Campus & Community

Harvard Foundation awards 126 grants

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Cultural projects focus of Harvard Foundation grants

A lecture and reception honoring the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a Scandinavian Marten Goose dinner, a professional women’s panel called “Road to Success, the Latino Welcome Day program, the Japan Society’s Winter Mochi – these are just a handful of the projects funded by the Harvard Foundation in the fall 2004 semester. In all, the foundation awarded 126 grants totaling $25,000 to some 48 undergraduate student organizations for cultural projects.

“The students of the Harvard Foundation are really excited about the diversity of projects that we are sponsoring for our fellow students this year,” said Brian Clair ’05, a Harvard Foundation intern of three years. “I am certain that students of all races and backgrounds will appreciate the exciting cultural programs that students have developed for the fall semester.”

To apply, students should send requests to the Harvard Foundation, 7 Thayer Hall, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138. For more information, visit

Some of the other programs include the Chinese American Author Series sponsored by the Harvard Chinese Students Association; the “Stand-up for Peace Evening of Comedy” hosted by the Harvard Society of Arab Students, Harvard Hillel, and Harvard Students for Israel; a Vietnam Cultural Workshop by the Harvard Vietnamese Students Association; an Inter-Ethnic Arts Collective by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association; and an Eid Celebration to commemorate the end of the holy month of Ramadan by the Harvard Islamic Society. Also receiving grants this semester were Holoimua o Hawaii, the Black Men’s Forum, Harvard RAZA, Native Americans at Harvard College, and the South Asian Association, among many others.

“The faculty advisers were pleased to support the student representatives of the Harvard Foundation in reviewing and approving these 126 commendable projects,” said Don Pfister, chair of the foundation’s Faculty Advisory Committee. “These activities represent Harvard College students of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds and reflect our effort to improve intercultural relations at the University.”

One of the most popular Harvard Foundation-sponsored projects this fall was the Adams House concert performed by Mariachi Veritas, a recently formed 13-member student Mariachi band that features traditional Mexican music. The oldest Harvard College theater group, Black C.A.S.T., was supported by a grant for the production of the play “Before It Hits Home,” a drama about the impact of AIDS on a black family. The foundation supported the Harvard Bulgarian Club’s Bulgarian Sedyankas homage, a traditional gathering of Bulgarian people to discuss their common history, spirituality, and struggle for freedom.

“The projects we support enable our students to express their cultural interests and aspirations in an academic environment, and to share cultural knowledge and information with a larger Harvard community,” said Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter. “The number of student applications to the foundation has increased dramatically over the years, and the quality of the proposals demonstrates the students’ commitment to improving racial and cultural understanding at Harvard.”

The Harvard Foundation’s next round of grants will be awarded in February. The foundation encourages students of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds with projects that seek to promote interracial and intercultural awareness and understanding in the Harvard community to apply.