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I'm one of those freaks of nature they call super-energetic!

Fulfilling her mother's dream, Harman attended Smith College, graduating magna cum laude in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in government. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Her senior thesis critiquing California's ballot initiative system was "incredibly prescient," according to her thesis advisor, Philip Green, professor emeritus of government. Green characterized the whirlwind, undergraduate activist as a "punch you in the mouth ask questions later kind of woman."

Jane Lakes, 1966.

Jane Lakes behind Senator
Hubert Humphrey, 1964.

As a member of Young Citizens for Johnson, Harman helped organize a rally for vice-presidential candidate Senator Hubert Humphrey at Smith College in 1964. Writing home to her parents after the successful event, Harman exclaimed: "I'm flying! NEVER have I been so sure of my love for politics, for organizing, for leading - what a week! . . . I'm one of those freaks of nature they call super-energetic."

During her senior year, Harman served as president of the Smith College chapter of the Young Democrats. "Timing and courage" are the skills she identified as central to leadership while she was a Young Democrat at Smith; these skills would later become Harman's own political mantra.

Smith Young Democrats president Jane Lakes, Hamper, 1966.

Jane Harman. Curriculum vitae, 1991.

Harman earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard in 1969. When she was a law student, Harman said, "women were the smallest minority of the class - 22 out of 550." One of her professors even had "Ladies Day," she remembered, "the day of the week when he called on women. There were no women on the staff - except, of course, the librarian."

After graduation from law school, Harman married attorney Richard Frank, and they lived in Switzerland for a year. In 1970 they moved to Washington, D.C., and Harman joined the law firm of Surrey & Morse, an international corporate practice.

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