One example of this is Sever Hall, designed by H.H. Richardson in 1878 and donated by Anne Sever in honor of her late husband, James Warren Sever, Class of 1817. Another, perhaps more widely known is Widener Library, the oldest library system in the U.S. and the world’s largest academic library. It was donated by Eleanor Elkins Widener in memory of her son Harry Elkins Widener, Class of 1907, who drowned with his father aboard the Titanic.
The tour, which is full of historic anecdotes and modern stories, is the brainchild of Fari Mbaye, Madi Fabber, and Maggie Dawson, manager of the Visitor Center, which organizes and runs the tours.
The juniors worked closely with Dawson when they led historical tours of campus. The tours touched on women’s contributions to the University, but Mbaye, Fabber, and Dawson realized that the sheer magnitude of the women’s work could fill its own specialty tour. They jumped at the chance to create the new tour and share their research with the greater Harvard community and the general public.
“There is just so, so much to talk about regarding women’s contributions, and so many people to learn about. It’s become something that is really near and dear to us, and it’s information that we really wanted to share with everyone else, because it’s a subject that is so often ignored,” said Mbaye.