The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has named Michelle Walsh ’20 of Cabot House and Benjamin Roy ’20 of Kirkland House this year’s David and Mimi Aloian Memorial Scholars.
Each year the Aloian Memorial Scholarship is given to two juniors who demonstrate thoughtful leadership and who improve the quality of life in Harvard Houses. The award is given by the HAA in honor of David and Mary (Mimi) Aloian, Faculty Deans of Quincy House from 1981 to 1986. During their time at Harvard, the Aloians helped the Houses create a stronger community by incorporating an environment for social and intellectual growth. David also served as executive director of the HAA from 1978 to 1986. During his time, he transformed the HAA to be a more inclusive place. The Aloian Scholarship is given to commemorate the life and achievements of David and Mimi and to highlight the important community House life creates.
This year’s scholarship recipients will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 24, during the fall meeting of the HAA Board of Directors.
Michelle Walsh ’20 of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, is energized by building community and facilitating personal connections. From her first days in Cabot House, she caught the attention of her faculty deans with innovative ideas for connecting sophomores and upperclassman. Walsh quickly became involved with House life, producing and directing Cabot’s Housing Day video, co-leading the development of the Housing Advising Peer program, and organizing Cabot’s Sophomore Retreat. As the “Stein” chair on the House Committee, Walsh broadened inclusion in the House-wide Stein Club’s traditional happy hour–related events by offering more non-alcoholic beverages and group-based activities,such as trivia, board games, baking, and karaoke. Made captain of the intramural squash team in 2019, she recruited and led her team to victory over an undefeated Lowell House squad, clinching Cabot’s first ever inter-House squash championship. Her faculty deans note, “She keeps her eye on what is possible for a community and then makes it happen.”
Benjamin Roy ’20 of Haverhill, Massachusetts, is dedicated to making the Harvard College experience exciting and inclusive for all, both in Kirkland House and across campus. A Classics concentrator, Roy came to Kirkland with a mantra from Sophocles’s “Antigone”: “I was born to join in love.” As a sophomore, he led the production of a free public performance of “Antigone” in Harvard Stadium, guiding the Classics Club in the writing of a new, more accessible translation and enlisting a team of more than a hundred to stage the show. The play was a highlight of Arts First, debuting to an audience of nearly 5,000 people. He has also performed in many Kirkland Drama Society shows, delighting students and faculty alike with his talent for accents. A consummate team player, he has been an enthusiastic participant in intramural athletics, not only playing but also recruiting his Housemates to join. As a Kirkland tutor notes, “Ben is genuinely curious about the world and happily shares his many talents with the Kirkland and broader Harvard community.”