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Ten Stories That Shaped 2021

At Harvard, 2021 was a year marked by change. The school’s long-awaited return to in-person operations injected new life into a campus that had been left dormant for over a year by Covid-19. And in an unexpected shift, the University announced its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels after a decade of public pressure. Separately, faculty controversies — including a federal conviction and a high-profile departure — ignited debates that rippled across academia. Below, The Crimson looks back at the 10 stories that shaped the last year at Harvard.


Harvard Will Reopen Campus Child Care Centers Following Outcry from Parents

Harvard reversed its decision to close campus day care centers during the first three weeks of January on Wednesday after more than 120 families signed onto an open letter calling on the University to continue providing child care services while it moves most operations online.


Lieber Told FBI He ‘Wasn’t Completely Transparent’ in Prior Interview with Federal Investigators

Harvard professor Charles M. Lieber told the FBI in January 2020 that he “wasn’t completely transparent” in a separate interview with federal investigators two years prior, according to video of an interrogation presented in court by government prosecutors on Friday.


Experts Say Lieber Trial Could Decide Fate of DOJ’s China Initiative

As former Harvard Chemistry chair Charles M. Lieber goes on trial on federal charges beginning Tuesday, law and trade experts speculated that his case’s outcome could decide the fate of the Department of Justice’s China Initiative.


Fauci Says Pandemic Still Far From Controlled in School of Public Health Address

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. still remains far from controlling the Covid-19 pandemic in a virtual lecture at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on Friday afternoon.


No Pants? Snow Problem. Primal Scream Makes a Hollering Comeback

Baring it all in the season’s first snowfall, hundreds of Harvard students gathered outside Wednesday night in jackets, underwear, and little else to resume the boisterous tradition of streaking around Harvard Yard the midnight before finals.


‘Exceeded My Expectations’: Student Performers Laud Return to In-Person Programming

After more than a year of adapting to virtual programming, Harvard’s vibrant performing arts groups have roared back to life. Though they have faced challenges adhering to Covid-19 restrictions, artists said the ability to come together in person again is well-worth it.


15 Places: Our Return to Campus

For our final issue, we chose to write about 15 places, a break from this magazine’s history of publishing end-of-year issues about 15 people. As we understand it, a place constitutes any physical space in the vicinity of Harvard, from the Weeks Bridge, to Appleton Chapel, to the Yard itself. These are spaces we inhabit and traverse, in which we cry and laugh, create and demolish — alone but also, especially after the past year, together.


Biden Administration Backs Harvard in Admissions Lawsuit

The Biden administration backed Harvard’s race-conscious admissions process in a brief filed to the Supreme Court Wednesday, recommending that the Court reject an appeal challenging the use of affirmative action in the school’s admissions process.


‘Functionally Food Insecurity’: Harvard Students’ Decades-Long Push For Hot Kosher Lunch

Roughly 40 undergrads keep kosher, following strict dietary restrictions according to Jewish law, but just one dining hall covered by Harvard’s undergraduate meal plan, Harvard Hillel, is kosher, and it is only open for dinner.


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Pledges $500 Million for AI Institute at Harvard

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan ’07 pledged $500 million over the next 15 years to found the Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Harvard, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced Tuesday.


Students from Southern Africa Cancel Winter Travel Plans Due to Omicron Travel Ban

After the United States banned travel from several countries in southern Africa due to the emergence of a new coronavirus variant, Harvard undergraduates from the region lamented that they will not return home over winter recess for fear of not being able to return to campus.


Acrimony and Inefficiency Mar Inaugural UC Meeting Under Cheng and de Kanter

Michael Y. Cheng ’22 and Emmett E. de Kanter ’24 were inaugurated as president and vice president of the Undergraduate Council Sunday during an acrimonious meeting that was derailed by accusations of bullying and intimidation leveled at the new president.


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