University | 5:38 pm | September 27, 2011 | By Akbar Ahmed

Former Davenport dean honored at dinner

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Photo by Akbar Ahmed.

Former Dean of Davenport College Craig Harwood GRD ’02 and his family were honored at a farewell dinner held for them in the College dining hall on Monday. Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld lauded the outgoing dean for what he said was a tenure marked by Harwood’s determination to go beyond the requirements of his job for the wellbeing of Davenport students.

Harwood stepped down as Dean over the summer to take over as Director of the Hunter-Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY. He held the Dean position for 6 years, beginning in June, 2005.

A number of Yale notables were present at the special dinner, including Davenport faculty fellows and Yale College Dean Mary Miller.

Three Davenport students came up to speak about Harwood and the role they felt he played. The first two, Davenport College Council co-Presidents Peter Jasinski ’12 and Alejandro Torres ’12, talked about Harwood’s accessibility, citing examples like the fact that he learned the name of every incoming Davenport freshman each year. Nathaniel Zelinsky ’13, co-Chair of the Davenport Student Activities Committee, followed them. He regaled the crowd with the story of how Harwood’s then-toddler son dressed up as a gnome over Halloween weekend in 2009.

Indeed, Harwood’s family was one of the main topics of discussion for all the speakers. His wife Julie Harwood and their two redheaded children, Asher and Ellie, were praised for the energy they brought to Davenport and mentioned as one of the aspects of Harwood’s tenure the Davenport community would miss most.

But that’s also something in which Davenport will see continuity. The new Dean, Ryan André Brasseaux GRD ’08, also has two young children, one boy and one girl, only a couple of years older than their Harwood counterparts. One of the highlights of the otherwise-formal dinner was when young Ani Brasseaux hugged Ellie Harwood (her father didn’t seem to mind the shift in attention).

The outgoing Dean was especially known for his role in the musical group Professors of Bluegrass. In a tribute to Harwood’s contribution to Yale, some of his musical colleagues played a traditional Yiddish song associated with the final departure of a child from their parents’ home once they are married. Per tradition, attendees formed an oval around the seated Harwoods, moving ahead one by one to wish the couple the best for what lies ahead.

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