These are the 11 people who were president of Harvard before the US became a country

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Jaclyn Reiss Globe Staff  June 14, 2017 Before the United States was even a country, Harvard had already seen 11 presidents of the then-fledgling institution.Amid the news that Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust will step down next year after serving 11 years as president, here’s a look back at some of the men who led the elite college before America declared its independence in July 1776. Henry Dunster, 1640-1654 A native Englishman, Henry Dunster arrived in Boston in August 1640 and was unexpectedly asked to take the helm as first Harvard president, according to the university’s website. Dunster was responsible for helping draft the college’s incorporation papers and was also overseeing the school when Harvard changed the required years of undergraduate study from three to four. Advertisement However, Dunster’s resignation came amid controversy. He opposed the practice of baptizing babies — believing instead in adult baptism — and “intervened publicly at the baptism of [a] local infant,” according to Harvard’s website. He also was on “the wrong side in a transfer of certain financial powers from the Corporation to the Overseers.” Charles Chauncy, 1654-1672 Get Fast Forward in your inbox: Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Similar to Dunster, Charles Chauncy was known for getting into trouble over his religious beliefs. During his time at Harvard, Chauncy “demanded that students adhere to a rigorous program of religious devotions,” according to Harvard’s website. However, he also believed in “Galileo’s modern astronomical perspective,” was regarded as “the leading scholar in the New England of his day,” and Continue Reading

For Paul Allen, the Seahawks owner and co-founder of Microsoft, it all began at Harvard House of Pizza

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. − The road to East Rutherford begins here, at the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Martin St., at a tiny place called Harvard House of Pizza. It has five faux-wood tables, peach-colored benches, and an amiable counterman named Naseer Khan, who is standing by a Coca-Cola clock and a sign promoting a two-slice-and-a-soda special ($4.85 plus tax), talking about the owner of the Seattle Seahawks, a guy who used to be a regular here, before anybody ever heard of Richard Sherman, the 12th man or personal computers. It was here that Paul Allen would come for pepperoni pizza with his fellow tech geek and programming prodigy, Bill Gates, knocking around ideas that would ultimately change the world, spawn a company called Microsoft and make them two of the richest college dropouts on Earth. “Being so close to Harvard, we get a lot of smart people here,” Khan, 57, says. He smiles. “I am not a computer man, though. My kids are the ones who know all about computers.” Allen turned 61 years old on Tuesday. He owns three sports teams (the Portland Trail Blazers and a piece of the Seattle Sounders of the MLS), and two victories over cancer. If he is not the most intriguing billionaire on the sports block, he is on the short list, not so much because he is coming to town for Super Bowl XLVIII or because he is three times wealthier than Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder combined (Forbes pegs his worth at $15.8 billion, good for 26th place on its Forbes’ 400 list), but because he has the most far-flung passions this side of Benjamin Franklin, and contradictions to match. Here is one Paul Allen, who worships every note that Jimi Hendrix ever played on his Stratocaster and jammed with Mick Jagger on his birthday and released an album with his group, The Underthinkers, last year on Sony Legacy (it’s called Everywhere At Once). Here is another Paul Allen, who is obsessed with space exploration, and plans to put the largest Continue Reading

Another member of Team Bush is leaving the White House

WASHINGTON -- President Bush announced on Wednesday that Keith Hennessey is his pick to be chairman of the National Economic Council, replacing Al Hubbard, who is joining a growing line of top presidential advisers exiting the White House as the Bush administration heads into its final year. Hennessey, who came to the White House in 2002, is Hubbard’s deputy and also has been deputy to two previous directors of the council. He served as a top budget aide to Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and worked for the Senate Budget Committee “Keith has been an important member of my White House team for more than five years,” Bush said in a statement. “He has served as the deputy to three directors of the National Economic Council, and has worked on a broad range of economic policy issues.” Hubbard’s departure comes as Bush faces one of the biggest economic challenges of his presidency, a severe slump in housing and a credit crisis that have roiled financial markets and triggered fears of a recession.  In a letter to the president, Hubbard said he was leaving the White House with mixed emotions. “Were it not for my strong desire to spend more time with my kids, I would not have considered departing,” said Hubbard, the father of three. Hubbard has helped direct White House policy on entitlement reform, energy security, climate change, housing and trade investment policy. mong other issues, Hubbard has been deeply involved in the debate over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Bush’s proposal for a major shift in tax policy to, for the first time, treat health insurance costs as taxable income.  “Al contributed his own ideas and also worked to ensure that all views were brought to the table and given fair analysis and debate,” Bush said. “While many of the policies Al worked to develop are in place today, other policy initiatives, including Social Security reform and Continue Reading

