Noah Harris ’22 has never needed a clear path or an abundance of resources to make life better for those in his community.
“I come from Mississippi, which is one of the most charitable states and one of the poorest states. We have a culture of giving to a point where we don’t have things to give,” said the Hattiesburg native. “Having that in mind and gaining purpose in leading by serving others is what I try to do.”
Sworn in last month as president of Harvard College’s Undergraduate Council (UC), Harris comes to the role with a record of service that started with his time as a Boy Scout (and later Eagle Scout) as well as being an avid athlete (baseball, basketball) and musician (violin, piano).
“I’ve always done a lot because there was so much I was passionate about,” said the Dunster House resident, who will live off campus in Somerville this semester. “I stayed with all of those things through middle and high school and always used those activities to make a difference.”
A government concentrator who served on the UC executive board this past year as treasurer, Harris is the first Black man to be elected president by the student body.
“I did my research, and I recognized the significance of things, but I didn’t run on the fact that it would be a historic win. I ran on the moment and having a great track record. It resonated, and the history came after that,” he said.
Harris shared the ticket with Jenny Gan, who earned the vice presidency, on a platform whose slogan was: Building Tomorrow’s Harvard. Their aim is to emphasize diversity and inclusion, especially in this time of racial reckoning and pandemic, and also to prioritize health and wellness “in a way it had never been before.”