Awards ceremony and gala celebration mark School’s milestone
October 29, 2013 — Hundreds gathered to celebrate Harvard School of Public Health’s 100th birthday at an awards ceremony for global health leaders and a festive gala featuring inspiring words, video tributes, the announcement of a major fundraising Campaign, and plenty of good cheer. The October 24, 2013 event drew supporters of the School from near and far.
At an afternoon awards ceremony at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Centennial Medals were presented to President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States; Dr. Jim Yong Kim, MD ’91, PhD ’93, President, World Bank Group, and co-founder of Partners in Health; and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, MPH ’65, LLD ’92, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization. The Next Generation Award went to Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.
In the evening, at Boston’s Revere Hotel, attendees watched a multimedia presentation outlining the four global health threats that HSPH’s fundraising campaign will address—old and new pandemics, harmful physical and social environments, poverty and humanitarian crises, and failing health systems.
Speakers introducing the themes included Dr. Kim; Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts; Dr. Timothy Johnson, MPH ’76, retired chief medical editor, ABC News; Shaniece Criss, HSPH doctoral student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and, on video, Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jonathan Lavine, MBA ’92, who with his wife Jeannie, AB ’88, MBA ’92, is chairing the Campaign for Harvard School of Public Health, discussed key ways that HSPH faculty, alumni, and students have helped improve the health of people around the globe and how the Campaign can further that effort. He also announced the Campaign goal: $450 million by 2018. Already, HSPH has raised $167 million during the campaign’s two-year “quiet phase.”
Attendees also heard from Harvard University President Drew Faust, who talked about the vital role that public health plays in the world; and from HSPH Dean Julio Frenk, who spoke movingly about the importance of public health both in his own life and globally.
There was a spirited performance from musical group Rhythm of the Universe.
Attendees watched a video montage of HSPH students, staff, and faculty wishing the School a happy birthday in many languages. Then there were more surprises: video birthday wishes from Elton John and Bono—who, with guitarist Edge, sang a happy birthday song specially written for HSPH.
The celebration continued on October 25 with the Centennial Leadership Summit, a series of talks and discussions with the School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors and Leadership Council. In addition, Dean Frenk spoke on the second century of HSPH; Nancy Lukitsh, MBA ’80, received the Volunteer Leadership Award; and ministerial-level leaders from the U.S. and abroad spoke on a panel about the future of the field of public health.
Later, the whole School community celebrated in Kresge Cafeteria with cake and champagne, and heard from Dean Frenk about the time capsule that will be placed in the wall of the FXB Building and not opened again until HSPH celebrates its 150th year—in 2063. Its contents include a letter from Frenk to the future Dean of the School; the program book from the Centennial Celebration; and contributions from staff, faculty, and students.
Photos: Kent Dayton, Genevieve De Manio, JD Levine, Tony Rinaldo
Read news coverage of HSPH’s Centennial Celebration:
Bill and Chelsea Clinton receive awards from Harvard (New England Cable News)
Collaboration key in health gains, Clinton says (Harvard Gazette)
Clintons recognized at HSPH Centennial (Harvard Crimson)
100 Years of HSPH (Harvard Magazine)
HSPH community celebrates Centennial (HSPH news)