Friends, family, and colleagues packed into Sanders Theatre on a rainy Thursday afternoon to celebrate 2019’s Harvard Heroes. The 61 honorees represented Schools and departments from across the University, from custodial services and catering to faculty affairs and fire safety.
University President Larry Bacow led the ceremony, praising each honoree for their achievements. He also had groan-worthy puns to spare.
“Your admirers say you deserve more than a little plaque for your good deeds,” Bacow said to Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s senior human resources coordinator Mary Anderson. “I guess a crown will do!”
In short videos presented during the ceremony, this year’s heroes shared their best — and weirdest — Harvard moments, including a first-year student asking whether he could microwave his laundry to dry it and being invited to a meeting at “U-Hall” (a.k.a. University Hall) and subsequently wandering the Yard looking for a moving truck.
A reception was held in Annenberg Hall, with drinks, charcuterie, and cake pops for all.
Director of Fellowship and Leadership Development Programs in the Center for Public Leadership Myrish Cadapan Antonio said she was “deeply humbled” by the award. “I am receiving this award for the collective, for the team,” she said. “So many people could have [earned] it. I feel blessed.”
Antonio was lauded for teaching and mentoring Mason Fellows, as well as helping to develop University training for cultural competency as a Harvard Administrative Fellow. She said she learned about her award when she was called into a team meeting with her manager.
“I thought I had done something wrong,” she recalled. “I was shocked!”
Campus Services fire safety supervisor Peter Underhill was also surprised by his colleagues.