Thank you to our members who organized and participated in these events!
EARLY COLLEGE AWARENESS
On Saturday, April 14, 2018, about ten Club members and almost 30 Yonkers families turned out for the 12th annual Early College Awareness Program for eighth graders, which was held at Yonkers Middle High School. Each invited eighth grader was asked to bring a parent or guardian. During the 3-1/2-hour Program, many parents particularly appreciated learning about available sources of financial aid and about the programs offered by Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) to provide academic and college counseling support. Club member Paula Randolph did an excellent job of moderating the panels of College Students and of 11th Graders. The audience also loved hearing from the two Honored Guest Speakers: Shahara Ingram, who grew up in the Yonkers housing projects with a single parent but went on to graduate from Quinnipiac University with an academic scholarship and Harvard alum Franklin Headley (Class of 1988), who also was the first member of his family to attend college. Students and parents commented afterwards that “the [Program] showed me that everybody, no matter what obstacle, has a chance at success” and that “it helped inspire me to work harder and understand that hardships don’t define you."
LUNCHEON WITH TAL BEN-SHAHAR
On February 10, 2018, the Club hosted a luncheon and talk by Tal Ben-Shahar, noted author and leading thinker in positive psychology. After receiving his AB and PhD from Harvard, Ben-Shahar went on to teach one of the most popular courses in the history of Harvard. His 2007 best-seller, “Happier,” focused on helping people answer “the question of questions: how can we help ourselves and others—individuals, communities, and society—become happier.” The sold-out event was held at the Westchester Hilton.
GLOBAL NETWORKING NIGHT
This free January 9 networking event, co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Westchester and the Harvard Club of Fairfield CT, and held in Stamford, CT, drew alumni from Harvard College and the various Harvard graduate schools. The networking gatherings are held twice a year in 95 cities across the globe.
PAMELA PAUL SPEAKS TO H-R CLUB
On December 6, 2017, Club members enjoyed an intimate and lively discussion about books and reading with Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review and of all book coverage for The New York Times. Ms. Paul, who has appeared on TV and radio across the US, Canada and the UK, spoke about her lifelong passion for books, including her habit of keeping lists of all books read, as revealed in her recent book, “My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues.”
HARVARD ALUMNI COCKTAIL PARTY
On the evening of November 2, 2017, area alumni and guests gathered at the Bedford home of Club Co-President, Scott Levy ’94, for cocktails and conversation. First held over a year ago, the gathering has become a popular event for Westchester alumni.
HARVARD-RADCLIFFE ALUMS VOLUNTEER AT WESTCHESTER FOOD BANK
Club events in October 2017 included a morning of volunteering at the Westchester Food Bank in Elmsford. A group of alumni and their families rolled up their sleeves to help out at the facility that distributes groceries to needy area families all over Westchester.
JUNE 2017 - BYTHEDALE CHILDRENS HOSPITAL. The Club hosted another T-shirt and cupcake-decorating party for patients at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla. Blythedale is a specialty children's hospital that focuses on rehabilitation of medically complex children. It is the only such children's hospital in New York State and serves families in New York and many surrounding states.
The patients ranged in age from 2 to 15. Each was attended by a staff or family member, and many deftly operated their own motorized wheelchairs. Supplies for the event were again provided by the Club.
The patients were clearly delighted. Some of them availed themselves of the tubs of multi-colored cupcake toppings and outdid themselves in creating scrumptious and artistic cupcake designs for themselves and for others on their floor who could not attend. Others focused painstakingly on decorating their white T-shirts. The atmosphere soon became one of bustling activity.
2017 ANNUAL MEETING AND LUNCHEON. Our Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, May 7, at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale. We were delighted to welcome Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, who spoke about “Life as a Comeback." We had a wonderful group of Club members and a fascinating discussion and Q&A relating to athletics at Harvard. Thank you to everyone who attended and our Board members who helped organize the event.
SPRING COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS. Club members reconnected as they volunteered together this spring, sorting food at the Westchester Food Bank and hosting a party for children at Blythedale Children's Hospital. Thank you to members and their families and children who volunteered their time, and to Board members Rekha Packer, Henry Donahue and Scott Levy for organizing these wonderful and popular volunteer opportunities.
LOVE STORY. Thank you to our Board member Diana Hurwitz for organizing a screening of "Love Story" -- the last movie filmed on the Harvard campus - in honor of Valentine's Day 2017.
