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Harvard Alumni Association Announces Six Recipients of HAA Alumni Award

Harvard alumni process into Tercentenary Theater during the 2013 Commencement Exercises.
Harvard alumni process into Tercentenary Theater during the 2013 Commencement Exercises. By John Y. C. Wang
By Claire Yuan, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard Alumni Association announced on Friday the recipients of its annual HAA Alumni Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to Harvard through leadership and service.

The award — first presented in 1990 — honors six alumni this year: Janet Nezhad Band ’83; David Battat ’91; Marion Dry ’73; Roger A. Fairfax Jr. ’94; Marlene Rehkamp O’Brien ’82; and Margaret M. Wang ’09.

This year’s recipients have all remained engaged with the University as alumni. Band is a New York-based lawyer who has served as co-chair of the Class of 1983’s 30th reunion, an HAA elected director, and chair of the HAA awards committee. She has received Harvard’s Albert H. Gordon ’23 Award three times for her leadership and generosity to the University.

Battat, a disaster relief volunteer and entrepreneur, offers alumni interviews to Harvard College applicants, a role he has held since his own graduation in 1991. Battat also leads the HAA Committee to Nominate Overseers and Elected Directors and serves on the Committee for the Happy Observance of Commencement.

Dry has participated in reunion planning and fundraising for the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973 and sponsored a Harvard Kennedy School fellowship for leaders from Muslim countries. She was also a member of the 1973 Gift Committee and co-chair of the class’ 30th reunion.

Fairfax, who now serves as dean of American University's Washington College of Law, has been an HAA elected director, treasurer, alumni interviewer, and member-at-large on the HAA executive committee. He has also sat on the board of the Harvard Club of Washington, D.C.

O’Brien is a lawyer and writer who has served as president of the Radcliffe Club of New York and vice president of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association. She is also an alumna interviewer and founded a popular faculty speaker series as a member of the Harvard Club of Boston board of governors.

Wang was the youngest HAA president, holding the role from 2018 to 2019. She has since served on the Harvard College Fund Associates Committee, the HAA Committee to Nominate Overseers and Elected Directors, and the Office of the Arts Steering Committee for Strategic Planning.

The HAA Alumni Award seeks to recognize alumni contributions and encourage continued engagement with the community, whether through student clubs, donations, or participation in school or scholarship committees, according to the HAA website. Alumni of Harvard, Radcliffe, and the University’s graduate, professional, and extension schools are eligible for the award.

—Claire Yuan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @claireyuan33.

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