More than 600 alumnae, students and friends—from the Class of 1953 to the Class of 2016—joined us in September for Celebration 60: Women Transforming Our Communities & The World, Harvard Law School’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of our first women graduates. Over the weekend, attendees enjoyed engaging panel discussions, heard dynamic keynote speakers, gathered at receptions and a gala dinner, and welcomed the opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other, and reconnect.
Friday began with class visitations, tours of the new Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building (WCC), and visits to “Women at HLS: 60 Years of Transformation,” a special exhibit at Langdell Library. In the afternoon, Dean Martha Minow welcomed attendees, presented a Celebration 60 Award to Justice Ruth Abrams ’56, recognized the more than 30 HLS alumni judges and justices, and paid tribute to the founders of Celebration 25 and the Harvard Women’s Law Journal (now the Journal on Law and Gender). At dinner on Friday evening, after a speed networking reception, keynote speaker Susan Cain ’93, author of the bestseller QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, spoke about how we can transform the way we innovate, lead and teach, by tapping the abundant strengths of the quieter half of the population, and Dean Minow presented Celebration 60 Awards to Zia Mody LL.M. ’79 and to Ms. Cain.
Saturday opened with remarks on “Leading with Purpose” by Robin J. Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community at Harvard Law School. The Celebration 60 luncheon began with a surprise: the unveiling of a portrait of former HLS Dean and current Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, by Dean Minow and Charlotte P. Armstrong ’53, whose generous gift allowed HLS to commission the portrait. The keynote speaker was David Wilkins ’80, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Director of the Program on the Legal Profession, and Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, who presented a compelling look at “After the JD: Preliminary Results from the Harvard Law School Career Study.” After the attendees gathered for a group photo and a cocktail reception, they returned to the Celebration Tent on Holmes Field for a gala dinner, the presentation of the HLSA Award to former HLS professor and now U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a spirited conversation between Dean Minow and Senator Warren.
On both days, Celebration 60 convened 21 panels (videos here) — organized, moderated, and presented by HLS alumnae — on thought-provoking topics ranging from diversity, innovation, human rights and women’s rights, and women in politics to women on corporate boards. working in-house, and pursuing brilliant but unusual careers, just to name a few.
Celebration 60 was organized by a dedicated group of more than 100 volunteers, who served on Programming, Outreach, Logistics, Sponsorship, and Visual Arts Committees, and was made possible through the generous support of the law firms, businesses, and individuals who served as sponsors.