September 2014 Recap

The end of the summer through September was quite a whirlwind of excitement here at the Graduate Commons Program! This period also marked the inaugural months of programming for the Garden Area, which expanded GCP programming to 95% of Harvard University Housing residents. From our weekly Cambridge 101 orientation sessions and socials, to large scale welcome events, our first Meet the Scholar lectures, and outings around the city—it’s been a great kick-off to the 2014-15 academic year. Here are some of the highlights from the last few months in our various communities:

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Labor Day Welcome Bash
The Graduate Commons Program kicked off the 2014-15 academic year with our Annual Food Truck Bash, which doubled in size this year! To accommodate our growing community we held two simultaneously at Botanic Gardens and Peabody Terrace. Throughout the day, we served close to 800 residents between both locations with the help from fabulous local food trucks: Chubby Chickpea, Bone Daddy’s BBQ, Mei Mei, and Benny’s Crepes. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth with whoopie pies from Whoopie Pie Wagon, along with providing a variety of eco-friendly activities. All and all, it was a very exciting kick off to the year!

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Faculty Director Events
Newly appointed Garden Area Faculty Director’s, Chris & Nancy Winship, hosted a number of wonderful events, from brunch and Shabbat dinner, to “Meet the Scholar” with Professor Edward Glaeser. The Winship’s have literally opened their home to our community and we encourage all residents to take the opportunity to get to know them throughout the year.


Peabody Terrace Faculty Directors, Jim and Doreen Hogle, regularly invited residents to their home for gatherings early this term. At the end of the summer they hosted a Welcome (Back) Luau party that close to 90 residents attended! More recently, they hosted a “Fall” themed event with traditional New England favorites like apple cider and pie, which was a great success.

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The Hogle’s also invited Grammy nominated composer, MacArthur Grant Winner, Jazz Pianist and Professor Vijay Iyer to give our first “Meet the Scholar” lecture of the year. Professor Iyer enjoyed dinner with a small number of students, followed by a large open lecture in the common room, where he shared his creative process and some of his favorite works!

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Our Akron and Cowperthwaite Faculty Directors, Davíd Carrasco, María Luisa Parra, Jennifer Lerner, and Brian Gill, welcomed residents to their respective GCP buildings with Meet & Greet evening events in their apartments. These were great opportunities for residents to make the acquaintances of our fantastic Faculty Directors and to learn a bit more about the events they routinely host.


For the Riverside Area, the monthly Meet the Scholar series started out with quite a captivating speaker. We were very lucky to be visited by Professor Stephen Walt from HKS who presented on “Why Does US Foreign Policy Keep Failing?” Prior to his presentation, Prof. Walt had dinner with the CWP Faculty Directors, their daughter, Siena, and 5 lucky residents. It was a treat for these attendees to get to engage in deep conversation with such a renowned academic.


Community Advisor Programming
Take me out to the ball game! All GCP properties had outings to Fenway Park to cheer on the home team this September. Even though the Red Sox didn’t make the post season, a great time was had by all!

The Garden Area Community Advisor/Resident Advisor staff hosted numerous events and outings including: a Harvard Tour, Buzz about Bee’s Lecture, Boston Harbor Island Tour, International Student social, CPR Training, Botanic Beer Garden, Oktoberfest, Scandal Premiere Party, and Monday Night Football… just to name a few! Our fall “Safety Series” kicked off with a FREE CPR certification taught by the Office of Environmental Health, Safety & Emergency Management.

At Peabody Terrace the Community Advisors hosted a number of exciting events including: Grab and Go Breakfasts, a trip to the MIT Furniture Exchange, Charles River Runs and Work Out Groups, a “How To Surviving Grad School” presentation, Patriots Tailgate Party, and an Intro to Computer Programming class.

The Riverside Community Advisors also contributed an impressive array of events in September. Here are a few snippets: Group Outing to watch “Finding Neverland”, Charles River Group Run, Peabody Museum Tour & Picnic with Dr. David Carrasco, a Guided Architectural Walking Tour of Boston Grab ‘n Go Breakfasts, Professional Development Networking Night, Game Night , Post-Graduate Brunch & a Patriots Viewing Party.


Family Programming
The Garden Area Family Programmer, Julie Hodges, welcomed our youngest residents with ice cream socials at Shaler Lane and Holden Green. Botanic Gardens “Beat the Heat” program gave residents a much needed chance to cool down while enjoying tasty treats! September brought baby yoga and music classes for the whole family to enjoy.


Family Programming has also been wildly successful at Peabody Terrace, thanks to the hard work of Bernice Dy, our new Family Program Community Advisor. From a magician performance by Boston Pizzazz at our welcome bash, to family cooking classes, and a terrific outdoor movie, our youngest residents have had a very fun month!
Both family coordinators collaborated to bring 100 GCP residents on a family farm and apple picking outing. This trip to Honey Pot Farms was enjoyed by all in attendance…who doesn’t love apple cider doughnuts and apple picking?
Stay tuned for more family events, including weekly story hour, art classes, baby massage classes, and holiday celebrations!



We hope that all GCP residents enjoyed our kick-off events and programming efforts thus far. We are greatly looking forward to many months of engaging activities to come & hope you’ll join us at an event soon!