[MUSIC PLAYING] JULIUS WADE: I think what Harvard is really skilled at is bringing people together. CAT ZHANG: I have definitely learned a lot about how to be a person in the world. There is like this infinite sense of possibility. MADELEINE LAPUERTA: Being surrounded by all these people that are pushing themselves inspires me to then push myself. STUDENT: One, two, three! TEAM: RVL!
BRAEDEN FOLDENAUER: Pretty much everybody I know is pursuing what they’re pursuing because they desire to have an impact. ELSIE M. SUNDERLAND: They’re on this mission of discovery of really their own passion and how to be an engaged citizen in society. LINDEY KNEIB: When you’re here, you’re here for a reason. Just hold on for the ride, because it’s fun and wild and crazy. [CHEERING] ROBERT REID-PHARR: Can you read that last sentence for us? STUDENT: Yeah. "No one, I read somewhere a long time ago, makes his escape personality black." ROBERT REID-PHARR: That’s amazing. I mean, that’s a stunning sentence. STUDENT: Yeah. ROBERT REID-PHARR: Can I ask you, is that true?
Hold on one second. Is that true? STUDENT: I think it is. ROBERT REID-PHARR: Why? CLAUDINE GAY: What’s. wonderful about a liberal arts education is that it’s powered by a commitment to truth. LAWRENCE S. BACOW: Truth is something which needs to be discovered. It needs to be uncovered. STUDENT: You want it to be true,. you’re willing to suspend your belief. ROBERT REID-PHARR: Everybody is on board with this– that she’s right about this. What do you think?
RAKESH KHURANA: We really hope that students learn to have an inquiring mind, to always be asking questions and actually question authority. STUDENT: It’s useful in relation to some of the things that have been missing from the other texts that we’ve read. ROBERT REID-PHARR: What’s been missing from the other texts that we’ve read? STUDENT: [LAUGHS] A lot of has been missing from the texts that we– [LAUGHS] –that we’ve read. ROBERT REID-PHARR: You’re in the classroom learning from students in ways that’s just shocking. It’s just shocking. Because they’re asking questions that are. practical and. concerned with how it is that they’re going to take charge. CAT ZHANG: I went to a large public high school.
My graduating class was I think the largest in America. And. I wanted to be part of a concentration that was more intimate but also offered a lot of room for skepticism. BRAEDEN FOLDENAUER: My favorite class. far was taking my freshman seminar. You know, we would do a bunch of readings. And we’d talk about some kind of free speech topic. And then we would show up to class every week. And we would just argue with each other. I craved that challenge. And I think that it was also really valuable, because it forced me to step outside my comfort zone. JU YON KIM: One great thing about the liberal arts is that it really kind of opens the world in new ways. They want the students to begin questioning certain assumptions that they might have. [BLOW HORN SOUND] ERIC HELLER: If you can figure out why that happens, you’ll beat me by about a year after I first saw this.
JULIUS WADE: One thing that I cherish about Harvard is that every person I’ve met is like curious in some way about themselves or about the world or about each other. CAT ZHANG: I just found people like really interesting and funny and unique in their own way. And I think it made me feel like I didn’t have to be the person that I was in high school. MADELEINE LAPUERTA: You know, three years ago, would I imagine myself studying computer science? Probably not. And. I think just the way that Harvard has kind of shaped me says a lot about how this environment promotes growth. JULIUS WADE: All of that does nothing to band-aid the simple fact that there comes a time when the world stops rewarding potential. STUDENT: I think the first way you read it was like the other way around. JULIUS WADE: Yeah. I came here without a clue about what I wanted to do, no idea that I wanted to do theater. And I just did it.
That made me very proud. But also, it was like really terrifying. STUDENT:. it’s– oh yeah,. it’s like the first one counterclockwise. [VOCALIZING] Yeah. BRAEDEN FOLDENAUER: Coming to Harvard was terrifying, especially being the first my family to go to college and stuff. I was definitely in uncharted territory. JULIUS WADE: The fear that I think a lot of people that I felt coming in, it’s like a fear that you’re the only one that feels that way. And when you discover that like, well, that person feels that way too, and that person, and this person, this like whole club of people, there’s a strange solace. (SINGING) RAKESH KHURANA: We recognize that talent is everywhere. There’s nobody here who doesn’t deserve to be here. BRAEDEN FOLDENAUER: When I was applying to college, cost was really crucial for me.
One of the things that I discovered when applying is just how generous Harvard’s financial aid is. JULIUS WADE: The thing that I tell people who have insecurities about their backgrounds and stuff, was that none of that stuff matters. The only thing that really matters is like who you are and the kind of person that you want to be. (SINGING) [VOCALIZING] My kind of love. STUDENT: Hey, nice run through. [LAUGHTER] STUDENTS: One, two, three! (SINGING) OH LEV, OH LEV, OH LEV, OH LEV! RAKESH KHURANA: We want the place to feel alive. JULIUS WADE: Aah! LINDEY KNEIB: (SINGING) I’m. excited for Harvard and Yale. FOOTBALL PLAYERS: One, two, three, CRIM! [CHEERING] CLAUDINE GAY: There is no one way to characterize the community here, because there are. many communities. STUDENT: Yo, Siva, can we get some real South-Asian music? [CHEERING] CLAUDINE GAY: What’s common to all of them is how incredibly vibrant they are. LINDEY KNEIB: I love working with the Special Olympics. Coming here, I feel that I’ve received. much.
It’s just that sense of giving back. STUDENT: Let’s do some fractions. MADELEINE LAPUERTA: Being a woman in computer science is actually pretty awesome.
You’re setting a huge example for girls that they can do this, because you’re doing this. ELSIE M. SUNDERLAND: It’s very important for young women to be able to identify women who are in positions that they might aspire to someday. LAWRENCE S. BACOW: When we recruit great faculty, we offer them the opportunity to work with great students. When we recruit great students, we offer them the opportunity to work with great faculty. They love each other. DUSTIN TINGLEY: I came to Harvard to be in an environment that emphasized the liberal arts but also was a major research institution. I get. excited when I work with a student all the way up to a point where it becomes really clear I need to be co-authoring with this person. JU YON KIM: And they’re actually doing what we’re doing. And by the time they get to the end of their project, what they have is a real intellectual contribution.
CLAUDINE GAY: We tend to attract students who already see themselves as agents of change in the world. STAFF SERGEANT: Good afternoon, sir. SECOND LIEUTENANT: Good afternoon, staff sergeant. ROBERT REID-PHARR: You have to rethink how you are actually helping to educate them for what it is that they want and what it is that we need as a culture. BRAEDEN FOLDENAUER: We’ve got our different goals in different parts of the world. And we can all take what we have experienced and bring those back to our home communities. MADELEINE LAPUERTA: You’re learning. much from the people around you. It’s an environment of always being able to learn and from that always being able to grow. LINDEY KNEIB: My biggest accomplishment here is I finally figured out who I was. JULIUS WADE: Harvard cares deeply about who we are as people and the capacity that we have as human beings to affect a new and better world. CAT ZHANG: I feel like my life coheres more, that I have like a very clear purpose and mission, in a way that wasn’t apparent to me when I was in high school. RAKESH KHURANA: One of the most gratifying things in my life is to be able to be around these amazing young people, who are idealistic, who have a strong sense of urgency of making a difference in the world.
Every day, my heart is renewed with a sense of possibility and hope. Because each day, in my job, I get to look into the eyes of the future.