Paris Hilton is Harvard bound

Paris Hilton is heading to Harvard.The 26-year-old actress-socialite has been named Harvard Lampoon's "Woman of the Year," the comedy magazine said Tuesday.She will visit Harvard on Feb. 6 to accept her award, said Regent Releasing, the company that's distributing her new comedy, "The Hottie & the Nottie."Hilton, whose body of work includes "House of Wax" and TV's "The Simple Life," stars as the attractive best friend to an ugly duckling in the new comedy, slated for release Feb. 8.She also co-stars in the upcoming horror musical "Repo! The Genetic Opera!" which she began filming in Canada after serving a 23-day jail sentence in Los Angeles last June for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Facing a crisis in affordable housing

You might not see it from your own front porch, but the Rochester region has a housing crisis on its hands.One of the reasons you don't know about it could be buried in a section of your town's zoning ordinance, barring construction of higher density and multifamily housing. That measure keeps developers from building affordable apartments, because they won't be able to benefit from the economy of scale needed to keep rents low. Efforts to change zoning for affordable housing are typically thwarted by the not-in-my-backyard movement.This and many other barriers have resulted in a serious shortage of housing for the 167,600 people living below the poverty line — or the even greater number of people who are hovering just above it.We must, as one poverty researcher from Harvard University notes, "pull housing back to the center of the poverty debate." That begins at the local level, where the decisions of policy makers, landlords, developers and citizens can have a dramatic impact.The affordable housing crisis is creating a great burden on our public resources. For example, over the next five years, New York state is set to spend $10 billion of our tax dollars to create housing for low-income residents. Our federal government spends an enormous amount on rent subsidies and other assistance. Even with expenditures like these, government isn't coming close to meeting the need.That creates an even greater cost — measured in lives. There are tens of thousands of children in our community who are growing up without safe and stable homes. When the rent doesn't get paid, they are evicted. Their family moves — often to another rundown apartment in another decaying neighborhood. Or they end up homeless. In the process, they repeatedly switch schools and lose supportive relationships. In short, they follow a tumultuous path that almost guarantees a lifetime of struggle. And we all will continue to face the dire effects of poverty, which remain on the rise in Continue Reading

Jack Valenti, film lobbyist and former White House aide, dies at 85

LOS ANGELES - Jack Valenti, the former White House aide and film industry lobbyist who instituted the modern movie ratings system and guided Hollywood from the censorship era to the digital age, died Thursday. He was 85. Valenti had a stroke in March and was hospitalized for several weeks at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore. He died of complications from the stroke at his Washington, D.C., home, said Seth Oster of the Motion Picture Association of America. "In a sometimes unreasonable business, Jack Valenti was a giant voice of reason," Steven Spielberg said in a statement. "He was the greatest ambassador Hollywood has ever known, and I will value his wisdom and friendship for all time." Kirk Douglas said Valenti, his friend for more than 45 years, visited him in New York City in March for a talk by the actor at a YMCA. "Two days later, I got a call about his stroke. My wife and I flew to Johns Hopkins Hospital immediately," Douglas said. "He was in a coma. I held his hand and talked to him. Maybe he heard me. My only consolation is that he did not suffer." Valenti was a special assistant and confidant to President Lyndon Johnson when he was lured to Hollywood in 1966 by movie moguls Lew Wasserman and Arthur Krim. A lifelong film lover, he once cited 1966's "A Man for All Seasons" as his all-time favorite. When he took over as president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Valenti was caught between Hollywood's outdated system of self-censorship and the liberal cultural explosion taking place in America. Valenti abolished the industry's restrictive Hays code, which prohibited explicit violence and frank treatment of sex, and in 1968 oversaw creation of today's letter-based ratings system. "While I believe that every director, studio has the right to make the movies they want to make, everybody else has a right not to watch it," Valenti told The Associated Press shortly before his retirement in 2004. "All we do is give Continue Reading


NEW YORKERS LIKE Mayor Mike, but President Bloomberg? That's another matter. A new poll has Bloomberg's approval rating at an astonishing 70%, but the same folks say they wouldn't vote for him if he runs for the White House. "People think Bloomberg does a good job but ought to stay out of the way in 2008," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute. "If Bloomberg has his eyes on the White House, New Yorkers don't share his vision." The 64-year-old mayor, a former Democrat who turned Republican before running for his current job, continues to insist he's not interested in running for President. But key aides have openly speculated on his potential appeal to moderate voters, possibly as an independent candidate. The Quinnipiac survey found only 35% of city voters said they "definitely" or "probably" would vote for him if he ran for President, and 56% said no way. Meanwhile, 62% doubt he could win. Even Bloomberg's willingness to underwrite his own campaign - he spent $100 million in his last mayoral race - may not be enough to overcome the poll numbers, say some consultants. "You can't start this late in the game," longtime political consultant George Arzt said. "You need a structure in place to get your name out there on a day-to-day basis, and you can't simply buy that with advertising." Bloomberg has said he'll finish out his second term as mayor, then make a career out of giving away his fortune to charity. But he has kept speculation alive, often through quips delivered with a wink. "I am going to finish out the next three years as mayor and then I will be much too old to do anything else in government," Bloomberg said last week. Another New York Republican considered a potential presidential contender, Gov. Pataki, said yesterday he's not running for anything "yet." Pataki told a Harvard audience he would decide whether to start an exploratory committee after his term expires in seven weeks. [email protected] Continue Reading

