Harvard’s first graduate. After delivering an address in Latin, Dunster handed each new scholar “a Booke of Arts,” wrote one witness. But after the ceremony, Harvard took each book back.It was not until 1813 that Harvard College graduates received something at Commencement they could keep: a uniformly sized, textually common diploma in Latin. (Medical diplomas were first given out in 1817, and law diplomas in 1827.) Before the era of printed diplomas, any graduate who needed a document attesting to a Harvard degree (usually for travel overseas) hired a local calligrapher to pen an inscription on parchment. Then he — always “he” in those days — paid the Harvard president to sign it. When it came to 17th- and 18th-century diplomas, you “rolled your own,” wrote historian Samuel Eliot Morison.Because of this practice, surviving Harvard diplomas from that time come in all shapes and sizes. They have only one thing in common: Latin text, including names and signatures. The first Harvard graduate to have a diploma made was James Ward, a minister’s son who earned his A.B. degree in 1645, despite an earlier public whipping by Dunster for burgling a local residence. He moved to England, and used his Harvard degree to gain admittance to Oxford. The earliest known diploma in the Harvard collections is that of George Alcock, who received his A.B. in 1673. Dated 1676, it is Puritan-plain and conspicuously small, about 10 inches by 6. Many archived examples, however, are elaborately inscribed, fitted with ribbons and seals, and ostentatiously large. For his 1769 A.B., Thomas Kast ordered up a flashy sheepskin 24 inches wide.None of the 29 Harvard diplomas from those early centuries — despite bursts of fanciful filigree — could be called fine art. Even strictly as documents, they have limited utility for historians since they merely confirm identities and dates of graduation, which were already recorded in the Triennial Catalogs of that era. (The first catalog was printed in 1674 on the press at the Indian College — as a broadside. Not until 1776 was Harvard’s list of graduates large enough to merit a pamphlet.)But there is undeniable magic to the originals, penned on paper or skin and anchored by the ornate signatures of people from Harvard’s resonant far past. Urian Oakes, Harvard’s fourth president, signed Alcock’s diploma. He steered the College through the bloody years of King Philip’s War. Increase Mather, Harvard’s last resolutely Puritan president, signed his son Samuel’s 1701 master of arts diploma. In 1839, legendary law professor Joseph Story, who taught at Harvard while a justice of the Supreme Court, signed the diploma of LL.B. graduate Henry Mason. So did Harvard President Josiah Quincy III, who had a sound head for business and an iron fist for student discipline.Vintage diplomas and other Commencement documents may also reflect dramatic historical realities. The Triennial Catalog for 1682, which lists 1665 College graduate Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck as an “Indus,” also reveals the demographic fragility of 17th-century Harvard. There are no graduates listed for 1644, 1648, and 1672, and only one each in 1652 and 1654. (The 17th century produced only 439 graduates, about one-quarter the number of the Class of 2014; of those 17th-century graduates, 132 — 30 percent — died before the onset of the next century.) Soon came the era of “general degree diplomas,” published in lieu of Commencements cancelled because of war, disease, or economic depression. The earliest general diploma at the Harvard University Archives is for 1752, the year of a smallpox outbreak in Boston.Other diplomas in the Harvard archives signal other kinds of drama, like the one for Gertrude McDonald, whose A.B. was granted in 1894, the first year of the new Radcliffe College. The Schlesinger Library has in its vaults three proofs that women belonged at Harvard all along: the diplomas given to Ruth Lansing — for a bachelor’s degree in 1908, a master’s in 1909, and a Ph.D. in 1914. “It’s not just a piece of paper with a name,” said Schlesinger research librarian Sarah M. Hutcheon of each old diploma. “There’s a story behind it.”— Corydon Ireland 11The remains of the 1849 A.B. diploma of Edward Lorenzo Holmes. Tucked into a safe, it survived the fire of 1871 — although “it is clearly evident,” wrote heir and donor Randolph W. Holmes in 1929, “that the ‘sheep skin’ has turned to a substance analogous to glue.” 3This is an 1840 replica of the honorary LL.D. bestowed by Harvard on George Washington — “Georgium Washington” — on April 18, 1776. 2Puritan minister Increase Mather, Harvard’s sixth president, signed this 1701 Master of Arts diploma for his son Samuel Mather. 14The elaborate and large diploma commissioned by Thomas Kast on the occasion of his 1769 graduation from Harvard College. 5Grace Rebecca Canfield’s subsequent A.B. degree from Radcliffe College in 1894, its first year. 15The Latin-text LL.B. diploma of Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr., who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1951 and taught there from 1976 until his death in 1983. He was a decorated veteran of World War II, an ambassador, a professor, and an author. 8The 1855 diploma of William Gouverneur Morris, who earned an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School. It was signed by Harvard President James Walker, under whose regime (1853-1860) Harvard constructed its first sciences building, offered its first music course, and hired its first black staffer, boxing instructor A. Molyneaux Hewlett. 4An 1883 certificate from the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women attesting that Grace Rebecca Canfield had completed coursework equivalent to a bachelor of arts degree at the school better known as the “Harvard Annex.” 