Drew Gilpin Faust – Harvard President

          As students return to their colleges and universities, or as some venture on this road for the first time, I have chosen Drew Gilpin Faust for the “First Women To. . .” blog. Her words that “Creativity is a form of knowledge,” encourage me and spur me on.

FAUST 2After 371 years, Harvard University selected her as the first woman to become its president in 2007. Governing an Ivy League college may have been in her blood, however, as she is a descendant of a theologian, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, who served as the third president of Princeton, even before this country was formed. Although her daughter graduated from Harvard University, Drew Gilpin Faust did not; so she was the first president of Harvard since 1672 who did not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from the university.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr, with two graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, she is a historian who specializes in the history of the South in the antebellum and Civil War periods. She has focused on the changing roles of women during that era. Her writing had earned her awards and been the subject of documentaries. Her book Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War won the Francis Parkman Prize.

In 2007 Time magazine named her one of the “Time 100” and in 2009, Forbes listed her as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women.” She believes that the university should prepare students for a lifetime of learning and our ability to accomplish this will determine our future.


For her biography and advice, check the following:





In the 1960’s, sixty percent of college students were men. Today women are in the majority. Do you think this trend is positive or negative?