Campus & Community

Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus names this year’s award recipient

3 min read

The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus (HGLC) has announced that Martin Duberman Ph.D. ’57 will receive the HGLC Founding Father Award. It will be presented to Duberman at the caucus’ annual Commencement Day dinner (June 5) at Lowell House.

Brian Graden M.B.A. ’89, president of entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group and of Logo, MTV’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) network, will address the relationship between the media and the LGBT community.

“Martin Duberman is largely responsible for the growth of LGBT studies programs in colleges and universities across the country,” said Tom Parry ’74, president of the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus. “As a pathbreaking scholar and passionate activist, he has fought to cure America’s historic prejudices by making its buried past visible.”

For nearly half a century, Duberman has devoted his career as an award-winning historian, teacher, and activist to the lives of “outsiders” — gays and lesbians, the poor and working class, and blacks and other minorities who live on the margins of society. Educated at Harvard and Columbia, he is the Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Lehman College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He was the founder and first director (1986-96) of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the City University of New York Graduate School, the country’s first such research center. For his ardent devotion to making visible the lives of queer people who have been “hidden from history,” Duberman is widely considered the “godfather” of the modern gay studies movement. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books and plays, including his most recent work, “The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein.”

Graden has helped shape popular culture on television throughout his career. Before joining MTV Networks, he tapped into the phenomenon that became “South Park.” Under his guidance, MTV has launched many hits and critically acclaimed series in pop culture, including “Laguna Beach” and “The Osbournes.” He has taken an extremely active role in MTV’s Emmy Award-winning “Fight For Your Rights” campaigns. Launched in 1999, these comprehensive initiatives have focused on informing, empowering, and providing young people with tangible solutions to some of their top concerns including violence, discrimination, and sexual health. As part of these campaigns, MTV produced such influential specials as the Peabody Award-winning “Social History of HIV” and “Warning Signs,” which explored the psychological factors that contribute to young people becoming violent and how to address these factors.

The caucus also sponsors reunion events for LGBT alumni, including a symposium on the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, the College’s home for LGBT studies. The symposium will feature faculty, staff, and student concentrators and will be held in the Lowell House Junior Common Room from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Commencement Day. Additional details for this and other LGBT reunion events are available in class reunion registration materials.

The HGLC dinner will begin at 7 p.m. (to be preceded by a social hour at 5 p.m.). The award program and after-program will begin at 8 p.m. No reservations are required for the social hour or the program; however, dinner reservations are required and can be made online at All reservations must be made by May 29. Members and friends of the Harvard LGBT community are welcome.

The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus comprises more than 4,600 LGBT Harvard and Radcliffe alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The HGLC was formed in 1984 with the aim of organizing, serving, and advocating for the Harvard LGBT community.