GLOBAL NETWORKING NIGHTS. Our Club participated in the Harvard Alumni Association's Global Networking Night in January 2017 and again in June 2017, co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radliffe Club of Westchester and the Harvard Club of Fairfield County. The well-attended events, held in southern Connecicut, drew alumni from the collge and various graduate schools living in both Westchester and Fairfield counties. This free networking event held twice per year draws thousands of alumni in cities across the globe.
DECEMBER COCKTAIL PARTY. Harvard alumni from around the county gathered for a festive evening in December 2016. We were thrilled to see so much interest in this party, which drew alumni from several decades! Thank you to Board member Scott Levy for opening up his home for this lovely social event.
NOVEMBER 2016 COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS. Club members were busy during the weekend of November 4-5. Board member Diana Hurwitz organized a visit to a heartwarming “graduation ceremony” at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, where puppy trainers introduced their beloved dogs to new owners. This organization, founded in 1954, has graduated over 7300 guide dogs for the blind and for families with autistic children. That same weekend, Board members Rekha Packer and Scott Levy organized another t-shirt and cupcake decorating party for patients at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. About a dozen Club members and their families assisted patients aged 8-15 with the crafts projects, with supplies funded by the Club. We thank all our volunteers for their participation and commitment to help those in need right here in Westchester.
LATIN AMERICAN ART. Club members received a special invitation to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase NY on Saturday, September 10. Our members previewed "Destination: Latin America”, a multifaceted, didactic journey through twentieth- and twenty-first century Latin American art. The evening was enhanced with live music, wine and appetizers. Thank you to Board member Diana Hurwitz for organizing this special membership opportunity.
YOUNG ALUMNI COCKTAILS. We hosted an event for Classes of '06 and later on a summer Saturday evening, at Seaside Johnnie's by the water in Rye, NY. Thank you to Board member Tommy Wong and Club members Graham Topol and Christine Maroti for organizing this fun and relaxing evening. We intend to organize more events geared to young alumni in our area. Please let us know if you'd like to get involved!
GLOBAL NETWORKING NIGHT. We partnered again with the Harvard Club of Fairfield, Connecticut, to participate in Harvard’s Global Networking Night in June, 2016. This free networking event held twice per year draws over 5000 Harvard alumni in cities across the globe. Alumni from Harvard College and the various Harvard graduate schools made new connections at this well-attended event at a lovely venue on the water in Stamford, Connecticut.
SPRING 2016 COMMUNITY SERVICE WEEKEND. Club members volunteered in community service events on June 4 and June 5 at Blythedale Children's Hospital and the Food Bank of Westchester. On Saturday, June 4, the Club hosted another T-shirt and cupcake-decorating party for patients at Blythedale, a specialty children's hospital that focuses on rehabilitation of medically complex children. Adult and child volunteers helped set up tables for decorating the white T-shirts and putting multi-colored frosting and toppings on the cupcakes. Supplies for the event were again provided by the Club. The children, who ranged in age from 5 to 15, were talkative and excited. Those who were hesitant at first found the atmosphere infectious. The room was soon bustling, and some amazing T-shirt designs and cupcake creations emerged. The following day, Sunday, June 5, the Club hosted a community service event at the Food Bank of Westchester. Fourteen energetic adults and children aged 8 and up donned hair nets, gloves and aprons to pack loose squash, eggplant and multi-colored peppers into smaller packages for distribution to local agencies and community food pantries. The Food Bank leads the fight against hunger in Westchester County, feeding an estimated 200,000 children, seniors and their families in Westchester. We thank all our volunteers for their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work!
BUG OFF! - PRIVATE TOUR AT THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY IN NYC. On May 21, 2016, a group of Club members and their famllies were treated to a tour of the Invertebrate Entomology Department by a PhD student, Jeremy Frank, and the curator, Dr. Christine Johnson. This seemingly endless collection is housed on the 5th floor of the museum and inaccessible to the general public. We were treated to Nabokov's butterfly collection with attached notes written in the author’s pen, Alfred Kinsey's wasp collection, a giant squid nicknamed “Squidzilla,” and gallery-like showings of hauntingly beautiful wasp and hornet nests among many other specimens. There was also topical information about mosquitos and the Zika Virus while learning about current research in the department including the behavior of slave ant colonies and the effects of global warming on insects.
2016 ANNUAL MEETING AND LUNCHEON. Our Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, May 15, at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale. We were delighted to welcome our speaker, Ali S. Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University, who gave a fascinating and informative lecture on "Understanding Islam -- Going Beyond the Headlines." We had a large crowd of Club members and other local alumni. Thank you to everyone who attended and our Board members who helped organize the event.
