History and Mission of the Harvard Club of Naples


The Club is organized and operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.  In furtherance of such purposes, the Club fosters a spirit of fraternity among its members, serves to extend knowledge of aims and achievements of Harvard University, promotes interest in academic and extracurricular activities of the University, encourages communications between Harvard and the Naples community, and sponsors recreational and educational activities for its members.

The primary Harvard related missions of the Club are:

  •     Provide financial support to those college students from Collier county needing financial aid.
  •     Provide liaison with the public and private schools in Collier County which may supply future Harvard students;   
  •     Identify and encourage qualified applicants from Collier County Schools to apply to Harvard;
  •     Assist the Harvard College Admissions Office by interviewing and evaluating local candidates

Programs developed to support these missions include:

  •     Awarding scholarships annually to students needing financial aid;
  •     Bestowing the Harvard Book Award for outstanding students finishing their junior year of high school.
  •     Sponsoring summer internships for College students at local not-for-profit organizations such as Community Foundation of Collier County, Naples Botanical Garden, Naples Community Hospital, Neighborhood Health Center, Hope for Haiti, and Education Foundation.           

Funds for the scholarship and summer internship programs are derived from the Harvard Club of Naples Endowment Fund established in 1990 and managed by the Harvard Management Corporation. Since 2006, contributions to the Endowment Fund have been managed locally to support the Harvard Book Awards and summer internships for Harvard College students who have not yet registered at Harvard.

The Harvard Club of Naples was founded on January 1, 1982 through the leadership of Naples resident Henry Van der Eb, a former University Overseer and then President of the Harvard University Alumni Association.  Its purpose, then and now, is to bring together the various members of the Harvard community including graduates from all Harvard University schools, including former students and former faculty members, who reside on a part time or full time basis in Collier county and South Lee County.  Over its years, the Club membership has ranged as high as 329 active, dues-paying members.