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HAA Clubs Committee Awards

March-April 2006

The HAA Clubs Committee presents two annual awards for contributions to Harvard clubs.

Recipients of the 2005 Outstanding Club Contribution Award are:

William D. (“Dren”) Geer Jr. ’56, of Sarasota, Florida. Geer has been active on the Harvard Club of Sarasota’s board for nearly a decade, and is the current club president. His contributions include the development of a “Teacher of the Year” program through which the club recognizes a local teacher who is given a stipend and invited to a Harvard Graduate School of Education (GSE) summer seminar; the trip is paid for by the club and the local school board. Geer is also working on further collaborations between the Sarasota County schools and the GSE that could result in a model program that could be used nationwide.

Rodney D. Hardy ’60, of Edina, Minnesota. Hardy has twice served as president of the Harvard Club of Minnesota, most recently in 2004-2005. He and his successor, Todd Peterson ’84, M.B.A. ’87, oversaw the club’s transformation into a University-wide organization. This included merging with the previously independent Harvard Business School Club of Minnesota and inviting alumni from all the University’s graduate and professional schools to join the new organization. In preparation for its 125th anniversary, the club also waived 2005–2006 dues, which has resulted in a 10-fold rise in membership. Hardy, who is also a leader of his class, has served as HAA regional director for the North Central States and is a longstanding HAA committee member.

The Harvard Clubs of Chile and Switzerland won Club Recognition Awards.

The Harvard Club of Chile has been a model of revitalization, largely due to the expansion of its board to include representatives of the professional schools and to its significant outreach activities. To better serve and engage alumni in Chile and neighboring countries, the club has sponsored a series of academic and social events, including a dinner with Chile’s minister of justice, Luis Bates. The club has also worked closely with the regional office of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies to help Harvard students studying in Chile, and now plans to create a scholarship fund for Chilean students attending Harvard.

The Harvard Club of Switzerland has an outstanding participation record, with 910 current members, many of them graduates of the Business School. The club offers an efficient on-line system for paying dues and is developing a website. Another key to its success is a committee and board structure that offers “stability, clear leadership, and representation from different alumni constituencies and regions.” Alumni participate in a well-promoted series of 14 events annually.