HWS President Emeritus Mark D. Gearan L.H.D. ’17, P’21 and Mary Herlihy Gearan L.H.D. ’17, P’21 have been named interim faculty deans of Winthrop House at Harvard University.
Gearan, who serves as the Director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School, told The Harvard Gazette, “Mary and I were honored by the invitation to serve as interim faculty deans at Winthrop House. We look forward to getting to know the students, and we see the year ahead as a chance to listen and learn and work as a community to support the student experience at Winthrop…As an undergraduate I lived in Winthrop and our daughter, who graduated in 2015, was also a Winthrop resident. So it is a place of special significance for our family and we look forward to being part of the community.”
“I am most looking forward to spending time with students and working with the tutors and staff for the year ahead,” Herlihy Gearan said. “Winthrop House is a great place, and we look forward to our own ‘move-in’ in August.”
The university’s traditional House system places rising sophomores into one of Harvard’s 12 Houses, where they will also live as juniors and seniors, to develop a close-knit community as students continue their undergraduate careers. The Faculty Deans of each house live on campus, dine with students, coordinate House Tutors, assist with student events and shape the broader character of their House.
Gearan is the longest serving president in the history of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He concluded his duties as president at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. At the time of his appointment in 1999, Gearan was serving as Director of the Peace Corps and, during the Clinton Administration, Assistant to the President, Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff. In recognition of his service, the HWS Board of Trustees awarded Gearan an honorary degree and named him President Emeritus of the Colleges, the first time in HWS history that the board has bestowed the honor.
Herlihy Gearan was awarded an honorary degree in recognition of her significant service to the HWS and Geneva community, where she held leadership roles on the boards of Geneva Music Festival and Happiness House-Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association. After working on Capitol Hill and on Gov. Michael S. Dukakis’ presidential campaign early in her career, she served as vice president of the Wexler Group, a government and public affairs firm. She currently serves on the board of trustees for her alma mater, Emmanuel College.