7Harvard’s 1682 Triennial Catalog, an early example of a traditional list of all graduates, living and dead, printed as a broadside starting in 1674 and posted at every Commencement. By 1776, the list of graduates was long enough to merit a pamphlet. A five-year publication interval was adopted in 1875. The last number of the “Quinquennial Catalog” appeared in 1930. 17A detail from the 1951 LL.B. diploma of Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr., which shows the bold, clear signature of James Bryant Conant, Class of 1914. His regime (1933-1953) marked the beginning of the University Professor program, need-blind admissions, the predecessor of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Design, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, women in Harvard classrooms, and general education courses. 9Harvard College’s general degree diploma dated Oct. 3, 1775, signed by President Samuel Locke. At the time, the College was exiled to Concord, Mass., while Harvard was an armed camp housing the Continental Army. 12A phony medical diploma, dated 1865, designed by the Medical Faculty Society (“Med. Fac.”), a covert group founded in 1818 to perpetrate elaborate pranks. For generations Med. Fac. specialized in fractured Latin. The diploma is “signed” by Harvard President H.B. Parker (fictitious) and granted to Joseph Wheeler Reed (an actual member of the Class of 1867). 1This diploma for George Alcock, A.B. 1673, is the earliest known example in the Harvard University Archives. It is dated April 19, 1676. 10The earliest Harvard Law School diploma in the University’s collections, from 1839. It memorializes an LL.B. degree earned by Henry Mason. 16An 1864 honorary Master of Arts degree diploma for Marshall Train Bigelow, signed by Harvard President Thomas Hill. This represents an era — 1860 to 1902 — characterized by extra-large Harvard diplomas. 18The 1827 A.B. diploma for Cornelius Conway Felton, a classics scholar who was president of Harvard from 1860 (when he presided over the first graduating class of more than 100 students) until his death in 1862. 13Radcliffe College graduate Ruth Lansing’s 1914 diploma, memorializing her Ph.D. in Romance philology. 19Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. — Class of 1861 graduate, Union Army officer, and future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court — received his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1866. His diploma, pictured, is part of Harvard’s collections. 6The “general degree diploma” of 1752, the earliest of its type preserved in Harvard collections. Such diplomas, listing all graduates, were printed in years when Commencement was interrupted by war, disease, or economic depression. In 1752, Boston suffered an outbreak of smallpox. 20A sample Harvard bachelor’s degree diploma from 1989. It was in 1963 that graduates of Radcliffe College first received diplomas jointly with graduates of Harvard College.last_img read more

World failed to learn SARS lessons for coronavirus fight

first_imgThe novel coronavirus outbreak has exposed a lack of global research on ways to combat the spread of infectious diseases, with health authorities failing to learn lessons from previous flare-ups, experts said Tuesday.The last outbreak of worldwide significance was the SARS virus scare of the early 2000s, which killed 774 people. More recently the Mers virus killed more than 850 people, although the outbreak was largely contained to the Middle East. Although scientists responded to both diseases, formulating treatment plans and eventually vaccines, experts say the new coronavirus epidemic shows there has not been any sustained, coordinated efforts on infectious diseases. “Too often, the surge of research attention and investment that novel outbreaks generate quickly wane when those outbreaks subside and other priorities take their place,” Jason Schwartz, assistant professor at Yale’s Department of Health Policy and Management, told AFP.”SARS and Mers demonstrated the global health threat posed by coronaviruses and the need for a sustained investment in better understanding these viruses with an eye toward prevention and treatment strategies.”Bruno Canard, a virologist at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, said that some countries, notably European Union members, launched coordinated research programs following SARS.But the financial crisis of 2008 squeezed out funding, he said, lamenting a “scientific world on financial life support.” For Johan Neyts, professor of virology and president of the Belgian-based, International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR), the world missed a chance after SARS, which is closely related to the new coronavirus.”If we had invested starting in 2003 at the SARS epidemic looking for a medication that would be active against coronas by now we could have had a stockpile that would have been active against this new one,” he told AFP. “We missed an opportunity. It’s a terrorist attack of a virus which we could have prevented, more people are going to die, it’s really a shame.” There are now seven known coronaviruses that are transmissible among humans. Canard said coordinated research could have produced a broad-spectrum treatment against all of them, given their genetically similar profile. Cost ‘peanuts’But to do so scientific efforts would need government funding. Neyts estimated the cost of finding a coronavirus treatment safe to administer at scale to be 250-300 million euros (US$275-325 million).”This is basically peanuts, if you compare that to the human suffering that we seeing now, and also to the economic losses,” he said.As well as funding, medical research also takes time. Years, in fact. And Canard said the world is now reacting against the novel coronavirus from a standing start. “To develop a molecule [against coronaviruses], that takes years,” he said. “You need to have clinical trials and for that you need people who are sick with the virus.”He warned that more coronaviruses are likely to spread among humans in years to come as we continue to destroy the habitats of species that carry the diseases.”We let down our guard and the acceleration of these viruses emergencies is going to be faster and faster due to climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation,” said Canard.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Martial takes centre stage in Man United’s stuttering season

