The students, faculty, and staff of Harvard Kennedy School will amplify John F. Kennedy’s call to “ask what you can do” during the School’s Fall Public Service Week (Oct. 12-17). During a year in which HKS is celebrating the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency, public service week will include a panel with current and former Peace Corps leaders, a student-organized Special Olympics event on Oct. 17, and numerous activities and talks on topics ranging from corporate social responsibility to education to development.
“Public service is not only our mission, but the driver behind all that we do,” says HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. “While we at HKS undertake public service all year, Public Service Week gives us a chance to focus on and to celebrate what inspires us.”
The Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. is sponsored by the Institute of Politics and will include three former Peace Corps directors: Elaine Chao, Mark Gearan, and Gaddi Vasquez, as well as the current director, Aaron Williams. The event will be moderated by HKS Academic Dean Mary Jo Bane, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia in the 1960s.
The student-organized Special Olympics event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17, at Harvard Soccer Field. Dean Ellwood and the Harvard football team will be among volunteers who will check in athletes, support the awards ceremony, and cheer on the participants.
“Public Service Week is more than a chance to work face-to-face in the community,” says Rachel O’Leary, co-chair of the HKS Student Public Service Collaborative. “It’s an opportunity to transform our good words into good deeds.”