Harvard Club of Naples Schools & Education Fund 

Schools and Education Fund – 2020: “Ready, Get Set ---- STOP”

Bill Humenuk '64, Chair, Schoools and Education Fund

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A year that started most auspiciously evolved quickly into what for many of us has become a year like no other.  The “2020 Crimson Gala” on January 14, 2020 at the Naples Yacht Club was for the 110 members and their guests in attendance an evening to remember. The setting was festive and the featured guests, Kamela Patton, Collier County Superintendent of Schools, and Eileen Connolly-Keesler, President and Chief Executive Office of the Community Foundation of Collier County, were enthusiastically laudatory and appreciative of the initiatives supported by the Fund benefitting the public school system and nonprofit organizations in Collier County. Our featured speaker, Harvard Professor Timothy McCarthy, speaking on “Brave Classrooms: Teaching the Values of Public Service and Social Justice”, was not only informative but highly inspiring, motivating all in attendance to continue to support the Schools and Education Fund and its programs. Importantly, the Fund was the beneficiary of the generosity of those who attended and  supported the event by raising more than $27,000 for its programs. The anticipation of another amazing year was palpable. In less than two months, however, everything came to a total, unexpected halt. As a result, except for the two undergraduates who completed their internship programs this past summer, the balance of the initiatives supported by the Fund has been deferred to next year. At least, we are cautiously optimistic that they will be completed in

the normal course of events next year.

A brief history of the Fund:

A long-standing goal of Harvard University has been to encourage its alumni to engage in public service and give back to the community. Since its founding in 1982, The Harvard Club of Naples has developed a strong tradition of giving back to the students, educators, and nonprofit leaders of Collier County. The Club’s Schools and Education Fund has been the primary vehicle for evolving and sustaining this tradition of giving back and fulfilling the Club’s educational and charitable purposes as a tax-exempt organization.

Since 1982, the Fund has contributed toward the financial aid awarded to undergraduates at Harvard College from Collier County, as well as provided Harvard Prize Books awarded to outstanding juniors at local high schools. Although no Prize Books were awarded this past spring as the local high schools changed up their graduation ceremonies, many holding them virtually,  the tradition of making a contribution toward the financial aid of Harvard undergraduates from Collier County during the 2020-2021 academic year will continue. We also look forward to supporting undergraduates serving in internship programs, an initiative begun in 2008, during the Winter term and next summer. 

Beginning in 2014, through fellowship and scholarship grants the Fund has enabled local school principals and administrators and nonprofit chief executives to attend summer executive 

education programs at Harvard’s School of Graduate Education, Business School, and Kennedy School of Government. Through 2019, the Fund has contributed more than $120,000 to this  program, enabling fifteen principals and administrators and nine nonprofit leaders to attend these executive education programs in Cambridge. Although participants had been selected for these programs this past summer, participation was deferred to next year as the programs were

either canceled or modified by Harvard.

The Fund is overseen by the Schools and Education Fund Committee and at August 31, 2020, the Club’s fiscal year end, the value of the Fund was $591,609. The Fund’s investments are currently managed by Moran Wealth Management and Northern Trust Securities, Inc.

The Harvard Club of Naples is most grateful for your loyal and generous support of the Schools and Education Fund which has sustained the Club’s tradition of giving back to the students, educators, and nonprofit leaders of Collier County. Looking forward, as more and more people are vaccinated,  on behalfof the Club I assure you that we are “Ready and Set TO GO!!”