EARLY COLLEGE AWARENESS. On the morning of Saturday, April 9, 2016, more than ten Club members and Yonkers-Harvard alumni as well as almost 50 Yonkers families turned out for the Tenth Early College Awareness Program for eighth graders, which was held at Yonkers-Middle High School. As usual, each invited eighth grader was asked to bring at least one parent or guardian. The Program began with a panel of six local college students moderated by Scott Levy, answering questions from the eighth graders. After presentations on applying for financial aid and curricular requirements to graduate from high school, the audience was treated to two stimulating talks, one by Lincoln High School graduate Derick Adu, a recent graduate of Mercy College Honors Business Program, and the other by Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, an experienced financial consultant and Harvard graduate who grew up as one of 15 children of a migrant worker speaking Spanish in a small town on the border with Mexico.
GLOBAL NETWORKING NIGHT. We partnered with the Harvard Club of Fairfield, Connecticut, to participate in Harvard’s Global Networking Night on January 12, 2016. This free networking event held twice per year draws over 5000 Harvard alumni in cities across the globe. Alumni from Harvard College and the various Harvard graduate schools made new connections at this well-attended event in Stamford, Connecticut.
WESTCHESTER KNICKS. On Friday, January 22, Club members and their families cheered for the Westchester Knicks, a new NBA development team based right here in White Plains. After an exciting game against the Toronto Raptors, our group went on the court to meet team player and Harvard alumni Wesley Saunders ’15. The adults enjoyed chatting with Wesley, and the children were excited to take photos with him. Thank you to Wesley and the Westchester Knicks for helping us arrange this special event.
HARVARD KROKODILOES COME TO WESTCHESTER. On Saturday, November 15, Club members enjoyed some of the best in collegiate a cappella, including the Harvard Krokodiloes and the Yale Whiffenpoofs. A limited number of tickets to the performance at St. Matthews's Church in Bedford were available to Club members on a first-come, first-served basis. Our members were also invited to a private reception following the concert with the singers, at the home of our Board member Virginia Maybank.
COCKTAIL PARTY FOR GRADUATES FROM 1990s AND LATER. On Friday evening, November 6, the Club hosted a cocktail party for all Harvard graduates of the 1990s (or later). Hosted at the home of Board member Scott Levy, the party was free to Club members and provided a wonderful opportunity to meet and reconnect with fellow alumni from our area. There was food, wine and an outstanding musical performance by classmate Harumi Furuya '95 and her sisters (see the Furuya Sisters website at furuyasisters.com). Thank you to Harumi and her sisters for generously sharing their talents with us. We also thank Scott for hosting and all alumni who attended this lovely event.
FALL 2015 COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS. The Club hosted two community service events in Fall 2015. On Sunday, September 13, seventeen adults and their children aged 5 and above reported to the Food Bank of Westchester’s facility at 200 Clearbrook Road in Elmsford for one and a half hours of community service. The Food Bank is Westchester’s first line of defense against hunger and feeds an estimated 200,000 children, seniors and their families in Westchester. One month later, on Saturday, November 7, Club members and their children hosted a T-shirt and cupcake-decorating party for children at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla. The Club provided supplies including white T-shirts in multiple sizes, multi-colored fabric markers, cupcakes, icing and decorations. The patients, who ranged in age from 4 to 15, were delighted. Each child was in a motorized wheelchair and had a staff assistant. We thank all of our volunteers, tall and small, for their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work! We also thank our Board members Rekha Packer, Henry Donahue and Scott Levy for organizing our popular community service projects.
2015 LUNCHEON AND ANNUAL MEETING. Our Luncheon and Annual meeting was held on May 3, 2015 at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale. We had a large crowd of alumni and friends to hear Harry Lewis, Gordon McCay Professor of Computer Science and Interim Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. His topic: Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education. We are grateful to Professor Lewis for his informative and engaging presentation and for updating us on some of the latest curriculum developments at Harvard College.
SPRING 2015 COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS AT THE FOOD BANK AND BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. The Club again organized two community service events this spring. On May 3, a dozen alumni and their children spent two hours at the Westchester Food Bank, enthusiastically unpacking pallets of raw vegetables and repacking them into individual servings. Donning aprons, plastic gloves and hats or hairnets, children as young as age 7 helped to sort the food. Two weeks later, on Saturday, May 16, the Club hosted another tie-dying and cupcake-decorating party for children at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla. Ten Club volunteers, both adults and children, helped set up tables for decorating white T-shirts and putting multi-colored frosting and toppings on the cupcakes. The Club again provided supplies for this fun and entertaining event, including T-shirts of many sizes, a box of multi-colored dyes, unfrosted cupcakes, frosting and cupcake decorations.
