Annual Giving

For over 80 years, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design has shaped the imaginations of those who have defined the built and natural environments through practice, research, and teaching. Each generation of GSD alumni has changed the course of their respective professions and inspired others to do the same. Annual giving to the GSD provides important resources to students and faculty who explore, challenge, and elevate our future.

GSD Fund for Financial Aid
Empower the next generation of designers with a gift to the GSD Fund. Your contribution to this fund ensures that additional financial aid resources will be available to the most talented students from around the globe.

Degree Programs
Your gift to a degree program will provide the department with funds to enrich their curriculum, increase their research capacity, award merit fellowships, and provide expanded professional development opportunities for students.

– Master in Architecture Fund
– Master in Architecture and Urban Design Fund
– Master in Design Studies Fund
– Master of Landscape Architecture Fund
– Master in Planning Fund

Dean’s Innovation Fund
As the GSD takes a larger leadership role in shaping the future of cities, our commitment to global studio work, research, producing scholarly publications and exhibitions, and reimagining professional practice has expanded to unprecedented levels. Your gift to the Dean’s Innovation Fund enables alumni and friends who share this commitment to invest in groundbreaking new initiatives without constraint.

Dean’s Fund for Real Estate
Support activities related to the enhancement of teaching and research of real estate at the GSD. Your gift to the Dean’s Fund for Real Estate will deepen the integral relationship between design and real estate.

The Frances Loeb Library
Support a preeminent global design resource that provides the GSD and Harvard community with a robust platform for design research, teaching, and learning. Your gift to the Francis Loeb Library enhances the educational programs, curriculum development, and research programs of the GSD.

$20.19 Graduating Students Drive
Every class of graduates leaves a lasting legacy at the GSD, and a contribution of $20.19 honors the education you received at the School. You can choose where to direct your support, whether the Degree Program Funds, the Loeb Library, or the Dean’s Innovation Fund. The dollars raised by the Class of 2019 will support the very people and programs that helped form your education.


Ways to give to the GSD



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Leadership Giving: Josep Lluís Sert Council


Join a circle of donors who believe in the transformational power of design education.

The Josep Lluís Sert Council is a community of annual leadership donors who are committed to supporting the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, its students, and the future of design education. Sert Council members play an integral role in helping to advance the GSD’s preeminent status and provide essential funding to support our students, faculty, and degree programs.



Members are committed to supporting the GSD through annual leadership gifts. 


Donors who support the Harvard Graduate School of Design with annual leadership gifts are recognized through the Josep Lluís Sert Council. There are four different levels of giving:

  • Associate (annual contributors of $1,000 to $4,999 and adjusted levels for recent graduates)
  • Partner (annual contributors of $5,000-$9,999)
  • Principal (annual contributors of $10,000 or $24,999)
  • Dean’s Circle (annual contributors of $25,000 or more)


In recognition of their annual leadership support, members are invited to attend exclusive events, receive publications and communications, participate in special opportunities and are acknowledged in the annual Giving report.

Sert Council members provide the GSD with immediate-use support. 


Members of the Josep Lluís Sert Council provide the School with immediate-use support, enabling the School to attract the most ambitious and talented design students while developing an environment where faculty bring innovation to their teaching and research. Annual Giving opportunities include:

  • GSD Fund
  • A Degree Program Fund (MArch, MLA, MAUD, MDes, MUP)
  • Dean’s Innovation Fund
  • Dean’s Fund for Real Estate
  • The Frances Loeb Library

There are additional opportunities for supporting the GSD and joining the Sert Council. To learn more, please contact us.

Join fellow Sert Council members at events throughout the year.


Members of the Josep Lluís Sert Council are invited to a series of events throughout the year to participate in thought-provoking industry conversation. Each year, the GSD Sert Council hosts 5-7 events that bring together GSD alumni and friends in an interesting space for a compelling conversation. Many of our events feature GSD faculty, Harvard faculty, GSD students, or local alumni leaders. Past event locations include Boston and Cambridge, MA, Los Angeles, CA, New York City, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC.

About Josep Lluís Sert



Josep Lluís Sert, Dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design from 1953 to 1969, was a globally recognized architect and visionary leader whose unique perspective on cross-disciplinary training has become a hallmark of the School. Under his tenure, the GSD initiated the world’s first urban design degree, which continues to define the field on a global scale. The School is committed to building on Sert’s legacy by addressing complex issues around the world. The Josep Lluís Sert Council is an important component in fulfilling this ambitious goal.

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Planned Giving: H. Langford Warren Society

Establish a legacy and support the GSD through planned giving.


