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Public Service
1955 & The Phillips Brooks House Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

 

1955 and Public Service

The Phillips Brooks House Association

 

 

The Phillips Brooks House

03/11/14:
It's been a jam-packed month for PBHA!



Letter from the President and Vice President

Dear friends,

As the year gets underway, we at PBHA are refining our programs to make sure we are doing good well, and launching new initiatives so we can do good better. For both of these goals, your support and generosity has been integral. Please join us on a quick tour of what has been happening in the House…

Term-time directors are hitting their stride in programs, from tutoring and mentoring to adult services and advocacy efforts. PBHA vans are zooming all around Boston and Cambridge, bringing tutors and tutees together to tackle homework, shuttling students to join in local movements, convening meetings of parents, community members, and summer time directors to vision for the SUP camps, and much more.

An initiative this year focuses on tying direct service and advocacy within our many programs. The Prison Education Committee, comprised of the Youth in Prison Tutoring Program, Women’s and Men’s Empowerment and Prison Education Program, and Suffolk County Corrections, has already begun. The program directors have come together to found HOPE, the Harvard Undergraduate Organization for Prison Education and Reform, which advocates for the lowering of barriers of entry into college for individuals with a criminal record.

There are many things happening at the House, all due to your help, so we hope you will come visit, or give us a call, so we can share much more with you about everything that is going on. For many of us PBHA serves as both a home, and a hope that commitment, dedication, and partnership can bring change in the world. Thank you for forming this home and hope with us.

All the best,
Ceylon Auguste-Nelson
President

 

Public Interested?
2015 Wintersession Conference


“Don't have such a narrow vision of what you want to do that, when doors open at odd angles, you don't have the courage to step through them,” said US Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Keynote Speaker.

PBHA alumni from a range of public service careers (including those in education, activism, social work, government and more) shared their experience on panels in the Harvard-sponsored event. Some even picked up the mic to deliver a "Think Big" speech, including Jarell Lee '10, Dean of School Culture at Achievement First Aspire Elementary School, who spoke about his work to solve the American urban education crisis.

 

Nonprofit Management Intensive 2015


“Going to NPMI, I wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be fun, engaging, and packed with applicable information. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in PBHA (or advocacy and service in general!),” said Tyrik LaCruise ('16), Resource and Development Chair '15 and one of this year's NPMI facilitators.

NPMI seeks to put the tools of non-profit management in the hands of student Officers, so they're empowered to make real decisions about the best direction of the organization and how we get there. Team Officers grappled with the importance of establishing a clear brand for PBHA, connecting with our character and gaining excitement about articulating our mission.
.
Check out the Gazette and Crimson to learn more!

Copyright © 2015 Phillips Brooks House Association, All rights reserved


09/02/14:
Jim Barrett
, Bob Blacklow, Frank Duehay, Renny Little, Maria Dominguez Gray, and Louise Wills met recently to discuss a Ten Year Report to up-date classmates on a number of substantial efforts which have improved PBHA since the class endowed Maria's position of Executive Director at our 50th Reunion.

Maria Dominguez Gray sends in PBHA'a thank you for another wonderful summer.

 

Thank you for another wonderful summer!



In June, staff, students, and teen counselors from PBHA were blessed to meet First Lady Michelle Obama and hear her words of encouragement about the importance of summer learning and teen employment programs like SUP. Highlighting these priorities through her Reaching High initiative, the First Lady shared
“Summer isn’t just about building new skills and gaining new experiences; it’s also about keeping your minds fresh...We’re going to work to make sure that every young person in America can have a great summer learning experience, no matter where they come from or how much money their parents have...So that’s our job. We’ve got to make sure you have the resources you need to reach your goals. And as young people, your job is to make the most of your summer so that you can reach your potential and achieve every last one of your dreams.”


We’re pleased to report that that’s what we did through the 2014 Summer Urban Program. We, the college and high school student staff, we the supporters and partners, and we the campers and their families. We saw the excitement of learning in children’s eyes when they extracted DNA from a strawberry or used their math skills to determine the healthiest snack. We witnessed children recognize their own potential and the possibilities of new experiences as they strategized to improve school lunches or hugged a chicken at Farrington Nature Linc. We re-learned the power of positive relationships through each word of encouragement from a teen counselor to a child, and at our annual Midsummer Celebration when each SUP neighborhood joined together as a single community. We read about the impact of SUP on a counselor long graduated from the program, a reminder that the work we do affects us far beyond a single summer.

In this newsletter, please find pictures and some wonderful articles that share more about our summer. And as always, thank you for being a part of the SUP community – helping us create yet another meaningful summer for our young people to achieve their dreams.

Yours in service,

Maria Dominguez Gray
Class of 1955 Executive Director
Phillips Brooks House Association, Inc.


