It is an honor to have been elected President of the Harvard Club of Long Island, which exists fundamentally to build a community here. My primary Harvard-related activities since graduation have been alumni interviewing and participation fundraising. I cherish the opportunities to meet top local high school talent and to reconnect with my amazing classmates. These activities help keep Harvard visible and vibrant, requiring enthusiasm, dedication, and effort. It is my desire to connect local alums across our various schools and classes using these same attributes.
My primary goal as president was to re-build our Club’s website, which was accomplished in my first 40 days, thanks to the assistance of rising high school senior Justin Belle, and the renewed efforts of webmaster Ryan Hirschey. My secondary goal is to build our membership back to pre-COVID levels, by creating events that are interesting, engaging, varied, and relevant. I would encourage each of you to periodically visit our Events Calendar and to attend events. They happen approximately bi-weekly, thanks to the efforts of Sunil Sani and our Programming Committee. In my opinion, Our Distinguished Teacher Awards event is the highlight of the year. I am especially interested to attract younger alums to HCLI, who seem to prefer less structured social gatherings.
I recently returned from three days in Cambridge for the HAA Leadership meetings, the Cambridge Admissions Conference and the Harvard College Fund Assembly. Despite what you may have read in the press or blogs, there is a broad recognition that the terrorism and war in the Middle East was handled poorly and there is much more work to be done. Comments by Bill Fitzsimmons, Dean of College Admissions, and Melissa Ma, co-chair of the Harvard College Fund Executive Committee, were especially forthright. For interested parties, I urge you to read President Gay’s recent comments at a Hillel Shabbat dinner on Friday October 27, 2023: https://www.harvard.edu/president/speeches/2023/remarks-at-harvard-hillel/. Lastly, I was also most impressed to hear the vision, spirit, and energy from Hopi E. Hoekstra, the newly appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who has already identified important issues to be addressed during her tenure to make Harvard a better community for all.
This year’s Supreme Court decision has necessitated some tweaking to the College Admissions process. There are now five short essay questions replacing the traditional longer form essay, and interviewers are being asked to focus primarily on the many elements of an applicant’s character. Because of the common application and the numerous applicants from Long Island, we see substantially all of our local applicants, but not everyone, which remains our Club goal. HCLI welcomes new interviewers, who must have attended Harvard University (not necessarily College); if interested, please contact Carolyn Hughes at email@example.com.
Thank you very much to my predecessors Marci Rabinowitz and Nan Bischoff, who have gotten HCLI to where it is today and provided helpful guidance as well as to the other HCLI officers, who have greater tenure and experience than I do. Please feel free to contact me directly at HarvardClubLongIsland@gmail.com with your suggestions, comments, etc. They are sincerely welcome.
President of HCLI
P.S. To borrow a Harvard Band cheer, “shorter and funnier” next year.