To our readers:
Last winter, when the Bulletin staff began
talking about devoting the fall issue to the approaching 25th anniversary
of the construction of the Littauer building and the move to its
current site, we were excited by the prospect. It would be enlightening
to look back through 25 years of Kennedy School lore. As chroniclers
of the school, we would finally have a chance to do what we always
wanted to do, but never had time for, what with the ongoing demands
of our jobs.
And we were right. It has been a fascinating look
back. We conducted a score of interviews, both in person and by
phone. Some of the people interviewed are still going strong here
at the school. Others have retired. The fondness they feel toward
the school was palpable. It was also interesting to look at the
old photos. Styles really do change over a quarter of a century.
Were those thick, black glasses actually considered attractive 25
years ago? There were poignant moments too, reading about people
whose lives were cut short, but who have made lasting impressions
on the school. There were also those aha moments when
we discovered that some of todays well-known public servants
started their careers here. And then there was the Forum, which,
during the last 25 years has hosted a dazzling stream of public
figures and has become one of Harvards most remarkable institutions.
Rededicated this month in honor of John F. Kennedy, Jr., the Forum
is now one of the most popular destinations on campus for Harvard
But the biggest surprise of all was realizing the
gamble that the people committed to moving the Kennedy School to
the next level were taking back then. As youll read in the
following pages, the idea of building a school for future public
servants that was on par with Harvards graduate schools of
medicine and business was unique. Whether the school could make
a go of it, both financially and academically, was not certain.
Twenty-five years later, few could argue about the amazing contributions
that the school has made, both in the people it has trained, as
well in the contributions it has made to public policy research.
We would also like to give a nod to the many photographers, writers,
designers, and editors who have covered the school over the course
of the last 25 years and who have made our jobs so much easier in
uncovering the schools history. As the current staff pored
over old Bulletins and Updates, we grew increasingly
impressed at the professionalism with which these publications were
produced. We feel a renewed challenge to carry on with the same
humor and style.
In the end, what these past few months have shown us is what we
always suspected to be true, but now know for sure: that the Kennedy
School is a one-of-a-kind institution. Happy Birthday Kennedy School!
May the next 25 years be as successful.
Sarah Abrams, Editor, Bulletin
Jesús Mena, Director, Communications and Public Affairs
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