Following twenty-seven years as a member of the Harvard Corporation, Robert G. Stone, Jr., will conclude his service as Fellow of Harvard College at the end of the 2001-02 academic year.
A preeminent figure in the Harvard alumni community, and a trusted advisor to three Harvard presidents, Stone has served as the Corporation’s Senior Fellow since 1995. In 2000-01, he chaired the search leading to the appointment of Lawrence H. Summers as Harvard’s twenty-seventh president. He was also national co-chair of the record-setting $2.6 billion University Campaign, concluded in 1999. Following his departure from the Corporation, he will carry forward in his present role as chairman of the Committee on University Resources.
“For more than a quarter-century, Bob Stone has served Harvard with great devotion, energy, and effectiveness,” said Summers. “He’s one of a kind. His deep sense of the values Harvard embodies, along with his constant concern that Harvard always strive to improve itself, has made an invaluable contribution to the University’s governance. He is a tremendous colleague and friend — spirited and wise, with an infectious enthusiasm for everything he does. It has been a special privilege to work with Bob, and we have every intention of keeping him engaged with the University in the years to come.”
Said Stone: “I think of the Harvard community as my extended family, and being on the Corporation has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have the greatest respect and admiration for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, whose collective talents and energy never cease to amaze me. And I will always treasure the time I have spent with my colleagues on the Corporation, in ways that I hope have helped make Harvard a better place. I’m especially grateful to Derek Bok, Neil Rudenstine, and Larry Summers, whose leadership qualities across the decades have made Harvard an institution I have long been proud to consider my home away from home.”
Named to the Harvard Corporation in 1975, Stone has served over the years as chair of Harvard’s Joint Committee on Inspection (the University’s audit committee), as chair of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, and as a member of the board of directors of the Harvard Management Company. He has been a ubiquitous presence in Harvard alumni circles for decades.
“Bob Stone is a remarkable person, and already a legendary Harvard leader,” said Neil L. Rudenstine, President Emeritus of the University. “He has an instinctive, deep understanding of the University and its values. He cares about students and staff, as well as about the academic strength of Harvard’s departments and Schools. The University Campaign of the 1990s could never have succeeded without him. For me personally, he was — as Senior Fellow of the Corporation — a constant source of advice, support, and friendship, for which I shall always be grateful. He is sui generis, and simply cannot be replaced.”
Stone entered Harvard in 1941 as a member of the Class of 1945, and was graduated in 1947, having taken leave in February 1943 to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. He studied economics and captained the heavyweight crew team that set a world record for the 2000 meters in 1947. For years he was a leading executive in the shipping industry, serving as president and chairman of States Marine Lines, and then chairman of the Kirby Corporation, where he is now chairman emeritus and director. He was active in the energy industry, as chairman of the General Energy Corporation. He has also served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Mystic Seaport Museum and a trustee of the National Rowing Foundation, and been a director of Russell Reynolds Associates, the Chubb Corporation, and Corning, Inc., among other organizations.
The Harvard Corporation, formally known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, is Harvard’s executive governing board and the smaller of Harvard’s two boards, the other being the 30-member Board of Overseers. In addition to Summers and Stone, the Corporation currently includes D. Ronald Daniel (Treasurer), MBA ’54; James R. Houghton, AB ’58, MBA ’62; Hanna Holborn Gray, PhD ’57; Herbert S. Winokur, Jr., AB ’65 (’64), AM ’65, PhD ’67; and Conrad K. Harper, LLB ’65.
A search to identify a new Fellow of Harvard College is expected to begin soon. Confidential letters of nomination or advice may be directed to the Secretary to the Corporation, Harvard University, Loeb House, 17 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.