Harvard Secret Court of 1920–Hunting Homosexuals

This information was forwarded to me by my stepdaughter: a recent magna cum laud Harvard Journalism grad and a PFLAG straight ally. She is now a teacher in the public school system in New Orleans.

English: Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1923, by John...

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In 1920, Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell formed a secret court to hunt down homosexuals. Nine students were expelled:

• Donald Clark
• Eugene Cummings
• Kenneth Day
• Stanley Gilkey
• Joseph Lumbard
• Ernest Weeks Roberts
• Edward Say
• Keith Smerage
• Nathaniel Wollf

These students were not only forced to leave the University, they were also ordered to leave Cambridge, MA. Two of the students were allowed back (Gilkey & Lumbard), but the rest were not—one killed himself over the ordeal—Eugene R. Cummings. He was only 23-years-old and three weeks away from graduation.  We are also disturbed to hear that Harvard pursued and persecuted these young men for over 30 years.

Their Day in the Yard Movement at Harvard

Their Day in the Yard is a movement that was started in June 2010 by a student of Harvard University, who wanted to help the expelled students achieve the recognition that they deserve, before she graduated.

Fellow students and supporters continue to join this worthy initiative. Together, we urge the University to grant the seven expelled students posthumous honorary degrees.  These students have no justice until their records have been expunged and the Court’s decision is reversed.  Until this is done, the Court and its work is still very much alive.

Please sign the petition and invite your family, friends, colleagues and loved ones to join the movement.


Degrees for the Dead | Harvard Crimson


Support Builds for Secret Court Movement | Harvard Crimson


Harvard Students Demand Expelled Gay Students Receive Degrees | Campus Progress


Through the Outsider’s Eyes: A Brief History of Harvard | Harvard Crimson


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