CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard Athletics is pleased to announce a generous endowment that will significantly enhance the Crimson’s robust club and intramural sports program, while also supporting recreational activities and facilities for all students.
With nearly 60 club teams and 35 house/intramural leagues, the athletics department serves as a physical wellness hub providing sporting and fitness opportunities to the entire Harvard community. The gift provides additional funding to strengthen and broaden the student athletic experience, as well as the compensation and related expenses of the Director of Recreational Student Programming, which will now be known as the Reade and Elizabeth Griffith Director of Club Sports, Intramurals and Recreational Activity .
“I am honored to hold this new title and must express my profound appreciation to Reade and Elizabeth for their support of Harvard’s club and intramural programs,” Alex Carras said.
Reade ’87, JD ’95, and his wife, Elizabeth ’92, were both club and varsity sport participants during their time as undergraduates, and the couple strongly believes that access to organized sports and recreation was central to their overall student experience while at the College. When the opportunity presented itself, they were therefore delighted and inspired to help provide similar experiences for today’s Harvard students.
“We are pleased to support Harvard Athletics in the further development of its club and intramural sports program, and in its efforts to promote inclusion and broaden access to organized sports and recreational activity at Harvard. For the 80 percent of students who are not involved in the varsity athletics programs, this gift is meant to provide funding and leadership to enhance their experience outside the classroom,” the Griffiths said.
Thanks to the Griffiths, increased investments will be made in the following club and intramural sport areas: travel and equipment; student leadership development opportunities and workshops; hiring additional recreational department staff; and safety education and training. A portion of the gift has already been allocated to improve club sport structure and safety as well as implement a Club Sport Athlete Assistance program, providing eligible students with monetary assistance towards their club sport dues to ensure that financial means are not a barrier to participation. This endowment will also support special events for the intramural sports program and boost day-to-day operations to encourage student coordination and engagement.
“I am incredibly grateful to Reade and Elizabeth for their vision and belief that all students should lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” said Erin McDermott, The John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics. “We take great pride in our ability to offer a diverse array of organized sports opportunities and having dedicated resources to invest in these important experiences is truly a game-changer for us.”