Three lies and lots of truths on campus

first_img As part of public art project, students help to animate Harvard’s iconic campus statue The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Harvard HallThe group moves to the heart of Harvard Yard. Gilchrist points to two old red-brick buildings and shares that those were the first-year dorms of Malia Obama ’21 and Matt Damon, drawing smiles and nods. She then notes where Harvard Indian College once stood. Founded in the mid-17th century, its mission was to educate Native American youth.In front of Mass Hall, the oldest building in the Yard, Gilchrist recounts the history of the red-brick early Georgian structure, built between 1718 and 1720. Washington occupied the building with 640 soldiers in the late 1700s. It now serves as the offices for Harvard’s president, and the top floors are dorms where 12 lucky first-years live. Washington occupied the building with 640 soldiers in the late 1700s. John Harvard ‘speaks’ Related Entryways, becoming and majestic, provide security and artistry both Science Center PlazaA senior concentrating in astrophysics, Gilchrist has a soft spot for anything related to science. At Science Center Plaza, a major crossroad between Harvard Yard and the Science Center, she revels in describing the telescopes on the roof and the center’s significance for students.The Science Center is the hub of first-year academics, Gilchrist says. “Almost every single freshman takes at least one class in this building. There are five large lecture halls where a lot of introductory classes are taught, and they don’t necessarily have to do with science.”Over the course of the tour it becomes apparent why having students lead the tours is a major draw. Interest is high in what classes and campus life are like, and the tours give people a chance to chat with students about it, said Robin Parker, associate director of the visitor center.“Who better to represent Harvard University than a Harvard student?” asked Parker.When people ask Gilchrist how she feels about being a Harvard student, she is not shy about it. “I love it here,” she says. “But I also feel a strong obligation to make my Harvard degree count by using it to help others.”,People react with surprise when Gilchrist tells them the price tag of a Harvard education (about $70,000 a year) and also when she explains how financial aid works at the University.“It’s entirely need-based,” she says. “If your family makes less than $65,000 a year, Harvard will offer you a very generous package with an almost 99 percent discount, and if your family makes more than $65,000, it can still offer you a very considerable financial aid, but first you have to apply and be accepted.”If anyone asks Gilchrist any detailed admission questions, she reminds them she is doing a historical and not an admissions tour, which are handled by the Office of Admissions and include an information session. When doing private tours for high school students, Gilchrist tends to offer a little more information about the process, but she refrains from going deep.Gilchrist highlights the social clubs — the College recognizes about 400 of them — which help students put some balance in their busy lives. “I myself am in the Harvard University Band,” she says. “And we specialize in shenanigans, and occasionally play instruments.”To graduate, students must take 32 courses, one-third in their field of concentration, another third in general education, and the final third in anything they’d like to explore. “That’s the beauty of a liberal arts education,” she says. The gates that frame Harvard Yard A college, 98 feet long Though razed, the legacy of Harvard’s original library has been kept alive in Cambridge’s official seal center_img A few feet away sits Harvard Hall, Gilchrist’s favorite stop because of its rich history. First built in 1644, it rotted to the ground about a quarter of a century later. The second building was put up in 1677, but it was destined to be only be the second of three.It contained most of the College’s books, including those donated by Harvard, besides a collection of scientific instruments. “Until a cold and stormy night on Jan. 24, 1764,” says Gilchrist. “Students couldn’t check out the books; they had to be read in the library, but a student by the name of Ephraim Briggs had taken out a book, ‘The Christian Warfare Against the Devil, World and Flesh’ …“And thank goodness he did,” she says, pausing for effect, “because the building burned down that night. He returned the book, which was the only surviving book of John Harvard’s collection. The president of Harvard thanked Briggs and then expelled him … No good deed goes unpunished.” When Gore was Widener Memorial Hall and ChurchOn the outside, Memorial Hall resembles a church. Built between 1870 and 1878 to honor 136 Harvard graduates who fought for the Union and died in the Civil War, the building is an example of high Victorian Gothic architecture and is a National Historic Landmark.As Gilchrist’s group enters the building, heads tilt back as the visitors look up to admire the high, vaulted ceiling, the stained-glass windows, and the black-walnut paneling inside. The stop is one of the most popular for selfies.Memorial Hall also houses Sanders Theatre, which is used for concerts, classes, and special ceremonies, and Annenberg Hall, the first-year dining hall that can seat more than 1,000 students at a time and bears a resemblance to the Great Hall in Hogwarts Castle.“Can we take a peek at Annenberg?” is a common request.To the sightseers’ chagrin, neither the theater nor the dining hall is open to the public. “This is the moment when I have to break hearts,” says Gilchrist.“Annenberg Hall is exclusive for first-years only,” says Gilchrist. “If it makes you feel any better, I can’t go inside there myself. They are very strict about it.”,On a recent tour of high school students from India, Shobhna Aggarwal, a ninth-grader at Apeejay School, Punjab, was intrigued by Annenberg.