The Ivy League is making waves toward greater acceptance this week. First, Katie Couric was the first woman to give a commencement speech at Princeton. Now, Harvard University has become the first institute of higher education to create an endowed professorship in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Although other colleges and universities offer courses and degree programs in sexuality studies, Harvard is the first to set up an endowed professorship on the subject. Visiting scholars will teach on sexuality and issues affecting sexual minorities for one semester each.
The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus raised $1.5 million to fund the role, which is named after F.O. Matthiessen, an American studies scholar and literary critic who kept his homosexuality a secret while chairing a Harvard undergraduate program. “It’s not so much that we’ve been able to raise this money, it’s that Harvard and the faculty at Harvard have accepted this perpetual endowment for gay and lesbian studies,” said Mitchell Adams of the Harvard Board of Overseers. Now, if we could only get same sex marriage legalized across the board, we’d be one progressive society. [Reuters]