Meeting alumni where they are has been a priority for every Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) president since John Quincy Adams led the organization upon its founding in 1840. Today, with around 60,000 Harvard alumni living outside the United States, international travel is a big part of the job. For incoming president Alice Hill ’81, Ph.D. ’91, it’s just a fact of life.
Hill has made the 24-hour-plus trip from her home in Melbourne, Australia, to Cambridge four times each year since joining the HAA Executive Committee in 2015. But that’s a relatively quick jaunt compared to the two-day journeys she embarked upon every summer as a child, traveling from her small town of Inuvik inside the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories to visit family in Boston.
And her globe-trotting didn’t stop there. After graduating from Radcliffe College, where she studied economics and played on the inaugural women’s ice hockey team, Hill earned her master’s at the London School of Economics, went back to Canada to work for the federal government, and then returned to Harvard for her Ph.D. in business economics.
Wherever life has taken her, she has found ways to stay connected to the University, even from thousands of miles away.
“I love this community,” said Hill, who has been a member of Harvard Clubs in London, Ottawa, Washington, D.C., and Victoria (Australia). She has also served on the HAA board as director for Australasia, vice president for University-wide alumni affairs, and, currently, first vice president. “Harvard is a way to meet really interesting people, but more importantly, it’s a way to get really interesting and capable people working together to do things that we couldn’t do as individuals.”