In May 2014, as Cynthia A. Torres ’80, M.B.A. ’84, looked ahead to her upcoming term as Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) president, she remarked on the “magic of Harvard” that is at the center of its community of alumni, students, faculty, and staff.
Now, reviewing her year at the helm of the HAA, Torres reflects on how strongly she feels that magic — through visits with alumni around the world as part of the Your Harvard event series, collaborations with Harvard Club and Shared Interest Group (SIG) leaders, and work with volunteers who come back to campus for meetings.
“Every time I walk into a room with alumni, my heart is full,” says Torres. “This year, I’ve had the honor of traveling for the HAA around the globe — to Brussels, Mexico City, Beijing, and beyond — and every time I go out to meet with alumni, I’m struck by their enthusiasm and their connectedness with the University.”
Incoming HAA President Paul L. Choi ’86, J.D. ’89, a longtime Harvard volunteer, an active member of Harvard Law School alumni organizations, and former president of the Harvard Club of Chicago, shares Torres’ sense of awe about the strength of the alumni community and the role it plays in Harvard’s future.
As president, he will focus on highlighting the inherently University-wide nature of the HAA, a vision that aligns with President Drew Faust’s overarching goal for a more unified Harvard as part of The Harvard Campaign. “When you graduate from a Harvard School you are an alum of that School, but, more importantly, you are also an alum of the University,” he says. “You may leave the campus with a diploma in hand, but you don’t leave the broader alumni community.”
Looking to his term as HAA president, Choi praised Torres as a source of inspiration: “It would be hard to find an alum more dedicated and passionate than Cynthia — I aspire to bring that same commitment to my work, and I look forward to what the next year will hold.”
Torres shares Choi’s excitement for the year ahead. “We alumni carry the Harvard name throughout the world in the work that we do. We are Harvard,” she says. “And I am confident that Paul’s leadership will strengthen our community even more.”