Adams House Faculty Deans



Dear Harvard College Students,

I am writing today to share a message I sent to the Adams House community yesterday afternoon. This message followed the announcement from Judy and Sean Palfrey announcing their decision to step down from their roles as Faculty Deans at the end of the academic year.

Judy and Sean have had an immeasurable impact on our community over the years, starting from their time as undergraduates in the Class of 1967 to the more than twenty years they spent as Faculty Deans. Summarizing all that they have meant to generations of students and colleagues alike cannot be adequately expressed in an e-mail, but I hope you will take a moment to read some thoughts I shared below on what they have meant to us over the years.

Also included in the message is information about the process of seeking prospective Faculty Dean candidates. I encourage you to read through the job description and consider nominating a qualified member of our faculty. Individuals may also nominate themselves. I am grateful for your support as we seek to fill this critically important role.

Thank you, and please join me in congratulating Judy and Sean on their well-deserved retirement.

Semper veritas,

Rakesh Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College

Dear Adams House Community,

By now you have probably seen the email from Judy and Sean announcing their decision to step down as Faculty Deans of Adams House at the end of the academic year. Their tenure at Adams House marks only one chapter in their long history of devoted service to Harvard, which began when they were undergraduates together in the Class of 1967. I am extraordinarily grateful for the impact they have had on our community over the years and for the ways, large and small, that they have gone out of their way to ensure that Adams is a home for all students.

Their commitment to the Adams community is perhaps never more evident than when they have opened their own home on Sunday nights for “Apthorp Opens” with fireplaces burning, cookies baking, and “Life Seminars” being taught on practical skills. Over the years, they have embraced House traditions like the black tie reading of Winnie the Pooh, Carpe Nocem and Chocoholica, while also fostering new celebrations such as epic Housing Day videos. Even during this unprecedented year, they have continued to personally reach out to students through virtual dinners.

Since they became Faculty Deans in 1999, the Palfreys have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to embracing, supporting, and celebrating the diversity in our students and staff through House traditions and events to discuss race and ethnicity.
Judy and Sean have immersed themselves in the Adams House renewal process. Over the course of the last three years, they have been deeply engaged in the design of the new Adams House to ensure that we maintain the unique character of the House while enhancing the design and resources as the House moves into its new century. Their attentiveness to the many aspects of construction at Claverly Hall has also been instrumental in opening up new space while maintaining the quirky spirit of the House.

As we celebrate Judy and Sean in the days ahead, we must also begin to look ahead to next year. As we recruit and hire new Faculty Deans for Adams House, we will depend on input from members of the Adams House community. Please take a moment to read the job description for the role of Faculty Dean, and use this nomination form to submit the name(s) of any candidates you would like to be considered. Once we identify candidates, we will host a series of meetings where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Again, I want to thank Judy and Sean for their stewardship of Adams House. I look forward to working with all of you as we celebrate them and begin the search process.

I wish you a safe and relaxing winter break.

Semper veritas,
Rakesh Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College