What is the mission of the Graduate School Fund?
Why give to the Graduate School Fund?
Will my gift to the GSF be recognized by the HCF?
Does my gift to the GSF really make a difference?
What are other ways to get involved?
How will I be recognized for my gift to the GSF?
Basic Facts about the GSF and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)
What do GSAS students do, and where do they go?
The Graduate School Fund raises flexible, immediate-use funds for Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) through contributions from its alumni worldwide. Although needs can change from year to year, GSF funds provide fellowships, seed new initiatives, and support the development of graduate students beyond the classroom (career development, travel grants, and the English Language Program to name a few).
The GSF is led by a committee of 25 members under the leadership of John Moon '89, PhD '94 (Business Economics) and Ann Bennett Spence AM '69 (East Asian Studies), who serve as co-chairs. These dedicated individuals represent more than 15 different academic programs at Harvard. Every year, they reach out to other alumni to solicit their support and to thank them for their dedication to the next generation of Harvard leaders and scholars.
Gifts of all sizes to the Graduate School Fund (GSF) directly support the recruitment and training of our outstanding graduate students, who will become the thought leaders of their generation and push the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding. Gifts to the Fund are not invested in the endowment, but used immediately to support priority areas such as graduate fellowships or new student programs such as "Put your PhD to work" or January term mini-courses.
- Preserving the Harvard standard. Gifts to the GSF sustain Harvard’s tradition of excellence in research and teaching by supporting activities and programs that foster open intellectual inquiry and the highest standards of scholarship.
- Investing in great minds. Immediate-use gifts underpin the financial commitments we must make to recruit the best candidates and ensure the most rigorous and productive graduate experience.
- Giving back to the institution that has meant so much for their careers and lives. The Harvard PhD holds a remarkable appeal to students from around the world. The value of the degree, and the qualifications of those who seek it, continue to rise; we received a record number of applications, many from candidates whose portfolios resembled those of junior faculty members. Harvard’s preeminence has been safeguarded by a longstanding legacy of private philanthropic support from our alumni. Every gift is meaningful, and your generosity keeps GSAS strong, today and tomorrow.
Yes, alumni of Harvard College who are also alumni of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be recognized in their College class for gifts to the Graduate School Fund.
Annual gifts have far more impact than an individual may realize. It takes $20 of endowment funds to create $1 of payout, so an immediate-use gift of $100 is equivalent to a $2,000 endowment gift.
We encourage GSAS alumni to share announcements of personal and professional achievements, new family members, or other news of interest to be published in Colloquy. Please visit the GSAS website to submit an update.
Alumni willing to discuss career interests with current students or fellow alumni may join Crimson Compass, a global networking community available through the Harvard Alumni Association.
Gifts of all sizes are important. Donors who contribute $100 or more are listed in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Annual Report of Giving. Those who give at Associates levels (starting at $1,000) receive special communications and are invited to attend special events, where they meet key faculty, administrators, and other graduates:
CHARTER ASSOCIATES: $2,500-$4,999
CRIMSON ASSOCIATES: $5,000-$9,999
LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATES: $10,000-$24,999
PRESIDENT’S ASSOCIATES: $25,000+
GSF by the Numbers
- Immediate-Use Dollars Raised in FY13: $2.1 million
- Fellowships raised by the Astronomy reunion: 3
- GSAS Alumni giving in support of FAS priorities (not limited to GSF): $13 million
- Established in 1872, GSAS is the only school at Harvard that grants PhDs.
- GSAS Dean: Xiao-Li Meng PhD '90, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics
- Degree candidates: 4,259 (4,092 PhD; 167 master's)
- Entering cohort in 2013-14: 727 (635 PhD; 92 master's)
- Degree-granting programs: 57
- Largest programs: the Division of Medical Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Physics.
- 44 percent of GSAS students are women
- 34 percent of GSAS students are from countries outside the United States
- 8 percent of GSAS students are underrepresented minorities, up from 4 percent in 2012
- Graduate students are scholars in their own right. They study, conduct research, publish their findings, and play an essential role in teaching and mentoring undergraduates. They serve as the bridge between faculty and undergraduates in creating course materials and providing research opportunities.
- They are Teaching Fellows (1,400 each term) who teach sections, conduct tutorials, supervise independent student projects, and mentor students.
- More than 100 serve as Resident Tutors and Freshman Proctors who provide academic and personal advice to undergraduates.
GSAS Notable Alumni Include:
- Margaret Atwood, AM '62 - Novelist
- W.E.B. DuBois AB 1890, PhD 1895 - Scholar, civil rights activist, founder of NAACP
- Karl Eikenberry, AM '81 - Served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011.
- Paul Farmer, PhD '90 - Founder, Partners in Health
- Hanna H. Gray, PhD '57 - First woman to head a major American University as President of the University of Chicago
- Doris Kearns Goodwin, PhD '68 - Author and presidential historian
- Sebastian Piñera, PhD '76 - President of Chile
- Earl A. Powell III, PhD '74 - Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
- William Rehnquist, AM '50 - Chief Justice of the United States
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD '80 - Director of the Earth Institute
- Ruth Simmons, PhD '73 - President of Brown University
- Michael Spence, PhD '72 - 2001 Nobel prize in Economic Science
- Andrew Sullivan, PhD '90 - Blogger and journalist
- Edward O. Wilson, PhD '55 - Sociobiologist and Pulitzer Prize winner
- David Wineland, PhD '71 - 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics