Instructor Thomas Nichols.

Instructor Thomas Nichols expressed his deep appreciation for the adult learners he has taught over the past 18 years.

Campus & Community

Harvard Extension alums honored, instructor recognized

3 min read

Annual alumni association banquet brings together 500 from around the world

The Harvard Extension Alumni Association’s 42nd annual banquet was marked by memorable moments, including the recognition of instructor Thomas M. Nichols, who was presented the Harvard Extension School Medal on May 23.

The HEAA event brought together nearly 500 alumni from around the world to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of its graduates.

“Together, as a community united by passion and purpose, we can continue to push boundaries, effect change, and make our mark on the world,” said Division of Continuing Education Dean Nancy Coleman, emphasizing the breadth of the community and the importance of building upon the accomplishments of HES graduates around the world.

Coleman noted that while graduates have gone on to great success in industries such as technology, sustainability, finance, and public service, she asked that they use their influence to impress positive outcomes for others.

During event awards were given to alumni in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedication.

Among the awards

The Emerging Leaders Award, designed to honor individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, was presented to Hai Hoang, A.L.M. ’22, Moshe Ohayon, A.L.M. ’18, and Alia Qatarneh A.L.M ’20. Their accomplishments in their respective fields have showcased their potential to become influential leaders and change-makers.

The Military-Veteran Distinguished Service Award was presented to Annjea Cormier, A.L.M. ’19, and Anthony Dwayne Maxie Jr., A.L.M. ’18, both of whom exemplify the values of dedication, courage, and selflessness.

Emilio Sempris, A.L.M. ’21, received the Shinagel Award for Service to Others, which recognizes an alumnus who has made a significant impact through their selfless contributions to their communities.

For many, the highlight of the evening came during the presentation of the Harvard Extension School Medal to Nichols, professor emeritus of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College and contributing columnist for The Atlantic.

Nichols expressed his deep appreciation for the adult learners he had the privilege of teaching throughout his 18 years at Harvard. He acknowledged their resilience and determination to learn, saying, “Some of you were starting all over again, which I know was one of the hardest things to do, and some of you were just coming to learn things at a different stage in life. That, to me, has energized me and made me want to be better.”

Nichols’ remarks resonated with the audience, reminding everyone of the transformative power of education and the lifelong impact it can have on individuals. He also thanked HES leadership for providing him with the opportunity to be a part of the School’s illustrious legacy.

A passing of the gavel from outgoing HEAA President Michael Fabiano (right) to President-elect Ariel Gamiño.

President Michael Fabiano and President-elect Ariel Gamiño.

Another poignant moment of the evening was the symbolic passing of the gavel from the outgoing HEAA President Michael Fabiano, A.L.M. ’16, to President-elect Ariel Gamiño, A.L.M. ’03. This transition represented a new chapter for the association and the commitment of its leaders to furthering the mission of the HEAA.