From Harvard Magazine:
Harvard may have the lowest dropout rate of any college. Though years off are common, currently around 98 percent of those who matriculate at Harvard College receive their bachelor’s degrees within six years, according to the Registrar’s Office of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Several celebrated Harvard dropouts have done quite nicely sans diploma. These include R. Buckminster Fuller ’17, Robert Lowell ’37, Bonnie Raitt ’72, Bill Gates ’77, and Matt Damon ’92 in the last century alone. But what of those who do not become famous? What becomes of those who leave Harvard voluntarily and, despite multiple invitations, never return? (The College routinely contacts those who have left to ask if they wish to complete their degrees.) We chose an era known for its radical sensibility and tracked down three members of a College class (1969) that might represent its high-water mark, to catch up with them and see if they had any regrets about the path not taken. Here are their stories.
Joanne Ricca: Adventurous Caregiver
When Joanne Ricca was a high-school junior in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the American Field Service chose her as an exchange student to live in a Swedish town the following school year (1964-65). Students at her high school circulated a petition protesting Ricca’s selection. “They thought I was un-American,” she explains. “I was a beatnik, a rebel, very outspoken—I liked to stir things up. My entire junior year I wore the same thing to high school every day—a green corduroy jumper, with a black turtleneck under it in winter—because I thought people made too much of clothes. For me it was sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. I was a bad girl.”