Lady Gaga and Mom to Launch ‘Born This Way’ Foundation at Harvard as Students Rally for Expelled Gays

Lady Gaga and her mother will launch their Born This Way foundation at Harvard today, and Cynthia Germanotta (pictured) is talking to the Daily Beast:

GermanottaShe and Gaga will kick off their foundation on the Harvard University campus this afternoon, with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra in tow. Also in attendance: a “Born Brave” bus, Germanotta says, that will follow Gaga’s own tour bus across the country in coming months, offering kids at each stop a place to connect.


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…She says this project has long been a family goal. “We always talked about doing something together, giving back,” she says. “As my daughter’s career took off, we started having more serious conversations about it. It wasn’t so much a ‘decision’ as something we always wanted to do.”

Students are planning a rally in conjunction with the visit to demand degrees for students expelled in 1920 by Harvard's "secret court"  for being gay, although the school said today those degrees will not be awarded:

"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," the university said in a statement.

"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."


  1. Wdeanis says

    I’m glad they won’t be giving out those degrees posthumously. Harvard’s apology was enough, and nobody involved on either side is (probably) still alive.

  2. bobbyjoe says

    Yeah, but they couldn’t “complete all academic requirements for the degree” because they were EXPELLED. It doesn’t cost Harvard anything– other than putting their actions where their mouth is– to award those posthumous degrees. Harvard already lost it’s pretense of playing stickler for the rules by the fact that it helped keep that “secret court” secret until it was exposed by a reporter in 2002. It’s Harvard’s fault for having been evil bigoted creeps back then; those folks would have had the opportunity to complete their academic studies had Harvard not taken it away from them. The students may not still be alive, but their families are, and the GLBT community still is. Make the damn gesture, Harvard, and STFU.

  3. simon says

    “completes all academic requirements for the degree”
    is not quite true. They gave a honorary degree to Bill Gates in 2007 who dropped out of Harvard. I am sure they gave out honorary degrees to a lot of people who may not even have a high school degree.

  4. ratbastard says

    Oh Jesus. I’m going to be in that area this afternoon. I don’t need to deal with crowds of protesting, angry ‘progressive’ Cambridge types. With Lady Germanotta there, I’m sure the subway will be an even bigger disaster than it normally is.

  5. BABH says

    Simon: An honorary degree is not a posthumous degree. Harvard does not give honorary degrees to dead people (and for good reason – that would be a nightmare to administer). The dead are only eligible for academic degrees, and only under narrow circumstances.

  6. Randy says

    Deepak Chopra? This quack will ruin whatever credibility the It Gets Better message has.

    As for what Harvard does or doesn’t do, they have the ability to change. And they will, if they want this story to be resolved favorably.