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Harvard University Inaugurates School’s First Black President

Former Dean of Arts and Sciences, Gay, is Harvard University’s 30th president since its foundation in 1640.

Claudine Gay, who will serve as President of Harvard University, was inaugurated on Friday.

Gay is the Ivy League’s first Black and second female president. She took over the position in July, succeeding Lawrence Bacow, who served in the past as a dean.

Gay is Harvard University’s 30th president since its foundation in 1640. She discussed her goal for the Ivy League institution in her inaugural speech.

“I stand before you today, humbled by the prospect of leading Harvard, emboldened by the trust you have placed in me and energized by your own commitment to this singular institution and to the common cause of higher education,” said Gay. 

She further stated, ““The courage of this University — our resolve, against all odds — to question the world as it is and imagine and make a better one: It is what Harvard was made to do.”

Gay earned a Ph.D. in government from Harvard in 1998 and joined the faculty there in 2006.

According to the Harvard Gazette, she was awarded the Toppan Prize for best dissertation in political science.

Gay formerly held the position of Dean of the Arts and Sciences Faculty. She is also a notable political behaviour expert and the founding chair of the Inequality in America Initiative, a multidisciplinary research project started in 2017 to investigate social and economic inequality.

In an address on Friday afternoon, Massachusetts Governor and Harvard graduate Maura Healey noted the significance of Gay’s presidency

“President Gay, your presidency is truly historic. You have my admiration and support,” Maura Healey stated.

Glamour Adah.