Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lady Gaga and her mom launch foundation at Harvard

Queerty reports: Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta will be launching their much-talked-about nonprofit group, the Born This Way Foundation, this afternoon at Harvard University.

Also in attendance will be Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and students protesting the University‘s decision not to confer posthumous degrees to nine gay students who were expelled in 1920!

If the storied Ivy League university seems an odd choice, it makes more sense when you learn that the Foundation is pairing up with a Harvard academic center.

In a profile of Cynthia on the Daily Beast, Abigail Pesta writes:
Germanotta is quick to note that the focus of her new foundation is on “kindness, not meanness,” saying that “bullying is almost overused in the media.” The group plans to partner with three other groups—Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the MacArthur Foundation, and the California Endowment to Empower Youth—to help educate kids, Germanotta says, by connecting Gaga’s fan base with the programs the groups have started.
Making an appeal to Our Lady of the Gaga will be student protestors that want the university to confer honorary degrees to nine gay students who were witch-hunted and expelled in 1920 by Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell.

Harvard’s response, according to MSNBC:
Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences does not award posthumous degrees except in the rare case of a student who completes all academic requirements for the degree but dies before the degree has been conferred.

In 2002 the University expressed its deep regret for the way the situation was handled as well as for the anguish experienced by the students and their families almost a century ago.

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