Still time to double your money

7 04 2008

There’s still time to make a contribution to the Independent that will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a generous challenge grant from Tom Stemberg ’71.

Tom has challenged the alumni to raise $17,500, which he will match dollar-for-dollar. Thanks to the generosity of your fellow alums, we only need $4,000 to get the full benefit of his challenge. Raising the full $35,000 would make an enormous difference to the paper as it distributes its print edition to all undergraduates while expanding its web presence.

If you’d like to put us over the top of Tom’s challenge, please send your contribution to The Harvard Independent, Box 382204, Cambridge, Mass. 02238-2204. This being tax season, we’d also remind you that the Independent is a Sec. 501(c)(3) charity.

Thanks for your support and please join us at Grad Board on May 3! (see below)

— S.A.


Please join us for Spring Grad Board Saturday May 3

29 03 2008

All Indy alums are cordially invited to join the Editorial Board at the Spring Grad Board meetings.  It’s your chance to review the business and editorial affairs of the Independent with the current editors and help forge the Independent’s web strategy.  Also, you’ll get to inspect the Indy’s newish home in what you remember as Hilles Library and see how the paper is put together.  (Hint: there are no X-Acto knives involved.)  

The business board meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a break for lunch, likely at the swank Currier House Dining Room, and the editorial board meeting from 1 to 3 p.m.  The meeting is in Hilles 243 but there will be an Independent editor at the door to escort you.  You don’t have to RSVP — just come on over.    

For those of you who forgot or never knew, Hilles Library (actually, it’s not a library anymore) is in the Radcliffe Quad.  The entrance is on the driveway separating it from Cabot (South) House.  There’s plenty of free, illegal on-street parking in the neighborhood.  It’s also an easy walk from either the Harvard or Porter Square Red Line stations.    

See you there.    

– S.A.  

Alums in the news

7 12 2007

One purpose of this blog is to keep you abreast of fellow alums who have achieved fame or at least notoriety.

This week, The Boston Globe reported that MIT (those buildings on the left as you head down Mem Drive to the Kendall Square Cinema) has a little embarrassment:

Just one out of 25 faculty members granted tenure this year at MIT is female, a gender imbalance that appears to contrast with the university’s decade-old effort to boost the status of women.


Who, you may be wondering, was the one woman judged worthy of tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?

Amy Finkelstein, the lone female promoted to tenure at MIT this year, said she had no complaints about her path to tenure in the economics department.

Finkelstein, 34, who received her doctorate from MIT in 2001, said she is a beneficiary of policies created to help women en route to tenure and afterward. She is now on maternity leave. Under a new policy, MIT will pay for child care at professional conferences she attends.

“I’ve had nothing but a fabulous experience in the economics department,” Finkelstein said. “I’ve experienced and perceived no issues in regard to gender.”

That’s Independent alum Amy Finkelstein ’95, on the left (pre-tenure) at the 35th anniversary gala with her classmates Ellie Grossman and Justin Kudler.

We’re glad that Amy got what she deserved. As for MIT’s plight, if you are interested, you can read the whole sad story here.

— S.A.

Director of Development wanted

27 11 2007

We’re looking for a professional Director of Development and Alumni Affairs to manage alumni interaction and fundraising to create a stable, long-term financial foundation for the Independent, under direction from the Indy’s graduate board.

Activities are expected to include:

  • Working with the graduate board, developing and executing a long-term fundraising strategy aimed at building the Independent’s endowment.
  • Overseeing the development and rollout of an alumni-only web site (analogous to that will include private message boards, updates on alumni and opportunities for alumni involvement with the Independent.
  • Creation and distribution of a quarterly email update with information about the paper and alumni news.
  • Management of alumni communications, including outreach and response to requests.
  • Oversight of preparation and mailing of annual solicitation.
  • Together with the Independent’s alumni, engagement in one-on-one and small group solicitation of major gifts.
  • Planing and executing alumni events (e.g., reunion time open house).
  • Management and maintenance the alumni database.

Job parameters: Anticipated to take an average of 10-15 hours a week, fluctuating based on circumstances (e.g. reunion week will be intensive). Event-related work (rare) will involve evenings and weekends. While much of the work can be done from home, candidate must live or work within commuting distance of Cambridge. Reports to the graduate board.

This position requires a command of basic fundraising principles, an ability to work creatively and independently, and when appropriate, to collaborate with both alumni and undergraduate editors.

Required and desirable credentials

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least two years’ experience in fundraising and development, preferably in an academic context.
  • Demonstrated ability in writing fundraising and alumni relations materials, devising and executing cultivation and solicitation strategies, and event management.
  • Excellent writing ability.
  • Comfortable engaging one-on-one with potential donors.
  • Facility and aptitude with email, Web, and electronic communications.
  • Knowledge of or relationship with Harvard community strongly preferred.


Annual compensation: $10-$15K, depending on experience, plus possible performance-based incentive compensation.


Interested candidates should send a resume to: Steven Asher, Treasurer, Graduate Board, stevena472,at,yahoo

And feel free to pass this announcement along to anyone you think might be interested.

– S.A.

And one more thing . . .

19 11 2007

You should shortly be getting a letter from Indy Co-Presidents Edward Chen ’09 and Sally Rinehart ’09 inviting alums to contribute to the Indy’s annual fund drive.  This year, the alums have been challenged by Indy founder Tom Stemberg ’71, who will match dollar for dollar the first $19,000 raised in the fund drive.   Your contributions make it possible for the Independent to transition to a web-based revenue model while maintaining the print edition you know and presumably love.  Lots of your former colleagues, including most of the coolest ones, have contributed to past annual drives and the 35th anniversary capital campaign.

I know that lots of charities are seeking your support at this season (including another institution with “Harvard” in its name): the Independent is one where your gift can make a major difference.

— S.A.


16 11 2007

As part of the program to bring the Harvard Independent into the 21st century, the student editors have set up their own blog. Either to emphasize the comparative technological illiteracy of the alumni or to keep us from bothering them, they also set up one for Indy alums. Here it is.

The goal is to connect 37 years of former editors with each other and with today’s Executive Board and we hope you’ll sign up to participate. If you would like to join as an author please contact the Indy’s Publisher, Frances Martel ’09, (fmartel,at,, and unless she decides, after consultation with the Grad Board, that you’re an unredeemable dip, you too can join in.

We’re also setting up a roll of blogs maintained by Indy alums; if you’ve got one or you know alums that do, please let us know.

Steve Asher ’76

PS Already I don’t like the name. Anyone got any better ideas?