first_imgBournemouth, United Kingdom | AFP | Anthony Martial may finally be fulfilling his enormous potential amid a turbulent season at Manchester United as Jose Mourinho plots how best to use his attacking resources.The France forward heads into Saturday’s clash at Bournemouth on a run of four goals in three Premier League matches — a sequence that can only have boosted his fragile confidence.His recent run is reminiscent of the fabulous start he made at Old Trafford, when he scored four goals in his first four games following his move from Monaco in September 2015 for a fee that could ultimately rise to £58 million ($75 million).The forward struggled badly last season. Having become used to sharing duties on the left flank with Marcus Rashford, his opportunities were limited following the January arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.Martial’s form and confidence tailed off, to the extent that he was left out of the France squad that won the World Cup in Russia this summer.The player indicated during the close season, via his agent Philippe Lamboley, that he was ready to leave United, and while Mourinho was apparently willing to sell executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward rejected the idea.This season initially looked as if it would be little better after Martial started just one of United’s opening six matches, but Sanchez’s failure to settle combined with the struggles of Romelu Lukaku in the centre-forward role have pushed Martial right back into the picture.The Frenchman has been restored to his favoured position, on the left of the attack, where he is able to cut inside and create chances for others as well as scoring goals himself — five in eight starts so far. Those goals have come at key times.He scored the equaliser as United came back from two goals down to beat Newcastle in early October, struck twice in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, and scored what turned out to be the winner as Everton were defeated 2-1 on Sunday.Each goal was a reminder to his manager and teammates about what he can do when he is in the mood.– Confidence –“Anthony is a great player and he needs to understand that,” says United midfielder Nemanja Matic. “He needs more confidence.“He is still young and I think if he continues to score in the next game he will get that. If he reaches his top level he can be one of the best players in the league for sure.”It is not just Martial’s teammates who are talking him up.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Lewis ends NFL career in championship fashion

first_imgby David GinsburgAP Sports WriterNEW ORLEANS (AP)—So, Ray Lewis, now that you’ve won a Super Bowl, what’s next?No, he’s not going to that amusement park. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker is heading into retirement—and he can’t wait.“Now I get to see a different side of life,” Lewis said Sunday night after helping the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. “My family, and my sons, my kids, they’ve sacrificed for me. Now I have the opportunity to sacrifice for them.”Lewis ended his 17-year NFL career in perfect fashion, directing a successful goal-line stand that provided him a world championship to take into retirement. After the 49ers failed to score on three straight plays from the Baltimore 5-yard line in the closing minutes, the Ravens could begin celebrating their first Super Bowl title in 12 years.“How else can you finish that off but with a goal-line stand?” Lewis said. “That is championship football.”The 13-time Pro Bowl star began his final night on the football field with a motivational speech to his teammates. He ended it looking upward into a waterfall of silver streamers and purple confetti. And minutes later, he put his hands on the Lombardi Trophy.“What we did as a team today was the ultimate,” Lewis said.As an individual, Lewis made seven tackles. Nothing special, really. He had 44 in Baltimore’s previous three playoff games. But the Ravens played like champions behind Lewis, and as usual, they drew inspiration from him.“There will never be another leader like him and we sent him out like his brothers,” Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs. “His legacy will go untainted.”The last time Lewis played in a Super Bowl, he was voted MVP of Baltimore’s 34-7 rout of the New York Giants. This time, Joe Flacco was the MVP because the Ravens’ offense outplayed the team’s usually reliable defense.Ever since Lewis announced on Jan. 2 that this would be his “last ride,” the Ravens have talked about providing him a title to take into retirement. And so they did.“It’s pretty cool,” Flacco said. “Ray’s a great person and everyone knows he’s an unbelievable player, but he’s the best teammate. It’s unbelievable to send him out like this.”What a journey it was.After defeating Indianapolis at home to open the playoffs, the Ravens beat top-seeded Denver on the road and knocked off second-seeded New England. Then, underdogs again in the Super Bowl, Baltimore blew most of a 22-point lead in the second half before mounting one final defensive stop.“To me, that was one of the most amazing goal-line stands I’ve ever been a part of in my career,” Lewis said. “What better way to do it than on the Super Bowl stage?”Lewis’ old buddy, 34-year-old Ed Reed, contributed a first-half interception. Jacoby Jones scored two touchdowns, and after the second—a 108-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter—he saluted his retiring teammate with a rendition of the “squirrel” dance Lewis made famous.The Ravens will have another middle linebacker next season, but they will never have another Ray Lewis. Coach John Harbaugh was asked why the team responded so passionately to him and his effort to go out on top.