Drew Gilpin Faust

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The seductiveness of war derives in part from its location on this boundary of the human, the inhuman, and the superhuman. It requires us to confront the relationship among the noble, the horrible, and the infinite; the animal, the spiritual, and the divine.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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I always seem to be reading several books at once.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Reading
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I've had dialogues with my dead mother over the 40 years since she died.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Mother
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One of the major jobs of the Harvard president is to choose the deans. I've had the opportunity to choose a considerable number of deans already, so I've learned a lot in the process in doing it.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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When I address admitted students each spring, I ask them to consider two questions: Why would Harvard be the right place for the person I am? Why would it be the right place for the person that I want to become? These questions, in my mind, get at the heart of any admissions process.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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We are in an international marketplace for talent, and American colleges and universities need to be able to attract students and faculty from around the world if we want to sustain our excellence.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Excellence
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I'd say Harvard graduates leave here with a sense of the possible and the limit - and a sense that there are no limits to what humans can do and that you can always be pushing, whatever limit you think might be there.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Limits
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For all its ubiquity and its universality, war offers the attraction of the extraordinary - the escape from the gray everyday, from the humdrum into higher things.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   War
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As a scholar, you don't want to repeat yourself, ever. You're supposed to say it once, publish it, and then it's published, and you don't say it again. If someone comes and gives a scholarly paper about something they've already published, that's just terrible. As a university president, you have to say the same thing over and over and over.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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Of all living things, only humans consciously anticipate death; the consequent need to choose how to behave in its face - to worry about how to die - distinguishes us from other animals. The need to manage death is the particular lot of humanity.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Death
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I often read nonfiction with a pencil in hand. I love the feel, the smell, the design, the weight of a book, but I also enjoy the convenience of my Kindle - for travel and for procuring a book in seconds.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Love
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I've always done more than I ever thought I would. Becoming a professor - I never would have imagined that. Writing books - I never would have imagined that. Getting a Ph.D. - I'm not sure I would even have imagined that. I've lived my life a step at a time. Things sort of happened.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Life
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Probably half the cases of Civil War dead were not identified. And so there was no way to let loved ones know, and there were no regularized processes in either Northern or Southern Army for notifying next of kin.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   War
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In the middle of the nineteenth century, the United States embarked on a new relationship with death, entering into a civil war that proved bloodier than any other conflict in American history, a war that would presage the slaughter of World War I's Western Front and the global carnage of the twentieth century.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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Since the middle of the twentieth century, our understanding of the American past has been revolutionized, in no small part because of our altered conceptions of the place of race in the nation's history.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   History
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I think the most important leadership lessons I've learned have to do with understanding the context in which you are leading. Universities are places with enormously distributed authority and many different sorts of constituencies, all of whom have a stake in that institution.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Leadership
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High school students ought to seek out campus communities where they feel not only empowered to engage their talents, but also challenged to leave their comfort zones. The ability to embrace new opportunities emerges, in part, from a willingness to take risks and to fail.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

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I think that issues of gender have been discussed widely at Harvard. But I think I was chosen clearly on the merits, and I wish to operate as president on the merits. I think, on one level, we might say that I can affirm that women have the aptitude to do science or to do anything, including being president of Harvard.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Science
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I have always loved animals, and as a child, I read a lot of horse books. I had a particular favorite called 'Silver Snaffles' that my mother gave away.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   Mother
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Americans in the Civil War period were very interested in Heaven and what it might be like, because they were having to face the fact that many of their loved ones were gone and many of their loved ones, they hoped, were in this other realm called Heaven.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

   War