The nearly 13,000 alumni of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) represent a lifelong, multi-generational community of graduates across programs and disciplines. The GSD Alumni Council is the primary representative body of GSD alumni, with the fundamental goal to promote the engagement of the alumni community with the School, to advance the GSD in the world, and to model behavior for our community–most importantly the “alumni-in-training” current GSD students. We are comprised of 50 alumni volunteer leaders representing the School’s array of programs who have graduated between two and 50 years ago. It is our responsibility to ensure our body is an accurate representation of our alumni community as defined by geographic location, degree/program affiliation, age cohort, gender, and race/ethnicity. We are also cognizant that it is important for our current students to see themselves represented in the composition of the Alumni Council.

We convened in Gund Hall for our semi-annual meeting this April 11-13 which included significant interaction with current GSD students. Through our experiences and conversations we saw the words of the students (plotted and posted) in the Trays, we heard your concerns, and we grieved for the pain that is so apparent in our community that was triggered by the appearance of the Shitty Architecture Men (SAM) list. Anonymous reports in the SAM list address issues of civility, gender and sexually-based harassment, influence of power, and implicit bias; some of which are principal aspects equity, diversity, and inclusion. We applaud and join the women faculty signatories denouncing discrimination, harassment and acts of aggression. We seize upon this moment and move to take action. For as an Alumni Council, we represent past student experiences and we are honored to serve in our role of modeling future culture. From our experiences and expertise, we can share that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is essential to design excellence and productive work environments in all forms of practice. We believe we all can do more to lead by example.

As a Council, we have committed to:

  • Developing and adhering to a community values statement that aligns with the GSD and Harvard University statements of values to establish a commitment to: civility, acceptance, respect, honesty, integrity, and accountability which all GSD Alumni Council members will commit to upholding with zero tolerance for violations.
  • Participate in training (both online and in person) for sexual and gender-based harassment with the Harvard University Title IX office (in advance of and) during our October 2018 meeting for all GSD Alumni Council members, developed specifically for potential interactions where we may be involved or conveners (i.e., option studio travel activities, meetings with students when on campus, serving as jurors or guest critics, or at GSD alumni gatherings in our communities, etc.).
  • Participate in training on implicit bias, inclusive leadership, and cultural competence for all GSD Alumni Council members in the coming year.
  • Develop GSD Alumni Council EDI practices to engage more diverse communities in our alumni activities that can be a model for increasing EDI in student, faculty, staff, jurors, and public lecturers.
  • The ongoing aspect of our work ahead is to continue to determine additional ways to improve the culture of the profession, the practice, and the academy. We believe in the collective responsibility of our community and are here to serve as alumni leaders to help model behavior for a better future together and the design profession as a whole.

Allyson Mendenhall,Chair AB’90, MLA’99
Bill Hammer, Vice Chair MAUD ’68
Gerdo Aquino, MLA ’96
Kaley Blackstock, AB ’10, MArch ’15
Cathy Deino Blake, MLA ’77
Chris Bourassa, AMDP ’09
Justin Chapman, MDesS ’12
Renee Cheng, AB ’85, MArch ’89
Peter Coombe, MArch ’88
Collette Creppell, AB ’82, MArch ’90
John di Domenico, MAUD ’79
Mark Favermann, MCRP ’78
Mary Gardill, MDes ’91
Harry Gaveras, MAUD ’97
Rickie Golden, MDes ’12
Margaret Graham, MDes ’03
Reggie Graham, MArch ’78
Kevin Harris, MAUD ’80
David Hashim, MArch ’86
Trevor Johnson, MUP ’14
Jaya Kader, MArch ’88
Frank Lee, FAIA, MAUD ’79
Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, MArch ’78
Brenda Levin, MArch ’76
Zakcq Lockrem, MUP ’10
Jennifer Luce, MDes ’94
Thomas Luebke, FAIA, MArch ’91
John A. Mann, MUP ’01
Scott McLain, AMDP ’06
Ed McNamara, LF ’95
Shunsaku Miyagi, MLA ’86
Michael Murphy, MArch ’11
Richard T. Murphy, MLA ’80
Jeffrey Murphy, MArch ’86
Alpa Nawre, MLAUD ’11
James O’Hara, MArch ’73
Ron Ostberg, MArch ’68
Ana Pinto Da Silva, MDes ’05
Ryley Poblete, MArch ’14
Martin Poirier, MLA ’86
Mark Rios, MArch ’82, MLA ’82
Paris Rutherford, MAUD ’93
Eric Shaw, MUP ’00
Bryan Shiles, MArch ’87
Rob Stein, MArch ’72, LF ’94
Yvonne Szeto, MArch ’79
Zenovia Toloudi, DDes ’11
Sameh Naguib Wahba, MUP ’97, PhD ’02
Nick Winton, MArch ’90
Kristina Yu, MArch ’95
Corey Zehngebot, MArch ’09
Sara Zewde, MLA ’15