Mignone Center for Career Success named to honor donors’ support

Celebrating were Rakesh Khurana (from left), dean of Harvard College; Roberto Mignone ’92, M.B.A. ’96; Allison Mignone ’94, M.B.A. ’99; Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Manny Contomanolis, director of the Mignone Center for Career Success. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

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Harvard has unveiled the Mignone Center for Career Success in recognition of the ongoing support of Allison Hughes Mignone ’94, M.B.A. ’99 and Roberto A. Mignone ’92, M.B.A. ’96. The newly named center, formerly known as the Office of Career Services, hosted a reception to recognize the couple’s gift, which will bolster career services, strengthen academic advising, and prepare future generations for success.

The Mignones recently gathered with staff and guests from around the University to celebrate. Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, addressed the donors directly.

“Through this gift, you are enabling us to reimagine career services and academic advising and better support the growth and development of our students both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said. “And because of you, our students can better navigate finding their purpose and charting their path through Harvard in a way that brings their full authentic selves.”

The event was held at the Mignone Center’s office at 54 Dunster St., newly renovated thanks to the Mignones’ support. The space reopened in March with improved accessibility — including a new wheelchair lift, wider hallways and doorways, and new push plate door openers.

“This space represents the idea of openness, of being welcoming, of thinking about the world and engagement,” Mignone Center Director Manny Contomanolis said. “A host of activities, new services, and new capabilities are being made possible through the generous gift of the Mignones.”

The new space was designed to engage students throughout their time with the College.

“But it’s not just about the building,” Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana offered. “It’s about the programs and the interactions that will make this building come alive and turn the space into a place with history, meaning, and a sense of purpose.”

The Mignones are active members of the Harvard alumni community, with a history of supporting both Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Their longstanding philanthropic legacy has included underwriting graduate student fellowships in stem cell research, seeding the University’s initiatives to expand educational access to the broader community through online education, expanding undergraduate research and travel opportunities and facilitating the renovation of Robert A. Mignone Field in 2016. Their most recent gift enables the career services team to better serve students as they search for internships, jobs, and other opportunities as they transition into postgraduate life.

As Allison Hughes Mignone put it Friday: “If you don’t have the opportunity to tap into the resources of all the amazing people who work here, how can you go out and change the world?”

A significant focus of the Mignones’ support has been directed towards improving the College’s advisory services for first generation students so that they are better resourced to succeed both at Harvard and after graduation. “If we’re going to address the systemic problems in America,” Roberto A. Mignone added, “we have to open up the opportunities after Harvard. And that starts with what happens in this room.”