Samuel P. Huntington, one of the most influential political scientists of his generation, mentored many of America’s leading policy thinkers and scholars during his distinguished career. Huntington, who died in December 2008, taught at Harvard for more than 50 years and was widely admired for his dedication to students.

To honor his memory and intellectual legacy, a group of generous alumni and friends has established the Samuel Huntington Fellowship Fund at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). The fund will provide general aid to doctoral students who exhibit academic excellence in the social sciences — including international affairs, American politics, and political science. GSAS will award fellowships to deserving students each year.

Huntington’s half-century of Harvard service is marked by an extraordinary set of contributions. He was the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, and he chaired the government department and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He also directed the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and founded the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies.

It was in his 2007 retirement letter, however, where Huntington described perhaps his greatest Harvard role. “It is difficult for me to imagine a more rewarding or enjoyable career than teaching here,” he wrote.

For more information, or to contribute to the Samuel Huntington Fellowship Fund, contact Roger Cheever (617.496.0246 or at the Harvard University Development Office, 124 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138.