The Harvard Alumni Association and the Board of Overseers have announced the recipients of the 2004 Harvard Medal: William J. Cleary Jr. A.B. ’56, Joan Morthland Hutchins A.B. ’61, Minoru Makihara A.B. ’54, A.M.P. ’77.
The principal objective of the awarding of the Harvard Medal is to recognize extraordinary service to Harvard University – including teaching, fundraising, administration, management, generosity, leadership, innovation, or labors in the vineyards.
In recognition of their exceptional service to the University, the Alumni Awards Committee of the Harvard Alumni Association and Harvard’s Board of Overseers unanimously selected the three individuals to receive the Harvard Medal on the afternoon of Commencement, June 10.
William J. Cleary Jr. has been associated with the College for six decades as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator. He ranks among the greatest athletes to play for Harvard, lettering in both baseball and ice hockey. Cleary was a member of the “golden” U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1960, and was the Harvard men’s hockey coach from 1968 until 1990. For 11 years (1990-2001), he served as the director of athletics at Harvard. During his tenure, Cleary led the nation’s largest NCAA Division I athletic program. Under his leadership, he oversaw the construction of Jordan Field, the Beren Tennis Center, and the Murr Center. Also under his direction, Harvard offered more athletic opportunities for women – as well as for men – than any other NCAA Division I institution in the country. On numerous occasions, Cleary has been recognized for both his athletic ability and commitment to amateur athletics. A member of the Harvard Varsity Hall of Fame, he still holds or shares seven University records in hockey and was the only person to have his number retired in the history of Harvard athletics.
Joan Morthland Hutchins is president and CEO of the Compotite Corp., a
building-materials manufacturing firm based in Los Angeles, as well as president of MBH Farms Inc., in the Hudson Valley of New York. Former president of the Harvard Board of Overseers, she is an energetic leader who is deeply committed to the University. She served on or chaired several standing committees of the board and chaired the board’s ad hoc committee on information technology during 1997-98. For a number of years, she represented the Overseers on the Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees. A member of the Committee on University Resources, Hutchins chairs the Committee to Visit the Arnold Arboretum and is a member of the Committee to Visit the Graduate School of Education. She is a past president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Long Island and served on the HAA Board of Directors as an elected director before her election to the University’s Board of Overseers. She served on the Committee to Visit the Department of Athletics from 1985 until 1991, and has worked closely with the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics.
Minoru “Ben” Makihara graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and rose to be president of the Mitsubishi Corp., one of the largest companies in Japan and the
world. Currently, he is senior corporate adviser to Mitsubishi and chairman of the Mitsubishi International Corp., a global trading and investment company and subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corp. For most of his life, he has been a leader for Harvard in Japan. A John Harvard Fellow and Asia Center Advisory Committee member since 1999, Makihara chaired the Harvard Japan Campaign and was a member of the Visiting Committee to the East Asian Studies Department. He is also the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Harvard Club of Japan. Makihara is very supportive of Professor Ezra Vogel’s “Asia Vision 21” project, for which he serves as an adviser. He has been a member of the Committee on University Resources since 1993, and he is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Committee on University Resources.
The HAA Awards Committee considered a number of outstanding candidates for this special alumni honor. It is with a sense of respect and appreciation for their contributions to Harvard and conviction about their merits that the Awards Committee recommends these three candidates for the Harvard Medal. “We believe that each recipient has made a significant difference at the University and represents the best of our broad community,” said committee chair Walter H. Morris ’73, M.B.A. ’75.