From South Boston Outreach Summer to the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment program, the Harvard Gazette joined us this summer to share our students' work across Boston.

Photograph by Rose Lincoln for the Harvard Gazette.

In her six-part Boston Globe series, Farah Stockman '96 looks back on her time with the Mission Hill Summer Program twenty years ago.

Image by Gwenda Kaczor for the Boston Globe

We celebrated our 15th annual Midsummer Celebration in July at Stonybrook Park in Jamaica Plain.
Check out photos from the event here.


Copyright © 2014 Phillips Brooks House Association, All rights reserved.


08/15/14:
Jim Barrett has been elected to the Board of the Phillips Brooks House Association, replacing Bob Blacklow who served for two three year terms. Bob replaced Frank Duehay who led the Association's Capital Fund drive which the Class contributed to by endowing the Harvard Class of 1955 Executive Director's position at the time of our 50th Reunion in 2005.

03/04/14:

Say SUP Matters by joining PBHA's student leaders at the annual Auction in support of the Summer Urban Progran (SUP)!



SUP matters. Lately, that is all you hear from PBHA's students and staff. As our student directors prepare for the summer, they are constantly reminded why PBHA's Summer Urban Program (SUP) is so important. They remember why they have chosen to dedicate their summer to 800 low-income youth and their families. Summer learning loss is an ever-present risk for SUP's campers, who would lose two months of literacy and math knowledge during this summer without SUP. The work done by SUP is needed. The campers need SUP. And SUP needs you.

Help us make SUP matter by attending our annual Auction to benefit the Summer Urban Program. Now in its 11th year, this year's auction will have you feeling SUP love and will show you that your support is as important as ever. With a new, bigger, and better location, all of us at PBHA are so excited to welcome you into our incredible camp community and share with you the stories of SUP. Join us; the event will not be the same without you.

11th Annual Auction to Benefit the Summer Urban Program
Wednesday, April 23rd | 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Knafel Center at Harvard University (formerly Radcliffe Gymnasium)
Tickets Required: $40 in advance, $45 at the door
RSVP

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Cyatharine Alias '15, PBHA's Events Fundraiser. If you have a wonderful item you would like to contribute to the auction,
Cyatharine would love to hear from you.
All the best and yours in service,
Maria Dominguez Gray
Class of 1955 Executive Director

09/20/13:
Hello, Friends!

We are excited to invite you to the Phillips Brooks House Association's 7th Annual Robert Coles "Call of Service" Lecture and Award honoring U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan '87 on Friday, October 25th! The lecture will kick off the Phillips Brooks House Association Alumni Weekend featuring the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter's 30th anniversary.

Secretary Donovan's years of steadfast efforts and staunch advocacy for the housing and shelter needs of some of America's most at-risk communities embodies the spirit of the Robert Coles "Call of Service" Award. As a former student volunteer with PBHA's Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, Secretary Donovan has now emerged as the national policy leader for accessible, affordable, and quality housing. His passion and dedication to assisting America's homeless and in-transition individuals reflects a true belief in social justice and an understanding of the importance of direct service and structural change.

The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter 30th Anniversary events include a commemorative gala Friday night, at which Secretary Donovan will share remarks, and a symposium on the state of homelessness in Harvard Square and beyond on Saturday afternoon. PBHA's Alumni Weekend also continues on Saturday with PBHA's Alumni Reunion Events. Reunion Weekend activities include a general meeting of PBHA's Alumni Association, the annual PBHA Alumni Luncheon, and evening social gatherings. In particular, the Alumni Luncheon will honor PBHA's 2013 Outstanding Alumnus, Donald Berwick '68, for his lifelong dedication to furthering PBHA's mission and his pursuit of health care access for all.

A summary of the weekend's activities and links to individual RSVPs/forms to purchase tickets can be found on our website!

PBHA's Reunion Weekend 2013
featuring The Honorable Shaun Donovan '87,
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development


Friday, October 25th

5:30pm-7:00pm - PBHA's Robert Coles "Call of Service" Lecture and Award
The Memorial Church of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
7:30pm-10:00pm - HSHS's 30th Anniversary Gala
Courtyard Marriott,
777 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139

Saturday, October 26th

9:30am-11:00am - PBHA-Alumni General Meeting
Phillips Brooks House Parlor Room
11:30pm-1:00pm - PBHA-Alumni Luncheon
Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH), Radcliffe Quadrangle
1:00pm-2:00pm - Alumni Reflection: Then and Now, The Next 30 Years of HSHS SOCH
2:30pm-5:00pm - The HSHS Symposium: Homeless in Harvard Square and Beyond
Location TBD
7:00pm-10:00pm - PBHA-Alumni Social Gatherings
Harvard Square

All events require separate RSVPs!
A summary of all of the weekend's events and RSVPs can be found on our website!

