The oldest university in the country, Harvard University was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is a private research university made up of Harvard College and 11 other schools and institutes, including the former Radcliffe College, now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard served around 21 students in the 2015-2016 school year. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Notable alumni include eight U.S. presidents, Helen Keller, Yo-Yo Ma, and Tommy Lee Jones. Harvard’s library collection is the oldest in the country and the largest private collection in the world.
The current iteration of the Harvard College Women’s Center (HCWC) was founded in 2006, though it was borne out of years of history of women’s centers at Harvard and Radcliffe beginning in 1971. Its mission “is to promote gender equity by raising awareness of women’s and gender issues, developing women’s leadership, and celebrating women who challenge, motivate, and inspire.” The HCWC offers a range of programming, many of which are student-initiated, including dinner discussions, film screenings, and panels and performances supported by the Ann Radcliffe Trust/Women’s Center Community Fund, as well as a mentorship program, the Gender 101 workshop, and the Women’s Leadership Awards. Harvard also offers Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.