Beyond Boston: Regional Diversity at Harvard

Regional diversity at Harvard does not mirror the demographics of the United States, with certain areas of the country over represented in student population.

BY C. RAMSEY FAHS AND FORREST K. LEWIS, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS

 

William F. Morris IV ’17 describes his hometown of Maysville, Ga., as having “more cows than people and more pickup trucks than college degrees.” The first from his high school to enroll at Harvard since 1973, Morris was excited to experience an environment completely different from his home in Georgia. Much of Morris’s life in Cambridge, however, has been characterized by Southern stereotyping on the part of his peers.

During the first week of school, Morris says, he was asked which side he would take “if the Civil War happened today.” A classmate of Morris’s, referring to his distinctive accent, once asked Morris’s friend how somebody who sounded “retarded” could have been accepted to Harvard. After he was asked how many slaves he owned at a final club punch event sophomore year, Morris left out of frustration.

“I’m vegetarian, I’m not religious, [I’m] liberal,” Morris says. “But people hear my accent and automatically think, ‘Oh, Southern Will, he’s Southern.’”

 

Read more at The Harvard Crimson's website.