We look forward to seeing you and cannot wait to share with you this inspiring weekend!
If you have any questions at all, please contact Andrew Iannone at andrew@pbha.org.

06/12/13:
Frank Duehay and Renny Little will visit the PHBHA's Summer Urban Program (SUP) from 8:45 AM to 12 N on Thursday, July 11th and invite classmates to join them.
"We will go to lunch afterwards."
See the invitation below for further details, and other dates available for SUP viewing.

The Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) cordially invites you to a Morning Visit of the Summer Urban Program!

See PBHA's SUP Visitors Website or Sign up for a Visit

Participate in PBHA's Summer Urban Program (SUP) Visitors Program!

PBHA's SUP is a vibrant network of 11 summer day camps and an evening ESL program that engages over 1,000 of Greater Boston's youth and teens. By offering high-quality and low-cost summer learning to individuals who need it most, SUP is a wonderful opportunity that promotes summer learning and stymies summer learning loss. Each year, PBHA provides the special opportunity to our supporters and partners to experience two camps first-hand!
All visits depart from the Phillips Brooks House in Harvard Yard, Cambridge.

Complimentary light breakfast is served at 8:45 am and visits begin at 9:00 am.

Thursday, July 11th
9:00 am through 12:00 pm

Tuesday, July 16th
9:00 am through 12:00 pm

Tuesday, July 30th
9:00 am through 12:00 pm

All visits will begin with a brief orientation of PBHA's Summer Urban Program by PBHA's student leaders. Following the orientation, visitors will participate in the real summer camp experience by traveling by PBHA van to two camps and visiting with student directors, staff members, and campers.

If you have any questions or if you wish to attend but cannot make any of the above dates, please contact PBHA's Non-Profit Management Fellow, Andrew Iannone, at andrew@pbha.org!
We look forward to seeing you!

04/02/13:


PBHA's 10th Annual SUP Auction is this April 23!

Auction to be held April 23, 2013 at Cambridge Queens Head on Harvard University campus from 5:30-8:30 PM

This year we are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of PBHA's Annual Summer Urban Program Auction. As you know, the auction raises money to support our 12 summer camps that serve more than 800 children and teens in Boston & Cambridge.

This year, we honor Mel and Joyce King, a couple whose involvement with the greater Boston community has inspired many generations.

The theme for this year's auction is about celebrating the past, present, and future of the Summer Urban Program.

**We would love alums to send their favorite memory of SUP--either a quote or photo so we can incorporate it into our look and feel. Please email your memory to Cindy Guan at alumnirelations@pbha.org.

Also, if you have any great auction item ideas, please email Charlene Lee at events@phba.org. We have some plane tickets which we could couple with cool experiences-- so ideas or leads outside Boston are welcome.

Tickets, each with two complimentary drinks,are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Please visit sup.pbha.org/auction to RSVP, order your ticket, or donate, today.


09/05/12:

PBHA's Alumni Weekend is only 36 days away!


Hi Class of 1955:

Our annual alumni weekend is coming up in a little over a month and we hope you'll join us!
Every year our alumni weekend proves to be inspiring. Alumni from across the country come back to PBHA for one weekend, and in that time catch up, meet amazing new people, and strengthen the bond that holds us all together. When hearing from alum throughout the ages, it never fails to amaze me how strong our PBHA bond is. Each of us, no matter the time in which we were involved with PBHA, were driven to make a difference and to do what we could. That uniting spark is unique, and can only be found within this amazing life long community.
Our alumni weekend is packed, and we are still in the process of solidifying details, but we wanted to give you a sense of what to expect. A tentative schedule of the weekend is below:

Friday, October 12th
6:30pm to 7:30pm: PBHA's Robert Coles "Call of Service"
Lecture featuring Ernesto Cortez Jr.
7:30pm: PBHA's Post-Lecture Reception

Saturday, October 13th
10:00am to 11:30am: PBHA Alumni Officer/Board Meeting
12:00pm to 2:00pm: PBHA Alumni Reunion Lunch
2:00pm to 7:00pm: Chinatown Reunion for Chinatown Volunteers and Participants
2:30pm to 7:00pm: Alumni Activity TBD
7:00pm to 9:00pm: Alumni Social Gathering


As more information becomes available we will update our Alumni Weekend Webpage so check the site from time to time. Also, please be on the look out for an RSVP email coming soon.
Hope to see you in October!


Chris Loney
Non-Profit Management Fellow
PBHA Vice President '10 - '11


Phillips Brooks House Association | Harvard Yard | Cambridge, MA 02138 | (617) 495-5526
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Copyright © 2012 Phillips Brooks House Association, All rights reserved.

09/11/12:
Class Profile: Public Service
Editor's Note: Classmates will remember the tremendous job that Frank Duehay did to bring to our attention a profile of the Class of 1955 and its record of public service. His work was buried at the end of our 50th Reunion Report. [See pages 689 -694]. Because of the Profile's location and the size of the Report, it is being republished here so that classmates can read it - or read it again. The material is still quite relevant today, and represents an interesting view of our Class and its significant contributions to public service.
WML

Class Profile: Public Service

BACKGROUND

At some point last spring, Renny Little decided that it might be interesting for us to probe more deeply into one aspect of our lives. Fiftieth Reunion questionnaires have typically ranged more generally across a number of topics such as reading habits, pop culture, and current events. Since the 1955 Permanent Class Committee had voted at its August 2003 meeting to establish a Fiftieth theme of public service, an anonymous questionnaire along those lines seemed logical. At that meeting, the class committee also decided to raise $1.5 million (by no means the entire class goal) to endow the position of executive director of Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA).
Renny asked me to help with the questionnaire because I was so involved with the PBHA endowment campaign. Despite our lack of statistical qualifications and our lack of sophistication about how to frame questions to elicit clear responses, we feel we have uncovered some valuable information about class involvement in public service. There is probably more in the raw data to uncover, so we will not discard it in case others would like to see it.
Our working definition was public service in its broadest sense. Either paid or voluntary, it is an activity in which one has provided time, expertise, service, and/or money to help the community, the country and/or the world to become a better place for its inhabitants.

RESPONSES

There were 380 responses to the questionnaire - 43 percent of living classmates. In many instances, percentages do not add to 100 percent because I have not enumerated all minor distinctions in the response categories, nor have I listed the percentage of the number not responding to that item. Also, I have not reported tabulations of all items because, in retrospect, some questions now seem less interesting than others.
The first section of the poll was like that of other classes. It asked questions about retirement, habitat, income, children and grandchildren, and marital status. Only 15 percent of our Class did not respond to the question or classified themselves as fully retired. More than one-quarter still work full-time and another 25 percent describe themselves as working part-time. Thirty-five percent of those fully or partly retired described themselves as engaged in public service, 20 percent actively so.
Twenty-eight percent of those responding listed themselves as making less than $100,000 from current employment and 28 percent more than $100,000. Forty-four percent did not respond to this question. Annual income from sources other than employment found 39 percent listing less than $100,000 and 39 percent listing more than $100,000, with 22 percent not responding. Thirteen percent of us listed annual income of more than $250,000 form sources other than employment.
Forty-eight percent described themselves as living in the suburbs, 33 percent as living in the city, and 15 percent as living in rural areas, with the rest in small towns or otherwise in between. Seventy percent of us are married; another 15 percent remarried; six percent divorced; and 4 percent widowers. Nine percent have one child; 28 percent two children; 30 percent three children; 16 percent four children; and 10 percent five or more children. One of our classmates reports having seventeen grandchildren, and 27 percent have six or more grandchildren.

The next section of the questionnaire, titled "Public Service," deals first with class experience and attitudes about the military. It goes on to try to get at the kinds of voluntary, elective, and appointive service classmates have had, and what issues these activities entailed.
Two hundred fifty-four respondents served in the military, the army being by far the largest branch. One hundred twenty-six declined to respond. Slightly more served as officers than in enlisted ranks. A huge percentage of those who served felt that being in the military constituted a rewarding experience for them. A relatively small number of classmates (forty) engaged in service as an alternative to the military.
There were several questions concerning classmates' opinions on the draft, voluntary military service today, and whether other forms of public service for youth should be required. Fifty-six percent of classmates are against reinstating the draft. Sixty-three percent approve of the current voluntary military service. Fifty-two percent are opposed to requiring today's youth to serve in the military. However, sixty-three percent feel that forms of public service other than military should be required of today's youth.

Twenty-one percent of the Class reported having held elective office, the overwhelming number at the local level, while 32 percent reported having held appointive office, most a the local level but a number at the state/federal level.
Asked how many public-service activities they have engaged in during their lifetime, 6.6 percent of classmates reported none; 42.6 percent reported 1-5, and 42.7 percent reported 6 or greater.
When asked the average hours per week spent in public-service activities during their lifetime, 8.45 percent said none; 47.1 percent reported 1-5 hours; and 34.9 percent replied 6 or more,
Asked how many hours per week classmates now devote to public service, 26.8 percent reported none; 36.1 percent reported 1-5; and 34.9 percent reported 6 or more.
Asked on how many organizational boards they currently serve, 50.5 percent said 1-5; 4 percent said 6 or more; and 12.9 percent said none.

