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Catherine Drew Gilpin Faust

28th President of Harvard University
In office
July 1, 2007 – Present
Preceded by Lawrence Summers
Derek Bok (acting)

Born Template:Birth date and age
New York, New York
Spouse(s) Charles E. Rosenberg
Residence Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Alma mater Bryn Mawr College
University of Pennsylvania
Profession Professor
Website Office of the President

Catherine Drew Gilpin Faust (born September 18, 1947)[1] is an American historian, college administrator, and the president of Harvard University.[2] Faust is the first woman to serve as Harvard president and the university's 28th president overall. Faust is the fifth woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university. The former dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Faust is also Harvard's first president since 1672 without an undergraduate or graduate degree from Harvard.[3][4]

Early life and career[]

Faust was born in New York City and raised in Clarke County, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley.[1] She is the daughter of Catharine Mellick and McGhee Tyson Gilpin, a Princeton graduate and breeder of thoroughbred horses.[5] Faust comes from a well-connected family of business and political leaders.[citation needed] Her great-grandfather, Lawrence Tyson, was a U. S. Senator from Tennessee during the 1920s. The family arrived in Clarke County at the turn of the 20th century.[6] Faust is a descendant of the Puritan divine Rev. Jonathan Edwards, the third president of Princeton.[7]

Graduating from Concord Academy, Concord, Massachusetts, in 1964, she earned her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College, A.M. and Ph.D. in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. In the same year, she joined the Penn faculty as assistant professor of American civilization. Based on her research and teaching, she rose to Walter Annenberg Professor of History. A specialist in the history of the South in the antebellum period and Civil War, Faust developed new perspectives in intellectual history of the antebellum South and in the changing roles of women during the Civil War. She is the author of five books, most notably Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, for which she won the Society of American Historians Francis Parkman Prize in 1997.

In 2001, Faust was appointed the first dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the successor to Radcliffe College.[1] She is a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. She serves on the educational advisory board of the Guggenheim Foundation.

Appointment as President of Harvard University[]

On June 30, 2006, then-President of Harvard Lawrence H. Summers resigned after a whirlwind of controversies (stemming partially from comments he made on a possible correlation between gender and success in certain academic fields). Derek Bok, who had served as President of Harvard from 1971–1991, returned to serve as an interim president until a permanent replacement could be found.

File:Apple Picking 070.jpg

Preparations for inauguration of Faust

On February 8, 2007, The Harvard Crimson announced that Faust had been selected as the next president.[8] Following formal approval by the university's governing boards, her appointment was made official three days later.[9]

During a news conference on campus Faust stated, "I hope that my own appointment can be one symbol of an opening of opportunities that would have been inconceivable even a generation ago". She also added, "I'm not the woman president of Harvard, I'm the president of Harvard."[3]

On October 12, 2007, Faust took her installation address as the president of Harvard at Cambridge, Mass. In the inauguration, she said "a university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of millennia; learning that shapes the future".[10]

In May 2008, Faust made an unexplained decision to veto the tenure offer recommended by the economics department for Christina Romer who is a well-known economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.[11] Romer was later nominated by President Barack Obama to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.

In the wake of a series of layoffs in June 2009, Faust drew criticism for her refusal to accept a modest paycut in an effort to save jobs. In the months preceding the layoffs, various campus groups called upon Faust and other administrators to reduce their salaries as a means of cutting costs campus-wide.[12] The Boston Globe reports that Faust made $775,043 in the 2007-2008 school year.[13]

Personal life[]

Faust is divorced from her first husband, Stephen Faust, and is married to Charles E. Rosenberg, a historian of medicine also at Harvard. Her first cousin is the movie and television actor Jack Gilpin, a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University.[14] Her brother is a teacher at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South.

Faust was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988. She has declined to speak with the media about her diagnosis or treatment.[15]


  • Faust was named a member of the "Time 100" (2007)
  • Faust was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Bowdoin College (May 2007)
  • Faust was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (May 2008)
  • Faust was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Yale University (May 2008).[16]
  • Faust received the 2009 Bancroft Prize from Columbia University for This Republic of Suffering (2008)
  • Faust was included in the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women (2009)[17]

Selected works[]

  • This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Knopf, 2008) ISBN 978-0-375-40404-7
    • This Republic of Suffering made the New York Times Book Review list of "10 Best Books of 2008" as chosen by the papers editors.[18]
    • This Republic of Suffering received the 2009 Bancroft Prize from Columbia University
  • Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 1996) ISBN 978-0-8078-5573-7
  • Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War (University of Missouri Press, 1992) ISBN 978-0-8262-0975-7
  • The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South (Louisiana State University Press, 1982) ISBN 978-0-8071-1606-7
  • James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery (Louisiana State University Press, 1982) ISBN 978-0-8071-1248-9
  • A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840-1860 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977) ISBN 978-0-8122-1229-7



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rimer, Sara (2007-02-12). "A ‘Rebellious Daughter’ to Lead Harvard". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  2. Crimson News Staff (2007-02-08). "Faust Expected To Be Named President This Weekend". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Alderman, Jesse Harlan (2007-02-11). "Harvard names 1st woman president". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  4. Maria Sacchetti and, Marcella Bombardieri (2007-02-12). "Champagne, cheers flow at Harvard". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  5. A 'Rebellious Daughter' to Lead Harvard, The New York Times, Feb. 12, 2007
  6. Living History, Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard Magazine, May–June, 2003
  7. The New England Ancestry of Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard's 28th President, Martin E. Hollick New England Historic Genealogical Society
  8. Schuker, Daniel J. T.; Zachary M. Seward, and Javier C. Hernandez (February 8, 2007). "It's Faust: Radcliffe dean, if approved by Overseers, will be Harvard's first female leader". The Harvard Crimson. 
  9. Guehenno, Claire M.; Para D. Bhayani (February 11, 2007). "Faust Confirmed as 28th President". The Harvard Crimson. 
  10. Installation address: Unleashing our most ambitious imaginings Speech by Drew Gilpin Faust, 12 Oct 2007
  11. Wang, Shan (May 22, 2008). "Faust Vetoes Tenure Decision". The Harvard Crimson. 
  12. Wu, June Q.; Athena Y. Jiang (18 May 2009). "Admins stay mum on salaries". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  13. Jan, Tracy (24 June 2009). "Harvard workers stunned by layoffs". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  14. Harvard Magazine, November–December, 2007
  15. Maria Sacchetti and, Marcella Bombardieri (2007-02-27). "In Faust, early bold streak". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  16. O'Leary, Mary E. (May 27, 2008). "Yale graduates 3,100 under sunny skies". New Haven Register.;jsessionid=m5yyL8zGZVDJVQ2RVnnQQLB9tkQmpb17PPNKwVmdYKczpNG6RCQx!-695287870?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FNHR%2FHome&r21.content=%2FNHR%2FHome%2FContentTab_Feature_2105115. 
  17. "The 100 Most Powerful Women". 
  18. "The 10 Best Books of 2008". New York Times. 3 December 2008. 

External links[]

Template:Start box Template:S-aca |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Lawrence Summers |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|President of Harvard University
1 July 2007 - present |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
N/A (incumbent) |- |}

Template:Ivy League Presidents

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