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Information and other resources for Harvard College parents and families
Harvard College Parents Connection

Message from the Dean of Freshmen

Dean Tom Dingman

Dear Harvard College Parents and Guardians,

We are off to a great start. It was especially rewarding to hear a freshman at an Open House at the Dean’s residence last week, citing the mission of Harvard College. She not only seemed very clear about the value of a residential liberal arts and sciences education, but pointed to the personal transformation she was already experiencing.

Every year we assign readings to the incoming class and organize entry-way-based discussions facilitated by a faculty member, administrator, proctor, or upperclass student about the readings. This year’s assignment focused on the topic of personal and social identities and the danger of a single story as expressed by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in a TED talk. Our hope was that students would see the multitude of ways they might describe themselves, and, in avoiding a single narrative, be contributing to a sorely needed conversation about the commonness of our experiences, rather than the differences that are so often misunderstood and frequently alienating.

We have had some heartening reports about this year’s assignment and follow-up discussions. Nefyn Meissner, a proctor in Greenough, shared recently that the peer advising fellow, Yesenia Jimenez, who led his group’s conversation was instrumental in getting people talking and examining who they are, how they have evolved over time, who they want to be in the future, and how Harvard – and the amazingly diverse students it attracts – can be a part of the personal transformation on which hinges so much of the College’s mission.

I hope that you are getting positive reports from your student, and that you will feel free to call or write with any concerns or ways we can be helpful. If you are able to come to Cambridge, it will be our pleasure to welcome you.


Tom Dingman
Dean of Freshmen


Plan Ahead!

Convocation 2016.
Freshman Family Weekend
November 4-5, 2016

Freshman Family Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the campus better and engage with the Harvard community. Please continue thinking about making your preparations.



 Thomas Peterson '18 (from left), Connor Doyle '19, and Miriam Huettner '17 work together during 'Performing Our Experience: Tools for Creating Original Theater. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
January 13-22, 2017

Please keep Wintersession in mind as you and your student consider travel plans for winter break.




In Case You Missed It ...
The Harvard Gazette is the official news source of Harvard University. Subscribe to the Daily Gazette.


The year ahead for Rakesh Khurana
Dean Khurana outlines the College’s prospects for increasing inclusion, implementing unrecognized, single-gender group policies, and broadening social offerings. Read more 


For Faust, new year brings fresh challenges
President Faust muses on inclusion and belonging at Harvard, endowment concerns, the centrality of diversity and the humanities, and how she spends her downtime. Read more 



Get Involved

Parent and Family Programs »

You are all an important part of the Harvard community, so keep up to date on programs and events, resources, and news by visiting the Parent and Family Programs website.

THE Game »

The 133rd installment of the Harvard-Yale football game will be played (November 19) at historic Harvard Stadium this year. Come be a part of this great tradition. Purchase your tickets now.

A Reminder »

If you have not already done so, please remind your student to register for MessageMe. This is the most effective way for your student to receive up-to-date emergency information, and we urge all members of the Harvard community to register.


Did You Know?

At both Hollis and Stoughton Halls, there are numerous dents and pockmarks that dot the bricks in front of the buildings. Legend holds that before central heating, students heated their rooms with cannon balls warmed in their fireplaces. When spring arrived, students threw the “heaters” out the windows, denting the sidewalks below.

Dean Khurana and students


Shopping Week

Did you know that for one week at the beginning of each semester, students at Harvard can take any class they can fit into their busy days? Many take full advantage of the sampling opportunity known as shopping week. See images from this year’s Shopping Week experience.




Parent and Family Programs: (617) 495-8663
Financial Aid: (617) 495-1551
Harvard University Health Services (24 hour): (617) 495-5711
HUHS Counseling and Mental Health Services: (617) 495-2042
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar: (617) 495-1543
Housing and Residential Life: (617) 496-2774
Harvard College Fund Parent Engagement Programs: (617) 496-3819
Office of Student Life: (617) 495-1942
Freshman Dean’s Office: (617) 495-7936
Additional Resources


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