Drew Faust will be installed today as Harvard’s 28th president. That’s right — Harvard has only had 28 presidents since Henry Dunster was named in 1640. That’s not counting some acting presidents, like Samuel Willard (1701-1707) or Nathaniel Eaton, who was “schoolmaster” from 1637 to 1639.
Faust is of course the first female president of Harvard. She is also the first since Charles Chauncy (1654-1672) to have neither an undergraduate nor graduate degree from Harvard (From 1672 to 1971, all Harvard presidents had done their undergraduate work at Harvard. The last three — Derek Bok, Neil Rudenstine and Larry Summers — had graduate degrees from Harvard).
The ceremony will be outdoors on Harvard Yard at 2pm. It rained heavily overnight, but it seems to be clearing up now. If the weather is decent, I’ll check it out and report back. I hear tell that Harvard ceremonies have all the pomp and splendor you would expect, but I have yet to see one.
(PS Yes, Drew Faust has been president for some months already. It’s just the official ceremony that’s today.)