Campus & Community

HAA announces Harvard Medal recipients

4 min read

The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has announced the recipients of the 2009 Harvard Medal: John “Jack” F. Cogan Jr. A.B. ’49, J.D. ’52; Harvey V. Fineberg A.B. ’67, M.D. ’71, M.P.P. ’72, Ph.D. ’80; and Patti B. Saris A.B. ’73, J.D. ’76.

The Harvard Medal was first given in 1981 with the principal objective of recognizing extraordinary service to Harvard University. Extraordinary service can be in as many different areas of University life as can be imagined, including teaching, fundraising, administration, management, generosity, leadership, innovation, or labors in the vineyards. President Drew Faust will present the medals during the annual meeting of the HAA on Commencement afternoon (June 4).


A longtime benefactor to Harvard, Cogan has served as a distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and Harvard Law School (HLS), as well as the greater Harvard community. He served as co-chair of the HLS campaign and co-chair of its international advisory council. He also served as chair of the HLS 1989-95 campaign. He has been a member of the School’s visiting committee since 1985 and is a member of the dean’s advisory board executive committee. A loyal alumnus of the College, he serves as a member of the executive committee of the Committee on University Resources (COUR) and has served on the executive committee of the Friends of Harvard Track for three decades. He was the recipient of the HLS Association Award in 1996.

Additionally, Cogan also serves on the director’s advisory committee for the Harvard Art Museums and was a former chairman of the visiting committee to the Davis Center for Russian Studies.

Cogan is presently of Counsel to the Boston law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, having joined the firm as a partner in 1957, becoming managing partner in 1976, and chairman from 1984 to 1996. He is also currently vice chairman of Pioneer Global Asset Management S.p.A. (Milan), president of the Pioneer Group of Mutual Funds, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is married to Mary L. Cornille.


Fineberg’s dedication and service to Harvard has been substantial. The holder of four Harvard degrees, he had distinguished service as provost of Harvard from 1997 to 2001, following 13 years as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). He is a member of the HSPH François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Advisory Committee, serves as a member of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Healthcare Initiative External Advisory Board, and was a member of his class reunion gift committee.

President of the Institute of Medicine, Fineberg has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision making. Fineberg co-founded and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and also served as adviser and consultant to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. He is a member of the board of directors of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the China Medical Board, a charitable foundation. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous books and articles on such diverse topics as AIDS prevention, vaccine safety, assessment of new medical technology, clinical and public health decision making, and understanding risk in society. He is married to Mary E. Wilson.


Saris served on the Board of Overseers and as its president in 2005-06 and she was a member and former chair of the HAA committee to nominate candidates for overseer and elected director. Long active in various Harvard alumni organizations, Saris has chaired several HLS reunions. She was elected chief marshal of her 25th reunion class in 1998, and has served on visiting committees to the College, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and HLS. She serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and has held teaching appointments at Boston University Law School and HLS. She is married to Arthur Segal A.B. ’73, professor of management practice at HBS, and they have four children, including Edward A.B. ’06 and Marisa, Ed.M. ’08.