Timothy McCarthy AB ’93
A Teacher and an Activist
He went to Harvard. He teaches at Harvard. He lives at Harvard. He got married at Harvard.
It’s no understatement to say that Harvard has been an important part of Tim McCarthy’s life for many years.
Not only does he teach in the College and at the Kennedy School, the 40-year-old McCarthy AB ’93 is very involved in alumni affairs and has been since he was an undergraduate. He has served as his class secretary and 10th reunion co-chair, as appointed director for the Harvard Club of New York City, and as president of the Association of Harvard College Class Secretaries and Treasurers. He is currently on the board of the Harvard Alumni Association as vice president of College Alumni Affairs. In that role, his major focus over the past year has been to initiate an ambitious three-year plan to reorganize the college cluster to better serve alumni at various phases of life. “After all,” explains McCarthy, “an alumnus or alumna who’s five years out of Harvard has much different expectations of and uses for the alumni network than someone who’s been out of Harvard for thirty or forty years. Reorganizing the college cluster helps enable all alumni to connect in a much richer way.”
A former senior resident tutor in Quincy House, McCarthy still lives there as a resident affiliate, along with his husband, C. J. Crowder MEd ’02. An award-winning teacher and adviser, McCarthy believes that maintaining his connection to undergraduates is vital. “I’ve been so fortunate to come back here and be fully immersed in the life of the College,” he says. But McCarthy admits that his most fulfilling Harvard experiences actually take place far from Cambridge.
As the founding director of the Alternative Spring Break Church Rebuilding Program through the Phillips Brooks House Association, McCarthy has spent his spring vacations for the last decade and a half traveling around the country with two dozen or so Harvard undergraduates to rebuild African American churches that have been destroyed by arson attacks, whether in Alabama, Georgia…or even Springfield, Massachusetts, where a church was torched on November 4, 2008, the historic night President Barack Obama was elected. These trips mean a lot to McCarthy.
“They’re a remarkable opportunity for me as a teacher and an ‘aging’ activist,” he laughs, “to really remain connected not only to these students I teach but also to these communities with whom we’ve worked in such deep and fruitful ways for so many years.”