In contrast, asked on how many such boards they have served in the past, 56.3 percent said 1-5; 29.2 percent said 6 or more; and 12.9 percent said none.
We asked respondents to indicate in which areas they performed public service, whether that service was paid or voluntary. By far, education drew the most responses, followed in order by social and human services; health; the arts; the environment; the sciences; and housing. In the "other:" category, religion and church activities were listed by many. Serving on foundation boards was another common listing.
We asked respondents to describe what they provided in their public-service activities, giving them the following choices: volunteer, expertise, salaried, contributions of money, and trustee level. The responses were so scattered as not to be meaningful, but it is clear that service were provided in all these ways.

The questionnaire tried to get at the kinds of public service performed at various levels of government and in the international sphere. There is a great deal of data here that is hard to summarize. At the local level, many have been involved in town government; town finance and planning boards; historical commissions; and arts, zoning, and library boards, for example. At the state level, examples are the judiciary; economic commissions; corrections; governors' advisory boards; public university trustees; mass transit; scientific adviser; international trade; social worker. At the federal and regional levels of government, classmates listed such activities as jury duty; regional education accreditation agencies; regional transportation planning; the foreign service; committees advising or serving in federal departments such as the Small Business Administration; NASA; Department of the Army; National Science Foundation; ;Justice; Food and Drug Administration; and the Federal Reserve Bank. In the international arena, examples are economic consulting; affordable housing; the Agency for International Development; the World Bank, Third Word health and nutrition; and teaching.
At the end of this section, we asked how many of these activities classmates deemed important contributions. One hundred ninety-eight classmates, or 52.1 percent, said 1-5 of these activities were important. One hundred classmates, or 26.2 percent , said 6-20 of such activities were important.
The next section of the survey dealt with politics and advocacy. Seventy-one percent of respondents support a political party. Of the 93 percent who are registered voters, 19.5 percent listed themselves as Independents; 29.5 percent as Republicans; and 41.8 percent as Democrats.
In addition, 43.7 percent supported their party with money; 4.75 percent with time; and 18.7 percent with both. On a related note, 76.3 percent have supported candidates for public office with money, expertise or both; 22.1 percent often and 36.6 percent on occasion.
Nearly 43 percent said they advocate for issues while 45.5 percent said they do not.
The last question in this section asked class mates to compare their political views with those of twenty-five years ago. More than 58 percent (58.2) said their political views were about the same. Twenty percent reported that their views were more conservative while 20.5 percent reported their views as more liberal.
The final section of he questionnaire dealt with classmates' appraisal of their public-service activities.
Sixty-six percent of classmates have found their public service to be very satisfying or satisfying; 17.9 percent somewhat satisfying; and 2.4 percent unsatisfying.
Asked if their satisfaction with public service had changed over the years, 21.1 percent found public service more satisfying; 22.1 percent less satisfying; and 41.3 percent reported the same level of satisfaction.
In addition, 79.5 percent of us said that it is very important or important for citizens to engage in public service; 11.3 percent said it is somewhat important; and 1.6 percent said it is unimportant.
We asked whether classmates had ever encountered conflict between their regular job and their public service. More than 64 percent (64.2) had never found such conflict, but 22.6 percent had encountered it once, twice, or occasionally. There were a variety of creative responses to the question of how classmates resolved the conflicts. Examples are: changed jobs; lived with it; resigned form public-service office; just did it - no one complained; recused myself; somehow carried through; uneasily; less sleep. Clearly, mixing public service with regular employment caused angst for some.
The final item asked whether respondents' interest in public service had changed over the years. Nearly thirty-nine percent (38.9) reported that their interest in public service had remained the same. More than 24 percent (24.2) reported that their interest had grown; 16.6 percent said their interest had diminished.

SOME CONCLUSIONS

What leaps out from this survey is the variety of public-service activities classmates have undertaken; the high percentage of us who have been involved in public service in our lifetimes; the importance we have assigned to this work; and the level of satisfaction we have found in it. Public service has been a significant part of our lives.
Eighty-five percent of us have served on boards at some point. More than 85 percent have engaged in some form of public service in their careers, with 34 percent of us spending an average of six hours or more per week. This commitment seemed to have diminished only slightly as the years have passed. The variety of kinds of service is astonishing. Nearly 85 percent have found high or some level of satisfaction in our work. It is a quite striking finding that 78.3 percent of classmates found their public-service activities important. More than one-fifth of us have found conflict between our regular jobs and out public-service activities during our lifetimes.
There may be other points to make about this data. What about the large number of classmates who did not respond to the survey, for example? Renny and I do not know about surveys of other groups with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Perhaps our outcome could have been predicted. We would like to think we are unusual, but we are probably not. At any rate, we have some information about ourselves that we didn't have before.
The varieties of public service performed by members of our Class will be illustrated at reunion time in a panel moderated by Stan Katz, with classmates Ted Whatley, Oscar Pollock, John Law, and Dan Mayers participating. A speakout on public service designed to encourage comment will follow the panel presentation.

