Alumni honored with 2021 HAA Award for extraordinary service

Harvard Gazette, 1 October 2021

Since 1990, the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) Awards have been presented annually to recognize alumni for their exceptional service to Harvard through leadership and engagement activities. The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has announced the six recipients of the 2021 HAA Awards: James E. Bowers, J.D. ’70, Harold J. “Hal” Burstein ’86, M.D. ’90, A.M. ’94, Ph.D. ’94, Gustavo A. Herrero, M.B.A. ’76, Jay G. Hooper ’84, Susan Morris Novick ’85, and Deborah A. “Debby” Smullyan ’72. Since 1990, the annual HAA Awards has honored alumni for exceptional service to Harvard University through leadership and engagement activities.

James E. Bowers, J.D. ’70

James E. Bowers of West Hartford, Connecticut, is a distinguished lawyer and trusted advisor who has impacted generations of legal scholars through his teaching, mentorship, and unwavering commitment to service. Bowers has served in many volunteer leadership roles for Harvard Law School (HLS) and the Harvard Law School Association (HLSA), including chair of the HLS Reunion Gift Committee, vice president and treasurer of the HLSA, and HLS Visiting Committee member.

As part of the Dean’s Committee to Study the HLS Shield, he contributed to the design of a more inclusive shield in 2021. In 2017, he was honored with the James Coolidge Carter Award for Distinguished Service to the HLSA and HLS.

Bowers is a former senior counsel at Day Pitney LLP. Prior to this, he held roles as vice president of corporate compliance at Aetna and as special counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also serves on the Board of Governors at Hartford Hospital.

During his teaching career, he was a faculty member at Yale Law School, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. In 1973, he was the first African American professor to serve on the faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Law. 

Hal Burstein.

Harold J. “Hal” Burstein ’86, M.D. ’90, A.M. ’94, Ph.D. ’94

Harold J. “Hal” Burstein of Wellesley, Mass., is one of the world’s foremost experts in breast cancer care, known for his deep commitment to his patients, oncology research, and educating students and physicians. Generous with his time and expertise, Burstein has been a loyal and enthusiastic volunteer for many parts of Harvard University.

As a Harvard Medical School (HMS) admissions subcommittee chair, he has devoted countless hours to reading applications, interviewing prospective applicants, writing recommendations, and managing administrative responsibilities. As a member of the HMS Alumni Council, he helped create the Distinguished Service Award for HMS Alumni. He is also a long-serving member of the HMS Class of 1990 Reunion and Fundraising Committee, co-chairing the 30th Reunion Committee.

Burstein has served on the HAA Board of Directors as a graduate school director, and as a member of the Committee for the Happy Observance of Commencement, the Schools and Scholarships Committee, and the Harvard Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. He and his wife, Mary P. Mullen ’83, A.M. ’87, M.D. ’91, Ph.D. ’91, serve as vice-chairs of the Harvard College Fund Parents Committee, recognized with the Albert Gordon ’23 Award from the Harvard College Fund.

He is a professor of medicine at HMS and a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Gustavo Herrero.

Gustavo A. Herrero, M.B.A. ’76

Gustavo A. Herrero of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has dedicated his career to building international collaboration across Latin America, generously sharing his expertise in institutional development and management with businesses and institutions of higher education. Devoted to expanding the global reach of Harvard Business School (HBS), Herrero was instrumental in founding the HBS Latin America Research Center (LARC), serving for over 14 years as its executive director.

A cofounder, former president, and longtime board member of the Harvard Club of Argentina, he also chaired the board of LASPAU, a Harvard affiliate that focuses on strengthening higher education in Latin America. He cofounded both the HBS Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning and the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network, a research consortium that comprises 10 universities. In 2010, HBS honored his service with the Robert F. Greenhill Award.

Herrero coordinated Rethinking Graduate Management Education in Latin America, a research project that brought together 27 universities from 14 countries. He is a current member of the HBS Latin American Advisory Board and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Advisory Committee.

He is a former CEO of several leading Argentine companies and has served on the advisory boards of universities across Latin America, including the Universidad de San Andrés and Universidad Austral (Argentina), Insper Learning Institution (Brazil), IESA (Venezuela), and Centrum Universidad Catolica (Peru).

Jay Hooper.

Jay G. Hooper ’84

Jay G. Hooper of Belmont, Mass., is a passionate entrepreneur and Harvard volunteer whose steady guidance and relationship building skills have bolstered the alumni community for over 30 years. As Class of 1984 Treasurer, Hooper has held numerous roles on the executive committee of the Association of Harvard College Class Secretaries and Treasurers (AHCCS&T), including terms as president, secretary, and treasurer.

A stalwart leader for his class, he has served as reunion co-chair for its 20th, 25th, and 35th Reunions. As a committee member, committee chair, and director representing the AHCCS&T on the HAA Board of Directors, he participated in numerous HAA initiatives in areas such as inclusion and belonging, class governance, and broadening engagement.

Hooper is managing director for acquisitions at Net Lease Capital Advisors and was formerly managing partner of Taurus Corporate Properties, a real estate investment firm, and managing director of equity at CRIC Capital.

He is the former president of the board for the MIT Center for Real Estate Alumni Association and a member of the National Federal Development Association and of the Real Estate Finance Association. 

Susan Morris Novick.

Susan Morris Novick ’85

Susan Morris Novick of Old Westbury, New York, is a decisive and impactful volunteer leader who is committed to continuing education and strengthening the alumni community around the world. Dedicated to fostering relationships, deepening engagement, and building a more inclusive and diverse alumni community, Novick has held many leadership roles at Harvard. She is director of Harvard Magazine and serves on the Executive Committee of the Harvard Alumni in Impact Shared Interest Group (SIG).

As HAA president in 2017–2018, she helped lead the “Harvard in the World” campaign, which focused on sharing stories of Harvard’s positive social impact across the globe. A member of the HAA Board of Directors since 2010, she chaired the Continuing Education Committee and has served in several Executive Committee positions.

Novick is former president of the Harvard Club of Long Island, where she continues to serve as an alumni interviewer, and a member of the Harvardwood SIG and the Harvard Club of New York City.

She is a managing director at Merrill, where her investment specialties include environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and social impact investing. She is also a freelance journalist for the New York Times and a board member of Advancing Women in Science and Medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research of Northwell Health System.

Deborah Smullyan.

Deborah A. Smullyan ’72

Deborah A. Smullyan, of Milton, Massachusetts, is a respected writer and editor, sage counselor, and beloved colleague whose vitality and warmth personify citizenship at Harvard. As an editorial specialist for the HAA’s Class Report Office for 17 years, Smullyan edited the “Red Books” published annually for all Harvard and Radcliffe quinquennial reunion classes. She has written the obituaries as a contributing editor at Harvard Magazine since 1993.

An energetic volunteer who has fortified intergenerational connections at Harvard, she has been a devoted advocate on behalf of Radcliffe alumni in the years since the merger. She is also one of the founding members of the Crimson Society, which represents all Harvard and Radcliffe College alumni and alumnae who have celebrated their 50th Reunions.

Smullyan is a member of the Committee for the Happy Observance of Commencement, served for many years on the HAA Maintaining Connections Committee as the staff liaison, and has been a longtime volunteer on the Reunion Committee of the Class of 1972.

She is former chair of the Milton Cultural Council and of Milton Performing Arts, a nonprofit that sponsors live performance events and a local competition for young musicians.