To Serve Better

Inspired by one of Harvard Yard’s famous gates, “To Serve Better” is a yearlong Harvard Gazette project exploring the connections between members of the Harvard community and neighborhoods across the United States and its territories.
The Dexter Gate, built in 1901, welcomes first-year Harvard students to “Enter to Grow in Wisdom” on its north-facing side, and encourages graduating students to “Depart to Serve Better Thy Country and Thy Kind” on its south-facing side.
This project honors the Gate’s message by celebrating Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and staff who are committed to public purpose and to making a positive difference in communities throughout the country. It will roll out in four phases over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year.

All from this series

  • Bringing law to life

    Sarah Sadlier’s interest in Native American history and law isn’t purely academic. It’s also deeply personal.

    Collage of map and image of North Dakota and photos of Sarah Sadlier
  • Pinning down success

    Educator, wrestling coach, and Harvard College alum Ken Kakesako is finding creative ways to pin down success for his fellow Hawaiians.

    Collage of map and images of Hawaii and photo of Ken Kakesako
  • Trial run

    Monica Bertagnolli is ensuring that more people in her home state of Wyoming are getting the health care that they need.

    Monica Bertagnolli standing in a mountain
  • Improving improvements

    Thomas Kane and Jennifer Ash are working to improve outcomes for students in Ohio by helping school districts find solutions that work for them

    Thomas Kane and Jennifer Ash talking to each other in the office
  • Sea change

    Harvard Business School alum Jonathan Stone has spent over 30 years working to protect Narragansett Bay, one of Rhode Island’s most important natural resources.

    Collage of map and image of Rhode Island and photo of Jonathan Stone
  • Raising Voices

    Benny Becker is leading media workshops in Appalachia to help turn the volume up on often-overlooked people and stories.

    A collage with pics of West Virginia, a pic of Benny hiking, all on a map of West Virginia
  • Bright and early

    Swati Adarkar is working to improve the educational opportunities for all children in Oregon through advocacy and action.

    Collage of map and photos of Oregon and photo of Swati Adarkar
  • Root of the problem

    Sheila Riggs is developing and implementing innovative dental health care solutions through research and hands-on community engagement.

    Sheila Riggs talks to a man
  • Here to learn

    Shirley Vargas takes a collaborative approach to bettering K-12 education across Nebraska.

    Photo of Shirley Vargas
  • Home service

    Angie’s List is supporting local organizations in its Indianapolis neighborhood, including homeless shelters, youth programs, and food assistance.

    Collage of map and photo of Indiana, photo of Angie Hicks, and photo of children in a classroom
  • Growing returns

    Fields of grain are returning to Maine, this time as part of a thriving 21st-century industry.

    Collage of map and photo of Maine and photo of Betsy Biemann
  • The sustainable city

    Luke McGowan wants to keep Burlington, Vermont’s tight knit sense of community while exploring an ambitious sustainable business agenda.

    Collage of photo and image of Vermont
  • Finding patients

    Michigan native Jeremy Lapedis works at the intersection of health care and social services for the most vulnerable residents of Washtenaw County.

    Jeremy Lapedis in office
  • For the character

    Colonel Everett Spain is training the next generation of leaders to go through life with character and a code.

    Collage of map and photo of New York and photo of Everett Spain
  • Saving lives, together

    With unlikely partners by her side, Morissa Sobelson Henn is working to battle the suicide rate in Utah, a state where the tragedy is far too common.

    Collage of map and image of Utah and phots of Morissa Sobelson Henn
  • Waves of progress

    A. R. Siders is a social scientist and a lawyer, advocating for audacious climate adaptation that’s fair for everyone.

    Collage of map of Delaware, satellite image of a hurricane, image of flooded houses, and image of A.R.Siders
  • Risks and Rewards

    Kenneth Tucceri has followed his passions and travelled the globe, all in pursuit of inspiring others and being a positive force in the world.

    Kenneth Tucceri holding a camera in snow
  • Leap of faith

    Hannah Stohler is executive director of Marguerite’s Place, a transitional living program for women & children in crisis in Nashua, New Hampshire. Previously, she held roles in leadership and programming at nonprofit organizations serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

    Collage of map and image of New Hampshire, and group photos of participants in Marguerite's Place
  • Future design

    As a leading architect and urbanist, Charles Waldheim is helping Miami adapt to a changing climate.

    Collage of map and images of Florida and photo of Charles Waldheim
  • An impact in real time

    Justin Rose is working in Baltimore’s vibrant communities to help solve problems using data.

    Collage of map of Maryland, image of. Justin Rose and an image of various charts
  • Writing wrongs

    Laura Pérez Sánchez was awarded a journalism fellowship that allowed her to thoroughly report on Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

    Collage of map and images of Puerto Rico and photo of Laura Pérez Sánchez
  • Bridging gaps

    The Dental School’s Colleen Greene is having a lot of fun tackling some of Wisconsin’s biggest oral health issues.

    Collage of map of Wisconsin, photo of Colleen Greene, photo of her family and photo of an oral model
  • Learning by heart

    Seonjoon Young returned to her home state of Colorado to bring her trauma-informed training into the classroom.

    A collage of the Colorado flag, Seonjoon at a podium, and a school bus driving towards the rockies, all on a map of Colorado
  • Speak, memory

    At the Radcliffe Institute, Alaskan Inupiaq poet and Harvard alum Joan Naviyuk Kane keeps her language and culture alive through her art and her family.

    Joan Naviyuk Kane in a barn with her two sons
  • Breaking the barrier

    Rebecca Scofield is writing a more complete history of the American West that includes the rich tradition of gay rodeos

    A collage of picture of Idaho and Rebecca on top of a map of Idaho
  • Unearthing buried history

    Harvard University professor Matt Liebmann is an archaeologist who has spent decades alongside the people of Jemez Pueblo, using science to give fresh life to tribal stories.

    Photo of Matthew Liebmann
  • Poetry in motion

    Prolific writer, scholar, and cultural organizer Eve L. Ewing is focused on community-based arts and culture projects in her city of Chicago.

    Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall on stage at the second annual Chicago Poetry Block Party
  • Science of success

    Harvard University doctoral candidate Kayla Davis is combating a STEM crisis in Oklahoma through an online educational resource.

    Kalya leaning against a building on campus
  • Home improvements

    Harvard College student Jason Lam spent the summer after high school promoting affordable housing in his home state of New Jersey, and ended up finding a career path.

    Jason sitting in a wooden room with the sun streaming in
  • call

    Harvard College student Karalyn Joseph is combining her passion for theater and her love of community to nurture performers of all abilities.

    Karalyn dressed as the little mermaid on stage