A Michigander to become president of Harvard

Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 7:05pm

On Sunday, Pontiac native Lawrence S. Bacow was named Harvard University’s 29th president, beating out University of Michigan’s own president Mark Schlissel for the role. Bacow was the former president of Tufts University and chancellor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will succeed Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s first female president, who held the position for 11 years.

Earlier in January, George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School, listed Schlissel as one of the candidates he expected to be considered for the next university president. Daley also stated he thought the next president should have a strong background in the science. Schlissel’s bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences, doctorate degree in physiological chemistry and presidential experience qualified him for the role.

Bacow received his undergraduate education from MIT and obtained three degrees – including a law degree – from Harvard. His appointment ends an almost year-long presidential search for Harvard, which began last June when Faust announced she would step down. He also has an allergy to dogs and many cats. 

In a statement to the Detroit News, Bacow discussed how he hopes to continue upholding Harvard’s dedication to truth, excellence and opportunity.

“The Harvard I have known has always stood for at least three things: the pursuit of truth, an unwavering commitment to excellence and opportunity,” he said. “In a nation divided, these guiding ideals have never been more important. We should never shy away from nor be apologetic about affirming our commitment to making the world a better place through our teaching and scholarship and our commitment to truth, excellence, and opportunity for all.