Fellows and overseers, faculty and staff, students and alumni, delegates and civic leaders: My name is Maura Healey, Class of 1992 …
Harvard & Radcliffe College. …
Kirkland House. … Basketball team. … Government concentrator.
To any first-years out there who are undecided about your concentration:
You now have a Gov concentrator in the State House, and a Gov professor as your President. … Take that for what it’s worth.
In all seriousness: as Governor of Massachusetts, I am delighted to bring you greetings from the Commonwealth.
And it is my profound honor to recognize and congratulate Claudine Gay on her inauguration as the 30th President of Harvard University.
President Gay: Your achievements as a scholar and a leader are pathbreaking and remarkable, as befits this great university.
And having gotten to know you personally, I believe your wisdom and integrity, your humane and inclusive vision, make you an academic leader for our time.
The fact is, Harvard is an immensely important institution for Massachusetts.
The University advances our global reputation as a place of historic firsts and intellectual excellence that leads America and the world forward.
It attracts and nurtures students from around the world, and sends out leaders to every industry, state, and country.
Harvard shapes the qualities that make our Commonwealth unique among states:
The world-class care in our hospitals;
the innovation in our labs and businesses;
the leadership in our public policies;
the commitment to excellence and equity in our schools;
the brilliance and passion of our legal advocates, nonprofits, and philanthropies.
That is why the leadership of this university is of great significance to our state’s success.
Across government and academia, we work together in ways that guide our state’s future –
from equity in higher education;
to development in our cities;
opportunities in our economy;
sustainability in our environment;
and the health and wellbeing of our people.
The work we do together matters.
For that reason, we could not be more pleased to see President Gay rise to this position.
She is a leader driven by her values to meet the moment we are in.
-An expert on political participation at a time when democracy is under attack.
-A scholar who helped move the fight against inequality to the center of the academic and policy conversations.
-A powerful voice for the moral and practical imperative of diversity across all of higher education.
-And a leader whose own life tells a story:
A story of hope for young people whose communities have been marginalized;
And a story for all of us – abouthow much better our world can be, when everyone has the opportunity to develop their talents and contribute their gifts.
President Gay, your presidency is truly historic.
But I know it is not easy to break through barriers and be a first.
So from one pathbreaking woman to another, please rest assured:
you have my admiration and my support;
and you have our entire State’s devoted partnership.
Congratulations once again.