A view of the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Credit: Charles Krupa/AP

Harvard's Incoming Freshman Class Symbolizes A Changing America

August 10, 2017

For the very first time, Harvard's incoming freshman class will be majority minority, the university announced earlier this month.

It's a huge step for a school that has churned out multiple U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, and other leaders of America and other countries around the world, said Paul Reville, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and head of their Education Redesign Lab.

"It's symbolically very important," Reville said. "It's the kind of thing that captures headlines. It wakes people up to the fact that we're a nation that's changing."

"A couple of years ago we went minority majority in the public school system — this is 55 million students in the United States," he continued.

Reville suggested that many current political debates, like the Justice Department's recent move to investigate affirmative action policies at universities, are a reactionary response to these changes.

"A lot of our current politics is being determined by a profound resistance to this change," he said.

Click the audio link above to hear more from Paul Reville.


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