Looking back, other questions might have been asked. Isn't it extraordinary that we didn't think to ask the Class which presidential candidate they supported, or was that fortuitous? Why didn't we ask some questions about the origins of classmates' interest in public service (school, college, parents, teachers, etc.)? We did not ask questions designed to elicit feelings or optimism or pessimism about the present and future.
Surveys often raise more questions that they provide answers. Perhaps other organizations or Harvard classes might like to build on our beginnings. We challenge them to do that.
Meanwhile, the Harvard Class of 1955 should feel a sense of accomplishment for its many important contributions, both here and abroad.


Francis H. Duehay

Surveyor
January 2, 2005


06/03/12:

Maria Dominquez Gray Becomes an Honorary Member of the Class of 1955

Maria Dominquez Gray is the Harvard Class of 1955 Executive Director of the Phillips Brooks House Association. She succeeded Honorary Member Gene Corbin who held the position since 2005. Maria served as PBHA's Deputy Director for 13 years. She was made an Honorary Member of the Harvard Class of 1955 at a reception in her honor on Class Day, May 23, 2012 under a tent in the Holden Chapel Quadrangle. PBHA Board Member Bob Blacklow served as the Master of Ceremonies. He introduced Maria, who gave a short talk in which she thanked Gene and her staff, and outlined her plans for the future of the Association. Bob then introduced Class Secretary Renny Little, who presented Maria with a H'55 pin, a '55/50th Reunion Hat and a '55 Mug, the latter which she can use to drink with fellow classmates. Maria expressed her pleasure in becoming an Honorary Member of the Class and showed her enthusiasm by parading with the Class into the afternoon Alumni Exercises on Commencement Day.

07/19/11:

Gene Corbin leaves PBHA to take on a new Position at Harvard College

To the PBHA Community,

I write to submit my resignation as the Class of 1955 Executive Director
of the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) effective August 18.

Eight years ago, I stumbled into a job that has truly been the highlight
of my life. I can honestly say that I've given my best and my all, yet
I've received far, far more than I've given. What a great ride it's been ?
it's really impossible to imagine my life without all of the wonderful
people and events I've been privileged to experience at PBHA.

I've often remarked that the one thing I've done correctly in life has
been to consistently attach myself to communities that have made me a
better person. I've directed a nonprofit organization in Jackson,
Mississippi, that represents the best of community-based organizations and
the notion of loving one?s neighbor; I've served as the Lead Organizer of
a community organizing effort in Austin, Texas that represents the best in
developing leaders to embrace their right to have a voice in the political
decisions that impact their communities; and I've had the opportunity to
be the Executive Director of an organization led by dedicated, talented,
and idealistic young people who represent the best of collegiate public
service and make contributions daily far beyond what anyone imagines is
possible.

I've learned something from a college student most every day for the last
8 years! If only everyone could be so lucky as to do work they love in an
organization that inspires and challenges them....

Forgive me if you've heard this from me before, but I find it fascinating
that every time I have asked various PBHA groups (current students,
alumni, staff) to name the core values of PBHA, they always - without an
exception - have generated the same list. How these values get passed down
from generation to generation dating back to 1904 is frankly still
something of a mystery to me, but these values continue to inspire me.

* Student leadership - PBHA not only believes in the capacity of young
people to lead, we believe that young people are our best hope for
creating change.
* Community Voice - PBHA believes that the communities we serve have
assets and aim to partner with the people we serve rather than assuming
that persons at places like Harvard possess all the answers.
* Direct Service and Social Action - PBHA believes that meeting human
needs begs the question of why such needs exist and requires an
accompanying commitment to structural change.

One of the joys I've recently realized is that almost anywhere I travel, I
can look up a current or former PBHAer and enjoy an instant bond due to
the power of these values. The values and traditions of PBHA were
established by persons long before me and hopefully will continue far
beyond any of us. All of us at PBHA strive to make our contributions to
something that is larger than any of us individually, and I hope I have
done so faithfully.

I am proud of having been a part of making PBHA a stronger organization
than it was 8 eight years ago. I am even more proud that the values we
inherited from others not only remain intact but are flourishing. These
values have informed generations of college students, and it's critical
that PBHA remains a strong institution to transform many generations to
come.