“If you’re going to talk about the Ray thing, you want to ask about it, then the answer’s got to be faith,” Harbaugh said. “I mean Ray is driven by spirituality and faith and that’s what he draws on and that’s where his strength comes from. So if you really want to know, I mean that’s what he’s tapping into and that’s what makes it so beautiful and so perfect.”Lewis was the second draft pick in Ravens’ history, following Jonathan Ogden in 1996. Ogden, who was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday, waved to his former teammate during the pregame coin flip Sunday.Perhaps one day, Ogden will extend the same greeting to Lewis in Canton, Ohio.For now, however, Lewis is looking to joining his family for some quiet time.“No other way to go out and end a career. This is how you do it,” Lewis said. “Everything around me is my kids. Daddy gets to come home now. They aren’t going to like me being at home all the time.” TRIUMPHANT—Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis holds up a newspaper after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, in New Orleans. The Ravens won 34-31. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)last_img read more

Middletown Withdraws from Affordable Housing Proceedings

first_imgCampisi called the township’s actions “discouraging” and said the decisions not to include affordable units in those developments was in direct violation of the municipality’s state-certified plans. Fair Share Housing Center spokesperson Anthony Campisi said Middletown Township’s history is not one of inclusion. Mercantante said the threat is theoretical and the township has had success navigating any such lawsuits in the past. “We’ll address any of those on a case-by-case basis if we have to. Our record is strong,” he said. The decision to withdraw from the proceedings could leave Middletown susceptible to builder’s remedy lawsuits, in which a developer proposes a housing project in a town that has not reached a settlement agreement with the state. Though details about the settlement proceedings could not be disclosed, Mercantante said the Fair Share Housing Center wanted to stake Middletown to “hundreds of more units” as part of an ongoing third round of obligations. As for Four Ponds, Mercantante said the proposal came before the planning board at a time when COAH was disbanded by the state. “Few towns in New Jersey are as committed to excluding working class residents as Middletown. This is a town that consistently fails to fulfill promises and instead permits large-scale developments without any affordable units included,” Campisi said, citing a 180-unit development at the former Bamm Hollow Country Club and another 228-unit development in Four Ponds at Lincroft. Since 2008, 350 new affordable units were issued certificates of occupancy. That equates to 31 percent of 1,119 total residential units issued certificates in that period. Mercantante said the Bamm Hollow project was scaled back dramatically from an initial proposal of about 1,200 units to the 180 on site today. The site plan was submitted when New Jersey’s state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) still existed. MIDDLETOWN – In a bold move, township officials are pushing back against state-mandated affordable housing obligations they say are unreasonable and unrealistic. According to township administrator Anthony P. Mercantante, last week township attorney Brian Nelson was directed to apply for an order of dismissal in Middletown’s ongoing New Jersey Superior Court proceedings, which began in July 2015. center_img “At the time, we alreadyhad a COAH-certified planthat did not include BammHollow. We didn’t need toinclude it in our plan. Ourobligation had already beenmet,” Mercantante said. “Long before I was on the township committee our governing body and administration have worked in good faith with the Fair Share Housing Committee to ensure Middletown continued its record as a socioeconomically diverse community. We thought we were in good standing moving forward, but we came to a stonewall and can’t operate in good faith any longer,” Perry said. He noted the settlement included a stipulation that for each one of the homes built at the former country club, an annual contribution is made to the municipality’s affordable housing trust fund, which he said is used to create other opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents and families. “Nearly 300 towns across the state have housing settlements in place or being approved. We’re not asking Middletown to do anything special. We’re asking them to follow the law. And we’ll be monitoring the situation very closely to see if any litigation arises as a result of the withdrawal,” Campisi said. “COAH disappeared and we had no idea what the future of affordable housing would be. So we decided not to include affordable housing in that development and ensured it was included in future developments,” Mercantante said. Mayor Tony Perry said the obligations proposed by the Fair Share Housing Center were “unreasonable.” The proceedings were led by the Fair Share Housing Center, a nonprofit organization founded in 1975 to defend the rights of New Jersey residents against exclusionary municipal zoning practices. According to Mercantante, since 1999 the township has created 605 affordable units in various forms of housing types, including condominiums, detached single-family homes, rental apartments, senior housing and accessory apartments. Additionally, four more development projects, including the residential tract of the Village 35 project – which calls for 280 luxury townhomes and 70 affordable units in three separate apartment buildings – call for the construction of affordable units.last_img read more