Campus & Community

First named deanship announced

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Edgerley family support endows FAS deanship and directs funding to key priorities

In recognition of the long, sustained support of Paul B. Edgerley, M.B.A. ’83, and Sandra Matejic Edgerley ’84, M.B.A. ’89, Drew Faust, president of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History, announced that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) deanship will be named in honor of the Edgerley family. This is the first of Harvard’s deanships to be named.

“Paul and Sandy Edgerley have been so very generous with their time and resources in support of the University, and we are deeply grateful for their unwavering commitment,” said Faust. “The Edgerley Family Deanship is a fitting recognition of their efforts to help Harvard lead in research and teaching for generations to come.”

Michael D. Smith, John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is the current Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The most recent support from the Edgerleys will endow the deanship, covering the salary and other administrative costs for the position while helping to maintain and strengthen the leadership of FAS going forward. The philanthropic leadership of the Edgerley family enables Smith and future deans to support key priorities with the flexibility to innovate and to meet emerging needs and opportunities.

Since the start of his deanship in 2007, Smith has led the School through unprecedented fiscal challenges brought on by the recent national recession. In spite of these financial restraints, Smith ensured Harvard not only maintained but also expanded its leading financial aid program, ensuring that admitted students can afford to attend the College regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. He has also nurtured the further development of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, established a shared faculty commitment to excellence in teaching, cultivated and expanded undergraduate research and opportunities for active learning, forged new partnerships to advance online learning, and re-envisioned the undergraduate House system to meet the needs of students in the 21st century.

A member of the Faculty since 1992, Smith is known for his innovative work on computing systems, particularly on issues involving a detailed knowledge of both the hardware and software in sophisticated systems.

“The Edgerleys firmly believe that the greatness of this institution rests in unlocking the potential of its amazing people, and their substantial generosity has benefited many faculty and students over the years,” Smith said. “Their support has removed financial barriers for our students, enabled cutting-edge teaching and learning in our classrooms, and opened new directions in faculty-driven research. I am deeply grateful to Sandy and Paul for their support of my office and for partnering with me to advance priorities that will positively impact the entire FAS for generations to come.”

The Edgerleys currently serve on a committee of co-chairs for both The Harvard Campaign and The Harvard Campaign for Arts and Sciences, the FAS component of the University’s effort.

The Harvard Campaign for Arts and Sciences is an effort to engage the School’s alumni and friends, share the dean’s vision for the future of FAS, and build support for a number of priorities, including financial aid, House renewal and student experience, faculty and scholarly enterprise, leading in learning, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The announcement of the endowed deanship was made Saturday at Assembly, which annually convenes volunteers and donors to The Harvard Campaign for Arts and Sciences, the largest component of the The Harvard Campaign.

Paul Edgerley is a managing director of Bain Capital, a private equity firm, which he joined in 1988.

Sandra Edgerley worked at Bain & Co. for a decade, and has since devoted her time and energy to many Boston-area philanthropic endeavors.