Warren_photo 2

Planned gifts can help provide for your family, save taxes, and enhance your financial objectives, while establishing an enduring legacy that will directly impact students and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Many alumni and friends have used planned gifts to support student financial aid, faculty research, and design innovation.

Your gifts go towards solving current and future global challenges like climate change, affordable housing, and efficient transportation systems.

Types of Planned Giving

  • A Charitable Bequest is an easy and tax-advantaged way to make a generous gift to the GSD and create a lasting legacy. You can establish a bequest through your will or living trust, or by naming the GSD as the beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy. Sample language to include in your will.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities are a tax-wise way to secure income for you and/or your heirs while making a gift to the GSD. A minimum gift of $25,000 is required for the first annuity, and Harvard will make fixed payments based on the age of the beneficiary(ies). Link to view Harvard University Gift Annuity Rates.
  • Other gift types include: Gifts of Real Estate, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts, Donor Advised Funds, and Gifts of Art, and other assets.

Benefits of Planned Giving
When you establish a planned gift, you become a member of the Warren Society, a remarkable community of design thinkers who stay connected to the GSD. Through invitations to special events, exhibits, and lectures, listing in our annual GSD Giving report, and GSD events around the United States, you can join with other passionate design leaders who are making enduring impacts.

For more information on planned giving, please contact Joe Chart, Senior Major Gifts Officer.

About H. Langford WarrenWarren headshot

The Warren Society honors H. Langford Warren (1857–1917), an exemplary leader and visionary who founded the School of Architecture at Harvard and served as its first Chair. By joining science and fine arts with the study of architecture, he established a model of cross-disciplinary collaboration that is still a hallmark of the GSD. Additionally, Warren helped develop the nascent field of landscape architecture.



Planned Giving Tax Information

Tax Identification Number

Harvard University’s Tax ID number is 04-2103580.

Tax-Free IRA Rollover Permanently Extended

On Friday, December 18, 2015, Congress passed the IRA charitable rollover provision of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which included permanent reinstatement of the IRA charitable rollover opportunity.

Under this legislation, qualified donors may make outright gifts of up to $100,000 per year to Harvard from their IRA and avoid taxation on the distribution. Transfers must be made by December 31 to be counted towards the required minimum distribution (RMD) for that calendar year.

To benefit from this gift opportunity, the following qualifications must be met:

  • Donor must be age 70 ½ or older at the time of transfer.
  • The maximum amount a donor may transfer is $100,000.
  • The gift must be outright. Gifts to donor advised funds or to life income vehicles do not qualify.
  • The gift must be transferred directly from the IRA account by the IRA administrator to Harvard.  Donors with check-writing ability for their IRAs may use this feature to complete their gift.

To assist donors interested in making a charitable gift from their IRA, we have provided the following sample letters:

The first letter contains specific transfer instructions from the donor to the IRA custody agent.

The second letter is from the donor to Harvard to inform Harvard as to how the gift should be used. This letter is particularly important for donors interested in splitting their gift between multiple Schools or Harvard affiliates. It also ensures Harvard’s ability to provide appropriate class credit to alumni donors.

Donor Stories


A Lasting and Significant Impact at the GSD: Thomas Holtz MArch ’77Tom-Holtz_web2

Thomas Holtz MArch ’77 made his first mark on the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) library as an architectural draftsman. Holtz’s generosity and creativity built his second contribution to the library. The retired architect wanted to honor those who most influenced his graduate education and career: his parents and his design teacher Jerzy Soltan, the esteemed architect and beloved GSD professor who died in 2005. Through a charitable gift annuity and a future bequest, Holtz established the Jerzy Soltan Fund in memory of Leslie and Helen Holtz for the Frances Loeb Library.



04132016_grounded_fellowships6903_bart2Designing a Multidisciplinary Future at the GSD: Bart Voorsanger MArch ’64

Bart Voorsanger MArch ’64 understands the value of connected multidisciplinary design. The founding partner and principal of Voorsanger Architects PC in New York City, his firm works on projects ranging from small residential interiors to multi-million dollar residential and institutional buildings, many of which involve collaborations within other design disciplines. Voorsanger sees a future in which design disciplines increasingly intermingle. To ensure that students at the GSD are at the forefront of these intersections, he established the Voorsanger Fellowship Fund.



henry-hoover-300pxBuilding a Future at Harvard: The Henry B. Hoover Fellowship

In 1989, Henry B. (Harry) Hoover, Lucretia Hoover Giese PhD ’85, and Elizabeth Hoover Norman AM ’64—the three children of Harvard-trained architect Henry B. Hoover MArch ’26—decided to honor their father upon his death by establishing the Henry B. Hoover Fellowship. Its purpose is to benefit students in the Graduate School of Design, and it was established with gifts from family, friends, and colleagues.



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