“I’d love to see the dining hall,” Aggarwal says. “I’m a huge ‘Harry Potter’ fan. It must be amazing.”After Memorial Hall, Gilchrist leads the group to the center of the Yard. As they stand on the steps of Memorial Church, she points to the green expanse between the church and Widener Library, where Commencement Exercises take place every May.“Fun fact,” she says. “Every building in Harvard, including Memorial Church, has classrooms.”Nearly 7,000 students graduate every year, and the Yard is filled with about 20,000 folding chairs for students, their relatives, and guests. The festivities feature centuries-old traditions and notable speakers. In recent years graduates have heard from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, and two of Harvard’s most famous dropouts, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Both Gates and Zuckerberg received honorary degrees when they came to speak.The weather can be awful, says Gilchrist, “but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event as a Harvard student. They give you two guest tickets as a graduate. My family right now is fighting to the death.” On a recent crisp, sunny morning, Rachel “Rae” Gilchrist waited at the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center for the first of two tours she would lead that day. For Gilchrist, a fast talker with the gift of gab, working as a campus tour guide is the perfect job.“I like to talk to people,” says Gilchrist ’20. “I like to make them laugh and entertain them. I talk. They listen. It’s perfect.”Gilchrist is among 20 students who work at the Harvard University Visitor Center, answering questions from guests and leading the University’s official historical tours.So far this year, the center has served 34,000 visitors. The tours’ two biggest selling points? They’re free, and they’re led by Harvard students.,Gilchrist, a native of Bridgewater, Va., and the first in her family to attend college, earns extra money by working 30 hours a week as a guide on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at a computer lab on Sundays.The tour job, though, is by far her favorite, she says, not only because it pays $16 an hour but because she gets to tell people about her School.“Even if you go to Harvard for four years, you don’t necessarily know all the historical information about the University,” she says. “I don’t think I would have known the things I know if I hadn’t gotten this job.”The Gazette followed Gilchrist on a tour, and here are some of the highlights. Historic Massachusetts Hall to undergo renovation, preserving legacy Widener LibraryDirectly across from Memorial Church sits the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, an imposing building whose entrance is graced with 12 Roman pillars and stands atop a 27-step granite staircase. Widener has 10 floors filled with 3.5 million books and is the largest university library in the world.Gilchrist tells the group the library’s tragic origin story. Widener, a Philadelphia businessman and book collector who graduated from Harvard in 1907, died on the Titanic in 1912.“Harry is about to board a lifeboat with his father and mother, but he realizes he had forgotten the second edition of Francis Bacon’s ‘Essais’ in his room in the Titanic and he goes back, followed by his dad,” says Gilchrist. “Neither of them is ever heard from again.”,Widener’s mother, Eleanor Elkins Widener, donated her son’s rare-book collection, including a Gutenberg Bible and a Shakespeare Folio, and $2 million to the College to build a library in honor of her son’s memory. But she set two conditions: that no stone, brick, or mortar of the outside of the building ever be changed and that a replica of Widener’s home study be situated in the center of the library.“In the center of the room, there’s his Gutenberg Bible,” Gilchrist said. “And every day, somebody turns a page of the Gutenberg Bible, and every day, somebody places fresh flowers in a vase on his desk.”Some say there was a third condition: that every incoming student pass a swim test (Widener didn’t know how to swim). But that’s a myth. Wadsworth HouseGilchrist greets a group of 35 who hail from England, Argentina, Israel, and the U.S., among other places.“Welcome to Harvard,” she says at the first stop: Wadsworth House, a 1726 Colonial that sits on Massachusetts Avenue, amid the buzz of students, buses, cars, and passersby.Built initially for the president of the College, Gilchrist tells the group, the yellow clapboard House served as headquarters for George Washington when he led the Continental Army in 1775. Many people, including a number of students, don’t know that Washington slept there. The mention of Washington’s name elicits oohs and aahs.Wadsworth, the second-oldest building in Harvard Yard, is considered the University’s “front door” and is now where the University Marshall receives foreign dignitaries and distinguished visitors.Gilchrist calls the group’s attention to a plaque on the side of the structure that commemorates Titus, Venus, Bilhah, and Juba, slaves who lived and worked in the house during the 18th century and were owned by Harvard presidents Benjamin Wadsworth and Edward Holyoke. The plaque was dedicated during Drew Faust’s tenure as University president in a special ceremony attended by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a legendary leader of the Civil Rights Movement.“Before the plaque was added in 2016, the contributions of Titus, Venus, Bilhah, and Juba to Harvard for a long time had been erased,” Gilchrist says. “Now we can remember them. Their hard work made this University what it is.”,Before moving to the next stop, Gilchrist offers some Harvard trivia, including when it was founded (1636), by whom (Massachusetts Bay Colony), and for whom it was named (John Harvard, the School’s first benefactor).