Some History of ClassACT

Class ACT

An Initiative for Harvard-Radcliffe 1973 Classmates


Introduction

Many members of the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973 stand near the pinnacle of their expertise, accomplishment, influence, and wealth. We are entering a phase of life when we have more time combined with a strong desire to use that time wisely. Individually, classmates have done and are doing great good in the world and still have the capacity to do more.

Class ACT (Class—Achieving Change Together) is a not-for- profit initiative of HR73 classmates, created to facilitate classmate collaboration in creating positive change.

Aligning the resources, interests, passions, time, values, and philosophies of the diverse pool of our classmates is a significant challenge. The following plan addresses how Class ACT will address these challenges by engaging and inspiring classmates and other members of the Harvard Community.


Purposes (or Vision)

Class ACT has two purposes: one is service; the other, relationship building. The purposes of Class ACT are to bring together Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973 classmates to address important local, national, and international problems by creating and supporting positive change; and, to create expanded, rewarding relationships among classmates.


History


Initial Development

The purposeful development of Class ACT began in the spring of 2013. Over the summer, Marion Dry and Jonathan Sprague interviewed close to 50 member of HR 1973 to ascertain interest in developing opportunities for classmates to work together to create change. The process was supplemented by the circulation of a concept paper, additional interviews, and small group discussions. Jonathan and Marion discussed the initial concept plan with representatives of the Harvard Alumni Association. They posted it to the Class website, linked it material distributed in advance of the Class’s Fortieth Reunion, and distributed it with reunion registration packets. They held two informational/discussion meetings at the Reunion. Over a hundred classmates attended these luncheons, and discussion was robust and supportive. Two focal points emerged from the meetings: a strong desire for collaboration to address local, national, and international issues and the determination to create opportunities for classmates to connect or reconnect to deepen or expand their relationships. Post-Reunion Development Several classmates volunteered to assist in the further development of the concepts addressed at the Reunion. Two surveys were conducted; one was sent to individuals who had been interviewed and/or attended the reunion meetings, and a second was distributed to all classmates for whom Harvard had email addresses. These surveys identified strong interest in pursuing Class ACT concepts, substantial willingness to participate in various projects, and a wide range of suggestions for possible actions. The highest interest topics identified to date are climate change; health care; and education—specifically improving US schools and access to higher education. (It is no one’s intention that Class ACT will only focus on these topics.)