In spite of my love for PBHA and my job, however, I recently began to
suspect that it was time for me to pursue new challenges and for PBHA to
benefit from new staff leadership. I expected that this exploration would
take me away, but new opportunities have arisen at Harvard. I've been
offered and have accepted the position of Dean of Public Service for
Harvard College.

This position will not alter any of the existing agreements with Harvard.
The context at Harvard, however, has changed greatly during my time here.
Both President Faust and Dean Hammonds have indicated that public service
is one of their top priorities, and this position is simply an effort to
provide promotion, coordination, and planning in order to better support
all the growing public service initiatives at Harvard. It will also allow
your next Director to focus on supporting the student leaders of PBHA, as
the demands of public service at-large management and administration were
increasingly consuming my time. I believe that my being named to this
position is a compliment to the entire PBHA community, and it also conveys
the hope that PBHA will remain at the center of public service plans and
efforts.

In short, it will be important for me to get out of the way of new people
and new ideas at PBHA. I'm not, however, going far and remain committed to
doing anything and everything I can do to support an organization that I
love in a new capacity.

Saying thank you doesn't quite capture the appreciation I feel for the
gift of the last 8 years, but I do want to thank you and the PBHA
community. I look forward to continuing to work with you and Maria
Dominguez Gray, in her capacity as Interim Director of PBHA, during this
transition.

Gene Corbin

05/05/11:

Interested in touring PBHA's Summer Urban Programs?

Dear Classmates,
Our Class Committee meeting is Wednesday, August 3rd in the late afternoon. PBHA would be glad to host a tour of their SUP (Summer Urban Programs) for us (and any other classmates who would like to join in) that day. As I recall, PBHA did that several years ago and it was well received.

Because of the nature of the SUPs, AM visits are necessary. We will need a count of those who might wish to go and then decide whether to ask the summer leadership of PBHA to host us.
Including it with the notice of meeting and on the web site might be a good way to see if there is any interest. PBHA would need about 10 days advance notice to host us.

I think it is a good idea to have both ‘55 and PHBA remember our commitment to each other and this seems the proper venue.
Interested? Contact me.
Take care,
Bob

Robert S. Blacklow M.D.
Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School
641 Huntington Ave.
Boston MA 02115
E-mail: robert_blacklow@hms.harvard.edu
TEL 617-432-6342
FAX 617-432-2565
If unavailable, try
TEL 781-259-1525
FAX 781-259-0340

04/21/11:

PBHA's 2011 Summer Urban Program (SUP) needs your support!

Dear Classmates,

As you know I am a Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) Trustee representing in spirit our endowment of the Class of 1955 Executive Directorship. Gene Corbin still provides the calm hand and leadership we have come to expect of him.

At last week's Board meeting we heard that this year the Spring SUP Auction, which will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, has an even greater import: federal, state and local funds to support the summer programs, which many of us visited several years ago, are in short supply and funds from the Spring Auction are the only way to supplement these funds.

If you have not gotten a mailing , I urge you to go on line to www.pbha.org/auctionsup and donate, even if you are not planning to come. All the details are there. Sponsorships start at $250, but any amount is welcome. If you just want to write a check and not go on line, the check should be made out to "PBHA Spring Auction" and addressed to "Phillips Brooks House Association, Harvard Yard, Cambridge MA 02138".

Please help support Harvard College's premier community service organization and our Harvard Class of 1955 Executive Director.

Many thanks, and I hope to see many of you there on April 26th at the Queen's Head Pub. (Below Sanders Theater in Memorial Hall) ). The silent auction starts at 5:30 PM and runs until 7:30. The live auction will be from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. Prior admission price is $30. $40 at the door.

Take care,
Bob
Robert S. Blacklow MD

03/14/10:
Dear PBHA-A Members,
Thanks to the Harvard News Office, it is again possible to follow the experiences of PBHA students participating in nine Alternative Spring Break service trips through daily blogs and photographs. Many people enjoyed reading about those inspiring trips last year, so I thought I would bring the Web site to your attention.
http://news.harvard.edu/servicebreak
Thanks,
Gene Corbin

Executive Director

01/15/10:
Dear Members of the Harvard Class of 1955:

You are likely familiar with the Phillips Brooks House Association's (PBHA) service trips for undergraduates. I'm writing to inform you of a similar and exciting new opportunity for YOU!

Reflecting Harvard's continuing commitment to service, PBHA-Alumni, in conjunction with HAA Travels, is organizing two spring break service trips. These trips are a highly affordable way to spend a week making a difference with others from the Harvard community. No prior experience is necessary, simply a willingness to serve.

All Harvard alumni, faculty, & staff (including family members) are invited to participate! A brief description of each trip with a link to additional information is listed below. Space is limited, so act now!

If you have further questions about either trip, please feel free to contact me at (617) 767-8348 or <corbin@fas.harvard.edu>.