We have repeated and increased the frequency of our community service events because of their popularily with our alumni community. We thank all our community service volunteers for their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work!
NINTH ANNUAL EARLY COLLEGE AWARENESS PROGRAM. Our Ninth Annual Early College Awareness Program was held in April 2015, with the support and collaboration of the Yonkers Public School district. Eighth graders from Yonkers Middle School, along with their parents and guardians, heard a lively discussion about college with six college students They also received a detailed presentation on financial aid, followed by a talk on academic requirements for completing high school. Finally, the students were inspired by the personal stories of two special guest speakers: E'Shondra McClendon-Smith, a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and New York Law School, and Nelson Joyce, Harvard '92. We thank the Yonkers School district staff as well as the numerous Club members who helped with this program by attending the event and by providing financial and other support.
CLUB MEMBERS VISIT NEUBERGER MUSEUM. Club members gathered at the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, NY on Saturday evening, February 28, for the festive opening of the new African Art Exhibit. Alumni and their families were among the first to see the fascinating exhibit of Kuba textiles, while enjoying food, wine and live African drumming. Thank you to Board member Diana Hurwitz for organizing this event and to the museum for extending this invitation to our membership.
FALL 2014 VOLUNTEER EVENTS AT THE WESTCHESTER FOOD BANK AND BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. Club volunteers participated in two community service events in Fall 2014. On Sunday, October 19, about 25 Harvard alums and their children spent two hours unpacking, sorting and boxing frozen food at the Westchester Food Bank. Donning aprons and plastic gloves in the cold sorting room, the volunteers quickly divided themselves into specialty functions to sort large cartons of meats, breads and desserts. Parents supervised the children doing the sorting, and volunteers continually called for additional supplies.
Just a few weeks later, on Saturday, November 1, the Club hosted another tie-dying and cupcake-decorating party for children at the Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla. Many adults who participated brought their school-age children to join in the fun. The Blythedale staff members, with the help of the volunteers, set up the supplies provided by the Club, including T-shirts of many sizes, a box of colored dyes, unfrosted cupcakes, canned vanilla frosting, multi-colored sprinkles and multi-colored Halloween decorations. The room was bustling, and the children created artistic T-shirt designs and cupcake toppings. The staff carried a large box of decorated cupcakes to distribute to patients on the floor.
Thank you to all of our volunteers who support and participate in our outreach programs!
2014 LUNCHEON AND ANNUAL MEETING. Our Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, May 5 at the Sunningdale Country Club. This year we were thrilled to welcome as our speaker Professor Carol R. Saivetz of Harvard's Davis Center of Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her topic: After the Reset - What's Next for Russian-U.S. Relations? It was a lovely and informative afternoon. Thank you to all who attended and to our Board members who assisted with the planning of this event.
EIGHTH ANNUAL EARLY COLLEGE AWARENESS PROGRAM. On Saturday, April 5, 2014, over 150 people attended the Club's eighth annual Early College Awareness Program for eighth graders and their families at Yonkers Middle/High School. This year's Honored Guest Speakers were Charlyn Brea, a graduate of Lincoln High School and Dartmouth College, who is making a career in the exciting world of the theater, and Thomas Wong, a 1999 Harvard graduate and investment manager who is dedicated to community service. Other program highlights included financial aid speakers, who provided informative handouts and lists of helpful financial aid websites, and a dynamic speaker on high school academic requirements. We thank the Yonkers School District for its enormous help and partnership in putting together this successful program.
THE HARVARD CLUB VISITS BLYTHEDALE HOSPITAL. In January and May 2014, the Club hosted tie-dying and cupcake-decorating parties at the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla for patients ages 7 through 15. Blythedale is New York State’s only independent, specialty children’s hospital dedicated to improving the lives of children with complex medical illnesses and conditions. January was the Club's first event at Blythedale, and it was so popular that the Club organized a second party in May. Due to Hospital rules, the event is limited to 15 Harvard Club volunteers, who were recruited on a first come, first served, basis. Several volunteers brought their school-age children. Needed supplies for the events, such as T-shirts of many sizes, a box of dyes of many colors, unfrosted cupcakes, canned frosting, multi-colored sprinkles and multi-colored gummy bears, were furnished by the Club. The patients were all in motorized wheelchairs with a staff assistant assigned to each. By the end of each event, the children had designed multi-colored t-shirts and decorated two large boxes of cupcakes for distribution in the unit.
