Campus & Community

Harvard College deanship named

4 min read

Generous support from the Danoffs is motivated by Faust’s leadership

In recognition of the longtime dedication of Ami Kuan Danoff ’84 and William A. Danoff ’82 and their most recent generosity in support of Harvard College and House renewal, the  Harvard College deanship will be renamed the Danoff Deanship of Harvard College.

Explaining the motivation for their most recent gift, the Danoffs expressly cited the leadership of Harvard President Drew Faust, the Lincoln Professor of History, and the vision for the future of the College that they share with the leaders of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

“Drew has inspired and impressed us with her ability to energize all members — faculty, students, and alumni — of the University. Great leaders have intelligence, enthusiasm, and integrity, and she has an abundance of all three of these important attributes,” said William Danoff.

“Ami and Will Danoff are deeply engaged in the life of Harvard College, and their extraordinary generosity will help to enhance the experiences of our undergraduates in more ways than anyone can predict,” said Faust. “I am touched by the trust they have placed in Harvard’s leadership, and I am so pleased to have such thoughtful partners as we work to strengthen the heart of the University.”

Rakesh Khurana, dean of Harvard College and the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School (HBS), will be the inaugural Danoff Dean of Harvard College. A distinguished scholar of organizational behavior and leadership, Khurana joined the HBS faculty in 2000 and was appointed dean last year. He and his wife, Stephanie, have also served as co-masters of Cabot House since 2010.

In his first year as dean, Khurana has brought a profound commitment to the values of a liberal arts education and has made diversity and inclusion a central part of his administration’s work. Khurana also has brought renewed focus on the intellectual experience as the foreground of the Harvard College student experience. Moving forward, he will seek to strengthen important academic aspects of the College, including expository writing, freshman seminars, and the General Education program.

“I welcome this incredible gift from Ami and William Danoff, which will help advance Harvard College’s mission to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society,” said Khurana.

In addition to their support of the College, the Danoffs’ commitment to the University has included past support of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Their most recent gift includes funding for Harvard’s House Renewal initiative — which aims to reinvent and reinvigorate the Houses, among Harvard’s most important learning spaces — as well as endowed funds to support the key priorities of Khurana and Michael D. Smith, the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, providing the deans with the flexibility to meet emerging needs and opportunities.

“This generous gift will provide critical support for Harvard College, allowing Dean Khurana to double down on his efforts to provide our students with an intellectually, socially, and personally transformative educational experience,” said Smith. “A core component of this experience is our residential House system, and we are extremely grateful for the Danoffs’ support of the renewal of these critical spaces for the 21st century.”

The Danoffs are committed to strengthening FAS, supporting Khurana’s vision for the College, and helping the School meet the goals of The Harvard Campaign for Arts and Sciences.

“Will and I appreciate what an important, positive influence Harvard has had on us and our family. We are thrilled to support the efforts of President Faust and the leadership of the FAS with this gift,” said Ami Kuan Danoff.

William Danoff is currently vice president at Fidelity Investments. Ami Kuan Danoff has held many leadership roles in finance, including vice president at Putnam Investments, but most recently has dedicated her time to philanthropic endeavors.