50th Reunion

Photographs from the collections of the Harvard University Archives, 1959-1963


When the Harvard College Class of 1963 entered in 1959, freshmen could take Principles and Problems of the Biological Sciences, taught by E.O. Wilson; Human Behavior, taught by B.F. Skinner;  Celestial Navigation, taught by Frances Wright; or History, Pretensions, and Philosophical Implications of the Social Sciences, taught by George Goethals, this last being one of several offerings in the brand-new Freshman Seminar program.

Tuition for the year was $1250, spaghetti with chicken livers was on the menu, smoking was allowed in the library, and Harvard freshmen could entertain women guests in the dormitories until 7 p.m. on weekdays – but only with special permission.

In the Fall of 1959, Quincy opened as the first residential house built since 1931, and Leverett House towers rose to add a modern note to the river skyline. By June of 1963, Holyoke Center and Carpenter Center anchored a Modernist element of the Cambridge campus.

At Commencement in 1963, Radcliffe graduates received Harvard diplomas, signed by both presidents, for the first time. Anniversary Reports of the Class from that time forward are co-educational.

The Harvard Crimson featured memorable moments in a June 12, 1963 article “Class of '63 Sees Great Changes in College.” More information about the undergraduate years of the Class of 1963 can be found in the collections of the Harvard University Archives and the Radcliffe Archives at the Schlesinger Library.



The Harvard University Archives actively collects materials documenting the intellectual, social, and cultural aspects of student and alumni life at and after Harvard from the 17th century to the present.  If you have materials and memorabilia documenting student or alumni/ae experiences relating to Harvard for possible donation, contact the Collection Development department at archives_collections@harvard.edu or call 617-384-7786.

Questions and comments about this Featured Item may be sent to the Harvard University Archives at archives_reference@harvard.edu.