HARVARD CLUB VISITS THE WESTCHESTER FOOD BANK. The Harvard Club of Westchester again made two visits to the Westchester Food Bank in the past year, in September 2013 and again in April 2014. A solid crowd of adults and children volunteered to sort groceries for the needy for two hour shifts. Most of the volunteers unpacked large boxes of food, discarding items with old expiration dates or damaged packaging. Some volunteers joined the tour of the facility and were amazed at the size of the 32,000-foot warehouse with its 5,500-square-foot freezer and 2,500-square-foot refrigerator. Donors help the Food Bank by volunteering donations of money, food and/or time. The Food Bank is Westchester's first line of defense against hunger, providing help to an estimated 200,000 people. The Harvard volunteers humbly joined the ranks of the 5,474 volunteers last year who donated 14,132 hours of work so that others were able to eat.
LUNCHEON AND ANNUAL MEETING. Our Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, May 19th, 2013, at the Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, NY. We were delighted to welcome Professor J. (Woody) Woodland Hastings, speaking about his new book "Bioluminescence: Living Light, Light for Living." In his book, Professor Hastings and co-author Therese Wilson explore the natural history, evolution, and biochemistry of the diverse array of organisms that emit light. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our Board members who helped plan and organize the event.
SEVENTH ANNUAL EARLY COLLEGE AWARENESS PROGRAM. On April 13, 2013, a crowd of almost 50 eighth graders, their parents and Yonkers Middle School administrators gathered for the Harvard-Yonkers early college awareness program. Our Harvard-Radcliffe Club Co-Chair of Community Outreach, Rekha Packer provided introductory remarks at the breakfast hosted by the Club. The three hour program began with a panel discussion among five local college students discussing the challenges and benefits of attending college. The first honored guest speaker was New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins who delivered a moving address which included a discussion of what it was like to grow up in Yonkers 30 years ago. Yonkers Director of Guidance Natalie Davy next tackled the complex subject of financial aid and the availability of scholarships. The second honored guest speaker was Harvard grad Ben Shuldiner, who until recently was principal of the High School for Public Service in Brooklyn. The program ended with a discussion of the academic requirements needed to graduate from high school by Helen Gill, guidance counselor at Saunders High School. We would like to give special thanks to Superintendent Pierorazio for arranging Senator Stewart-Cousins' appearance as well as the Club members who help make this event possible and the staff of Yonkers School District for their hard work.
IVY DEBATE NIGHT. On April 12, 2013, well over 200 people gathered at Rye Neck High School for the annual debate night arranged by the Harvard, Yale and Brown Clubs in Westchester. Several Westchester high schools, including Blind Brook, Byram Hills, Hackley, Harrison, Rye Neck and Yonkers attended. The distinguished judging panel included Brown University Associate Dean Ann Gaylin, Yale Summer School Dean William Whobrey and Rye Neck Board of Education Trustee Bill Shaner. After intermission, the college debaters coached the high school students in mini-debates on the subjects of drug legalization and affirmative action in college admissions. Though not judged, the mini-debates were lively and informative. We would like to thank Rye Neck High School for hosting and helping us assemble a large and enthusiastic crowd, as well as the high school and college debaters and our fellow Clubs for helping make this event a success.
THE HARVARD CLUB VISITS AFYA. On January 13, 2013, about 15 adults and children supervised by two Club members who are doctors (Diana Hurwitz and Paula Randolph) worked at AFYA in Yonkers sorting boxes of medical supplies for shipment to clinics in the Caribbean and Africa. “AFYA,” which means “good health” in Swahili, was started in 2007 by Danielle Butin, an occupational therapist with a Masters in Public Health from Columbia, who noticed the enormous waste of unexpired, unused medical supplies in U.S. hospitals and health clinics. She realized that these supplies were desperately needed by clinics in third world countries. This led her to found AFYA, which locates, sorts and ships large quantities of medical supplies abroad for a modest fee. Many of the parents used the opportunity to teach their children the importance of community service. They were resourceful in dividing the work into tasks that even the younger volunteers could accomplish. By the end of the morning, multiple boxes of supplies had been sorted and packed for shipment, and the volunteers, having enjoyed the bustle and camaraderie of the sorting process, left with smiling faces.