“In 1638, after John Harvard’s death, he bequeathed half his estate and all of his library and the institution was renamed after him, and that started a long-lasting trend of buildings being renamed after donors,” Gilchrist says with a grin.Winking, she asks her group to pay attention to these pieces of information because “there will be a quiz at the end …” John Harvard StatueAs the tour wraps up, Gilchrist leads the group to the last stop: the iconic namesake statue.Located in front of University Hall, the life-size bronze can’t be missed. It is often surrounded by tourists and visitors who line up to take pictures with it. Along with the Statue of Liberty and Lincoln Memorial, it’s one of the most-photographed statues in the country, says Gilchrist.Following a superstition of unknown origin, most visitors touch the figure’s feet hoping it will bring good luck. The constant rubbing, which has prevented a patina from developing, has buffed the left foot shiny.Attired as a 17th-century clergyman, the young man sits on a chair, a book balanced on his right knee, with three lines inscribed: “John Harvard. Founder. 1638.”“This statue is also known as the ‘statue of three lies,’” says Gilchrist. “Can anyone tell me what those lies are?”After a brief silence, Gilchrist reminds the group the University was founded in 1636, not 1638, and by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, not John Harvard. And the third lie?“That’s not John Harvard,” Gilchrist says, as people erupt in laughter. “That’s some guy, a particularly regal-looking guy.”All portraits of Harvard were lost in the fire of 1764. Unveiled in 1884, the model for the statue was Sherman Hoar, a Harvard student and descendant of Harvard’s fourth president, Leonard Hoar.The tour left Maria Laura Santarelli, a tourist from Argentina, with a desire to come back. After taking a picture next to the statue, she expressed a feeling common among visitors: “I wish my son could come here.”When Gilchrist announces the tour’s end, people clap enthusiastically. While they linger to take pictures, Gilchrist walks back to the Smith Center. She has to get ready for her next tour.last_img read more

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China threatens retaliation over UK TV license cancellation

first_imgBEIJING (AP) — China is threatening to retaliate after British regulators stripped China’s state TV channel of its U.K. broadcasting license. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says U.K. regulator Ofcom acted on “political grounds based on ideological bias.” In its decision issued Thursday, Ofcom said it revoked the U.K. license for China Global Television Network, or CGTN, an international English-language satellite news channel, because of a lack of editorial control and links to China’s ruling Communist Party. Wang says China “reserves the right to make the necessary response to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media.”last_img

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Update on the latest sports

first_imgNASCAR chose Darlington, the oldest speedway on the Cup circuit, as the safest place to restart the season after eight events were postponed. Sunday marked the first of 20 races across seven Southern states between now and June 21.GOLF-SEMINOLEMcIlroy has key shot in exhibition at SeminoleJUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rory McIlroy delivered the money shot in the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition that raised over $5 million for COVID-19 relief funds. With the match down to a closest-to-the-pin contest after regulation, McIlroy barely stayed on the shelf left of the pin, measured at 13 feet to beat Matthew Wolff’s attempt by five feet. The final carryover gave McIlroy and Dustin Johnson $1.85 million for the American Nurses Foundation.Wolff and Fowler made $1.15 million for the CDC Foundation. Fowler had seven birdies. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNASCAR-DARLINGTONHarvick wins at Darlington as NASCAR returns to tracksDARLINGTON, S.C. — Kevin Harvick was the winner as NASCAR resumed its Cup schedule following a 10-week layoff. The warrant said Baker and Dunbar were attending the cookout Wednesday night when a fight broke out and Baker pulled out a handgun. Witnesses told investigators that Baker, Dunbar and two other men began robbing people of thousands of dollars, watches and other valuables.The players’ lawyers say they have witnesses who will clear them.NFL-BILLS PLAYER ARRESTEDBuffalo Bills player charged with drunken driving in TexasHOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver was arrested during a traffic stop in the Houston area and charged with drunken driving and illegally carrying a handgun. PGA Tour Charities allowed for online donations during the telecast, raising more than $1 million. The donations will continue until Tuesday.When the exhibition ended, more than $5.5 million had been pledged, starting with the $3 million guarantee from UnitedHeath Group.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSCal. State teams could play football as scheduledUNDATED (AP) — The California State University system’s plan for a mostly virtual fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t necessarily close the door on football at its three schools that play in the far-flung Mountain West Conference. Harvick took the lead from Alex Bowman on a late restart and pulled away over the final 30 laps at Darlington Raceway. Bowman finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.Harvick is the only drive to finish in the top 10 in each of the Cup Series’ five races this season. He emerged from his car in victory lane wearing a black face mask — what could become NASCAR’s new normal.It was the first Cup race in 71 days since the schedule was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was run without fans and with an emphasis on masks and social distancing. Roughly 900 people were approved to be inside the gates, all considered essential.Ricky Stenhouse crashed exiting the second turn on the first lap, calling the wreck embarrassing. His crumpled car was spitting flames as he drove to the garage, ending his race without completing a single lap.Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson wrecked while leading on the final lap of the first stage at Darlington Raceway. The mishap took Johnson out of the race and allowed William Byron to take the first stage. May 18, 2020 Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies pulled Oliver over Saturday night after receiving reports of someone driving recklessly in a construction area. A statement from the Montgomery County Constables says Oliver failed a sobriety test and deputies found a small caliber pistol in his truck.The Houston Chronicle reports that Oliver was released from jail after posting bond.Oliver was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2019 draft.SOUTH KOREA-SEX DOLLSKorean soccer club apologizes for putting sex dolls in seats San Diego State athletic director John David Wicker says the school is looking at having football players return to campus no earlier than July 7 and is making plans to play the season as scheduled. SDSU is proceeding because it envisions a fall schedule that includes a hybrid model of classes, in which some students will be on campus for in-person instruction such as labs while other classes will be held online.The Mountain West also includes Cal. State schools Fresno State and San Jose State. Fresno State AD Terry Tumey says it’s too early to determine when athletes could return to campus, adding that the safety of the community, the players and support staff is paramount. San Jose State said in a statement that it continues to work on timelines.NCAA President Mark Emmert said recently that campuses must be open “in one fashion or another” in order to have sports this fall.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Former major league manager and infielder Art Howe has been released from a Houston hospital after a stay in intensive care because of the pandemic. The 73-year-old Howe will be isolated at home for another week or two.center_img Update on the latest sports Two drown at property owned by ex-outfielder Carl CrawfordHOUSTON (AP) — A 5-year-old boy and a woman drowned in the backyard pool of former LA Dodger player Carl Crawford’s Houston home Saturday afternoon. That’s according to reports from The Houston Chronicle.The paper says Houston police were called for a reported drowning at a north Houston home that property and business records list as belonging to Crawford. A police spokeswoman told the Chronicle that the boy was swimming in the pool when he began to have trouble breathing, and the woman jumped in to save him. Both were unresponsive when police arrived and later declared dead at a hospital, according to the spokeswoman.No further details were immediately available.The police department did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment from The Associated Press. Contact information for Crawford could not be immediately found. Associated Press NFL-ROBBERYBaker, Dunbar released after posting bondFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — NFL cornerbacks DeAndre Baker and Quinton Dunbar were released from Broward County Jail on Sunday, a day after surrendering on felony charges stemming from a cookout at a Miramar home.Baker posted a $200,000 bond after a Zoom hearing with Broward Circuit Judge Michael Davis. The New York Giants defender is charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.Dunbar is charged with four felony counts of armed robbery. The Seattle Seahawks player posted a $100,000 bond. — English Premier League clubs will try on Monday to agree on protocols to allow a return to training during the pandemic. Teams already have started checking players and coaches for COVID-19, with a total of 1,600 weekly tests anticipated across the 20 clubs in England’s top division. Monday’s meeting comes two days after the German league resumed its schedule.— All Spanish league clubs can begin group training sessions this week despite stricter lockdown restrictions remaining in place in parts of Spain because of the pandemic. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona have not been allowed to loosen confinement measures like most of the country, but teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have been given the go-ahead to move into the second phase of training. The league has told clubs that on Monday all players can start small group sessions regardless of the lockdown phase in their regions. Players had only been allowed to train individually across Spain until now.— Park Hyun-kung shot a final-round 67 to win the Korean Ladies Professional Golf tournament by one stroke. Park had a four-round total of 17-under 271 on the Lakewood Country Club course. Lim Hee-jeong carried a three-stroke lead into the final round before falling into a second-place tie with Bae Seon-woo. The tournament was played without fans and with players using hand sanitizers and following social-distancing rules. Caddies wore masks but players were allowed to play without them.— Russia has relaxed border restrictions for athletes and coaches in a move that will help soccer to restart in the country next month. Russia has barred most foreign arrivals since March in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Now the government says athletes and coaches will be allowed in if they have a contract with a Russian sports team or organization. They will have to spend 14 days in isolation on arrival and will be observed by doctors.MLB-CRAWFORD-POOL DROWNING SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean professional soccer club has apologized after being accused of putting sex dolls in empty stands during a match in Seoul.In a statement, FC Seoul expresses “sincere remorse” over the controversy. It insists that it used mannequins, not sex dolls, to mimic a crowd at the Seoul World Cup stadium.The country’s top-flight K-League returned to action on May 8 without spectators following weeks-long postponements because of the coronavirus.Professional baseball has resumed under similar conditions. The leagues plan to ban fans until the risks of infections are meaningfully lowered.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

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