Four people—Thomas G. Everett, Roger W. Ferguson Jr. ’73, A.M. ’78, J.D. ’79, Ph.D. ’81, John H. McArthur, M.B.A. ’59, D.B.A. ’63, and Betsey Bradley Urschel, Ed.M. ’63—received the 2016 Harvard Medal for “extraordinary service to the University” on May 26, during the Harvard Alumni Association’s (HAA) annual meeting on the afternoon of Commencement day. President Drew Faust read the citations, printed in italics below.
• When Thomas G. Everett, now director emeritus of the Harvard Bands, arrived in 1971, he found the campus to be (in the words of The Harvard Crimson) “a jazz wasteland.” He started the Harvard Jazz Bands, developed courses on the genre and its history, and brought in artists for master classes and residencies. Meanwhile, he directed the Harvard University Bands for decades—and in that capacity, oversaw football game halftime shows, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, and the Harvard Summer Pops Band. Everett has also been a supporter of the Harvard Alumni Jazz Band and the Harvard Band Foundation.
Harvard’s beloved music man for more than four decades, you calmly guided the Harvard Bands “through change and through storm,” setting the stage for the jazz program and touching the lives of generations of students, alumni, faculty, and staff through your prodigious creativity, your trailblazing scholarship, and your boundless generosity of spirit.
• Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and CEO of the financial services provider TIAA, is also a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Besides serving as president of the Board of Overseers from 2008 to 2009, Ferguson has contributed to a number of committees at the University: he chaired the standing committee on institutional policy and Harvard’s audit committee, and also served as a member of the executive committee and the board’s standing committees on social sciences and alumni affairs and development.
Esteemed economist and trusted advisor to presidents from Mass Hall to Pennsylvania Avenue, you have served the University with humility and wisdom, leading the Board of Overseers and countless committees with a steady hand, a sharp mind, and a deep devotion to Harvard’s educational mission.
• John H. McArthur, dean emeritus of Harvard Business School, joined the HBS faculty in 1962, teaching courses in corporate finance; he became dean in 1980. During his 15-year tenure, he introduced new fields of study and overhauled the school’s M.B.A. program and publishing arm, and also improved its campus. Reporting in 1995 on how McArthur brokered the merger that created the Partners HealthCare System—now the state’s largest private employer (and the provider network where the University spends most of its health-benefits money)—the Crimson wondered, “Is John H. McArthur the Most Powerful Man at Harvard?” A University professorship was named for him and his wife, Natty, in 1997; HBS’s McArthur Hall was dedicated in 1999.
McArthur has also served elsewhere at Harvard: at the College, as honorary coach of the men’s ice hockey team; at the medical school, as a member of the Board of Overseers; and at the schools of education and public health, as a member of their Dean’s Councils. He is the honorary chair of the current HBS capital campaign.
Distinguished Harvard statesman and visionary leader with an unparalleled gift for building consensus and cultivating warm personal relationships, you expanded the frontiers of intellectual thought at Harvard Business School and provided wise counsel to Schools and institutions across the University and around the world, earning the respect and admiration of colleagues and communities from Cambridge to Canada.
• Betsey Bradley Urschel is highly regarded for her volunteer service in Texas and in Cambridge. She has contributed her leadership in a variety of capacities, including as an elected director, regional director for Texas, and vice president of University affairs of the HAA Board of Directors. A past president and director emerita of the Harvard Club of Dallas, she co-chaired the club’s centennial events in 2014 and, with her late husband, Harold, started the community service fund that bears their name and provides financial assistance to a College undergraduate working in a public-service internship in north Texas.
The heartbeat of the thriving Harvard Club of Dallas, you have given generously and passionately of your time and talents to many areas of the University, galvanizing the alumni community and mentoring other volunteer leaders with exemplary grace, unwavering dedication, and Texas-sized enthusiasm for Harvard.