Spitzer’s No. 1 backer Lady. Race thrills Harvard Law grad & mom. The woman who would be N.Y.’s First

SILDA WALL never expected to find herself where she is - a politician's wife - but she's not complaining. The former high-powered corporate lawyer is now helping her husband, Eliot Spitzer, on his quest to become New York's next governor, hosting breakfasts, watching over their three girls and somehow finding the time to bake two fresh apple pies and a chocolate pound cake for an impromptu house party. "It took me awhile just to accept that it would happen, but I'm thrilled [that] he's running, because he's the kind of person that I would want to be representing me," she says, her tall, slender frame folded into a seat on the Spitzer for Governor bus as it barrels toward Rochester on an upstate sweep. Wall, 48, grew up in the small town of Concord, N. C., pretty far - in more ways than one - from the Fifth Ave. home she now shares with her family. "My mother was very good at scrimping and saving, and she would make a lot of our clothes when we were little," says Wall, the oldest of three siblings. "We had a lot of very interesting leftover meals that would be created," she says with a hearty laugh. "She really stretched every penny and saved every penny so that we could all go to college. " Along the way, Wall worked as a baby-sitter, a bank teller and a weaver in a textile mill. She would ultimately go on to Harvard Law and to meet Spitzer. Her first impression? "I thought he was a burglar," she deadpans. During a break from law school, Wall was sitting in her bathrobe and glasses in the kitchen of a vacation house early in the morning when her future husband showed up. "There's a big guy in a red jacket that walks through the front door of this ski house that we were in, so I [said], 'Who are you? ' and he was one of the ones, it turned out, who organized the house, so he [said], 'Who are you? ' Very romantic. " After a focus on human rights in law school, Wall went on to practice at Skadden, Arps and then Chase Manhattan, Continue Reading


WASHINGTON - Led by a woman who lost both legs in combat, a squad of five Iraq war vets is at the forefront of the Democrats' push to take back the national security issue - and the House - from the GOP. Marine Reserve Maj. Van Taylor, who fought behind enemy lines during the 2003 invasion, is the only Iraq veteran running as a Republican. He is challenging longtime Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.). The five vets running as Democrats could help the party gain ground against the GOP's traditional advantage on defense and national security. "In times like these, they're such compelling voices," said Stacie Paxton of the Democratic National Committee. Both parties had initially courted more veterans from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In the spring, at least 11 Democratic and four Republican vets were running for either the House or Senate, but the field narrowed after several dropped out or lost in primaries. In one of the most closely watched races nationwide, Army Maj. Tammy Duckworth, a double-amputee who still serves in the National Guard, is running as a Democrat in the suburban Chicago district where Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) grew up. "I bring a unique voice to the race and I'll bring that voice to Congress, if I can get there," said Duckworth, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade in November 2004. Duckworth, in a tight race with Republican state Sen. Peter Roskam for the open seat in the 6th District, also stressed her independence. "In my helicopter crew, it didn't matter if you were Republican or Democrat," Duckworth said. "I'm going to stand up to members of my own party" in pushing for veterans' benefits and overall health care reform, she said. On the hot-button issue of setting timetables for troop withdrawals, Duckworth has differences with the other four Iraq vets running as Democrats - retired Vice Adm. Joe Sestak and Army Capt. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania, Army Capt. Andrew Duck in Maryland, Continue Reading

Sen. Ted Cruz joins presidential race, but some Republicans can’t imagine him in the White House

Sen. Ted Cruz became the first high-profile Republican to jump into the presidential race on Monday as he channeled John Lennon and asked voters again and again to “imagine” what America would be like if the Texas lawmaker were in the Oval Office. But even some in Cruz’s own party said that was hard to picture. “The Republican Party and the American people have to be able to find a more qualified candidate for President than Ted Cruz,” Rep. Pete King (R-Long Island), a moderate who is considering a White House run, said in a statement. “Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker not the leader of the free world,” he added. It was a reference to Cruz’s leading role in the 2013 fiscal fiasco, in which he quoted “Green Eggs and Ham.” WARREN: Ted Cruz has no chance to be President, but is still a danger Donald Trump, who has pursued “birther” claims that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., said Cruz — who was born in Canada — faces the same issue. “He’s got, you know, a hurdle that nobody else seems to have at this moment,” Trump, a potential White House candidate, told Fox News. “It’s a hurdle, and somebody could certainly look at it very seriously.” Trump added, “You’re supposed to be born in this country, so I just don’t know how the courts would rule on it.” Most legal experts say that because Cruz’s mother was a U.S. citizen, he is eligible to be President even though he was born in Canada. Two lawyers who have represented Presidents from both parties at the U.S. Supreme Court recently wrote in the Harvard Law Review that Cruz does in fact meet the Constitution’s standard of being a “natural-born citizen.” However, the issue has never been taken up by the U.S. Supreme Continue Reading