Claudine Gay has officially made Harvard University history.
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“I stand before you on this stage with the weight and the honor of being a first,” Gay said during the ceremony. “…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.”
Founded in 1640, the Ivy League school welcomes Gay as its 30th president.
What’s more, she is also a product of the university, having received her Ph.D. in government there in 1998 prior to joining its faculty in 2006.
Support From Fellow Harvard Leaders
“President Gay, your presidency is truly historic,” Massachusetts Governor and fellow Harvard graduate Maura Healey said. “You have my admiration and support.”
The university’s main governing board, The Harvard Corporation, elected Gay to fulfill the position following a comprehensive search.
She will take the place of former president Lawrence Bacow.
“Claudine is a person of bedrock integrity,” Bacow said. “She will provide Harvard with the strong moral compass necessary to lead this great university. The search committee has made an inspired choice for our 30th president. Under Claudine Gay’s leadership, Harvard’s future is very bright.”
Previously, Gay served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Moving forward, she says it is her mission to continue the school’s courageous efforts “to question the world as it is and imagine and make a better one.”