Gene Corbin, Class of 1955 Executive Director,
Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA)


NEW ORLEANS, MARCH 14-21
This trip includes painting and landscaping with the Dillard University Community Redevelopment Corporation. Volunteers will help the Gentilly neighborhood of East New Orleans rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Click here for information and registration: https://secure.post.harvard.edu/olc/pub/HAA/events/event_order.cgi?tmpl=events&event=2241345


JACKSON, MS, APRIL 5-11
This trip involves construction related tasks with Metro Jackson Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers will help build much-needed affordable housing in this community while enjoying southern hospitality.


Click here for information and registration: https://secure.post.harvard.edu/olc/pub/HAA/events/event_order.cgi?tmpl=events&event=2241335


THE BELOW PHOTOS COULD INCLUDE YOU IN THE SPRING OF 2010!

Participants on the March 14-21 Trip will reside and take meals on the gorgeous campus of Dillard University -- a prominent historically black college and university (HCBU) that is leading efforts to rebuild the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans.

Harvard undergraduates at work on a previous service trip to New Orleans -- efforts to landscape and paint are critical to reviving the Gentilly neighborhood.

Above, Harvard undergraduates building a home on a previous service trip to Jackson, MS. From April 5-11, the Harvard community will again make a new affordable home possible for a family with Metro Jackson Habitat for Humanity.

 

08/18/06:

Class of 1955 Unveils Plaque After a Day at Phillips Brooks House

Each year the Class of 1955 Permanent Class Committee meets in mid-August to conduct class business. This year, the meeting was held on August 9th at Phillips Brooks House so that the Committee and other Harvard and Radcliffe classmates and friends who had given to the 50th Reunion fund to endow the executive directorship could view the special commemorative plaque. All donors and friends were invited to attend all or part of a very full day of activities. The affair was organized by Frank Duehay, Gene Corbin and the PBHA staff and students.

In the morning, classmates and spouses visited several of the 12 summer camps PBHA operates for needy youth in Boston and Cambridge. These camps, located in area schools and community centers, serve 800 Boston youth and employ 85 Boston junior counselors.125 mostly Harvard College students plan, organize and carry out these activities which run for seven weeks. Creative academics feature the morning. The afternoons are for field trips in the metropolitan area.

Those who attended noticed the high quality of the programs. They also observed the special impact these programs have on the Harvard students who conduct them.

Lunch occurred in the parlor followed by a panel of current students and recent alums who spoke movingly about the profound effect PBHA had on their undergraduate education and their life view.

The Class Committee held its meeting at 4:00 PM in the Leighton Room on the second floor. Business included the approval of a mini class reunion organized by Wally Bregman in San Diego, CA, from March 22-25, 2007. Classmates will receive a letter with the details, which will also be provided in the fall issue of the Addendum.

Cocktails were served in the parlor at 5.30 PM. By that time, close to 50 classmates, spouses, friends, donors, staff and students had gathered to view the unveiling of the plaque at 6:15 PM.

The Class of 1955 raised nearly $1.8 million to endow the Executive Director's position as part of its 50th Reunion fundraising. 333 individual gifts were made to that end.

At the 6.15 PM brief formal ceremony, Renny Little, Frank Duehay, Bill Lawrence, Dick Marson, and Jim Barrett spoke on behalf of the Class. The plaque, consisting of four separate clear acrylic panels,was then unveiled by Gene Corbin and Alicia Rodriquez '07, President of PBHA. It is located above the wainscoting outside the parlor on the stairway leading to the second floor.

08/09/06:
(photo by Martha Stewart)

PBHA Speakers at the Plaque Unveiling:
(L to R) Dick Marson, Renny Little, Gene Corbin (Hon.), Alicia Rodriquez '07, Frank Duehay, Bill Lawrence, Jim Barrett

The first panel in red lettering reads: "In 2005, members and friends of Harvard's 50th Reunion Class of 1955 listed below fulfilled a PBHA Centennial Campaign goal by endowing the Executive Director's position as the 'Class of 1955 Executive Director of Phillips Brooks House Association.' "

Underneath that statement are listed in alphabetical order all the names of donors in black lettering on two separate diagonal panels. A fourth smaller panel lists the names of all executive directors with that title. One name is now on that panel, the incumbent, Gene A. Corbin.

A most pleasant day concluded with Gene's expressing his thanks to the Class for their commitment to PBHA and with words of appreciation from President Alicia Rodriquez.

While this meeting was occurring in Cambridge we heard that classmate Peter Malkin was that very evening at 8:00 PM scheduled to entertain in his office 50 kids and their counselors on a PBHA summer camp field trip and then take them up to the Observatory so that they could see New York City from the top of the Empire State Building.



 


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