Harvard’s History Guided Resignation of First Black President

The first Black president and the 30th president of Harvard, Dr. Claudine Gay began her office in July 2023. She will remain at Harvard as a tenured faculty member, and will be succeeded by interim president Alan Garber, the university’s provost and chief academic officer.

Here is the full resignation letter,  Harvard’s Office of the President.

Editors note: Contributing comment from Shannon Frison, Judge at Massachusetts Superior Court | U.S. Marine | Speaker | DEI Expert

“Harvard is my alma mater. In all my time and studies there, I never learned this part of the school’s history. When we say that the history of race in this country is not adequately taught, this is what we mean. When we say that history of atrocities is not that old, this is what we mean.

As reported by the Harvard Crimson itself:

J. Max Bond Jr. ’55 entered Harvard at the age of 16, (1 of 15 Black students in his class). As his freshman spring semester began, two other Harvard freshmen erected a wooden cross facing that corner of the Yard, formed by Stoughton and Holworthy Halls. And around midnight on Feb. 5, 1952, the students lit the cross on fire. The photo below shows Harvard KKK members proudly showing off their regalia on graduation day 1924.”

Here is another perspective from The Root, titled, Black People To Claudine Gay: ‘Why Didn’t You Consult Your Black Chat Group Before Making That Testimony’ Black people everywhere are wondering if Claudine Gay had Black friends to warn her from making that unforgivable testimony.

Claudine Gay received the call that ended her six-month tenure as Harvard University’s first Black president two days after Christmas while on vacation in Rome, per the New York Times. Gay’s congressional testimony about antisemitism on college campuses, along with plagiarism allegations, sparked mounting controversy. Harvard has denied that Gay committed any “research misconduct.”

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