Harvard helped members of its administrative team beat the summer heat and get into the Olympic spirit on Friday with an ice cream social that featured tasty treats and two TV screens showing the Olympic Games in London.
Sponsored by Harvard’s Office of the Executive Vice President, the afternoon get-together in Tercentenary Theatre was one in a series of events that aims to bring together colleagues from different Schools and departments. Last fall, the office organized a “giving thanks” event that encouraged employees to write notes of gratitude to their co-workers. In December, the office held a “winter warm-up” breakfast in Holyoke Center, with bagels, coffee, and hot chocolate.
The events invite members of the Harvard community to take a break from their daily routines and connect with colleagues they might not normally see.
“Today, we are taking advantage of the excitement of the Olympics and hosting an ice cream social as a way to say ‘thank you’ for the extraordinary work that our staff does every day, ” said Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp.
Taking a break from his duties as associate director for custodial and support services, Jason Luke enjoyed a cone and caught up with friends and colleagues.
“Hot summer day, end of the week, free ice cream: What could be better?” he said. “I like just running into people — people you maybe don’t see or get a chance to chitchat with on a regular basis, since you are always working. … That’s the best part.”
Volleyball, swimming, and gymnastics topped Luke’s list of favorite Olympic events to watch. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team was also a big hit with artist Jerrie Lyndon, who during the social created a chalk drawing that depicted members of the team and the iconic Olympic rings on a walkway adjacent to Memorial Church.
“I was impressed with our team and how they did,” said Lyndon of the gold medal-winning squad that was dubbed the ‘Fab Five.’ “I know this is just temporary, but I wanted to make a tribute to them.”
Attendees were treated to a selection of ice cream flavors from Ben & Jerry’s, cups of Richie’s Italian Ice in mango, lemon, and watermelon, and a playlist of songs from the Olympics opening ceremonies.