Portrait of T.H. Chan unveiled during Commencement Week

Screen-Shot-2015-09-11-at-1.41.45-PM1When the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health kicked off the celebration of the first Commencement under its new name this past spring, the opening event of the two days of festivities was the unveiling of a portrait of T.H. Chan. On May 27, members of the School’s community packed Rosenau Atrium in the Kresge Building to watch Dean Julio Frenk unveil the portrait with the help of painter Everett Raymond Kinstler, whose previous subjects have included Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

The School was renamed last fall following a transformational gift from the Chan family’s Morningside Foundation, spearheaded by Gerald Chan, SM ’75, SD ’79.

In pre-recorded remarks, Harvard President Drew Faust praised T.H. Chan as “a person who instilled such a sense of moral responsibility in his family that it has led to this extraordinarily generous gift to the School and to Harvard University.”

After the unveiling, Frenk said that he saw in the painting “the marriage of heart and head that was fundamental to T.H. Chan’s life.” He said, “We are fortunate to have this painting as a permanent touch- stone, a reminder of what it looks like to live for the greater good.”

Speaking for the Chan family, Ronnie Chan described his father as a humble man with tremendous respect for all human beings. He believed in using his money to serve society, Chan said, and he never turned away a young person looking for help to pay for education. He said, “I am so proud that now my late father’s portrait should be hung in this wonderful school called the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.”

Amy Roeder is assistant editor of Harvard Public Heath.