Harvard denies posthumous diploma to Native

Harvard University is refusing to grant a posthumous diploma to one of its very first Native students.

Joel Iacoomes, a Wampanoag, studied at Harvard's Indian College, which was founded in 1655 to educate Native students. He would have graduated with the Class of 1665 had he not been killed in a shipwreck shortly before commencement.

Records show Iacoomes excelled in academics but the school today said it is unable to determine whether he would have been awarded a degree. Posthumous diplomas are rarely granted, The Harvard Crimson reports.

Only five students ever attended the Indian College, which never received much support, before it was abolished. Only one person, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, also Wampanoag and a classmate of Iacoomes' graduated.

Get the Story:
Native American Denied Posthumous Diploma (The Harvard Crimson 6/27)

Relevant Links:
Harvard Native American Program -

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