Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Dear Harvard Classmates and All Other Harvard Friends:

I have never asked anyone for emergency response on a Harvard election before. But this case is different. Really different. I’ll explain why I think so, below.

First, the positive message. When you receive your ballots in the mail, please consider voting for the seventeen (17) good people and fellow classmates and alums specifically recommended by the Harvard Alumni Association. Their names and biographies can be found at this link:
Additionally, each of their names are re-printed here, for ease of reference:

FOR OVERSEER: (you can vote for 5)
VOTE FOR: 1. P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale ’74 magna cum laude
VOTE FOR: 2. Helena Buonanno Foulkes ’86 magna cum laude, M.B.A. ’92
VOTE FOR: 3. Karen Falkenstein Green ’78 magna cum laude, J.D. ’81 cum laude, A.L.I. ’15
VOTE FOR: 4. Ketanji Brown Jackson ’92 magna cum laude, J.D. ’96 cum laude
VOTE FOR: 5. John J. Moon ’89 magna cum laude, A.M. ’93, Ph.D. ’94
VOTE FOR: 6. Alejandro Ramírez Magaña ’94 cum laude, M.B.A. ’01
VOTE FOR: 7. Kent Walker ’83 magna cum laude
VOTE FOR: 8. Damian Woetzel, M.P.A. ’07

FOR ELECTED DIRECTOR: (you can vote for 6)
VOTE FOR: 9. Janet Nezhad Band ’83 magna cum laude, M.B.A. ’89, J.D. ’90 cum laude
VOTE FOR: 10. Rye Barcott, M.B.A./M.P.A. ’09
VOTE FOR: 11. David Battat ’91 magna cum laude
VOTE FOR: 12. Susan M. Cheng M.P.P. ’04, Ed.LD. ’13
VOTE FOR: 13. Farai N. Chideya ’90 magna cum laude
VOTE FOR: 14. Trey Grayson ’94 cum laude
VOTE FOR: 15. Victor Jih, J.D. ’96
VOTE FOR: 16. Eliana Murillo ’10
VOTE FOR: 17. Michael C. Payne ’77 cum laude, M.D. ’81, M.P.H. ’82

Regarding The Board of Overseers:
“The Board, first organized in 1642, plays a significant role in Harvard governance—helping to shape the University’s agenda, assessing and making recommendations about the quality and direction of Harvard’s wide-ranging programs of education and research, and consenting to certain major actions, including the selection of new members of the Harvard Corporation”.

Regarding The Board Of Directors:
“Engaged and active alumni contribute greatly to what makes Harvard great. The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) encourages our alumni to connect with one another and build the foundation of a lifelong relationship with the University. Members of the HAA Board of Directors, some of whom are elected by you and your fellow alumni, lead the charge… Members of the HAA elect 18 members of the Board of Directors, six per year for terms of three years. Elected directors provide leadership for the HAA and its various committees, and we seek out candidates who have demonstrated a record of service and an ability to communicate with fellow alumni of all backgrounds”.

Now, why is it so important this time to elect the above-listed Alumni Association candidates? In my view: (A) because each is a great candidate; (B) because the so-called “petition candidates” opposing them for the Overseer slots must be defeated; and (C) because we need to send a powerful message that efforts by groups such as the opposition “petition candidates” for Overseer to use the media and courts to attack Harvard’s admissions policy and thwart Affirmative Action, will not be tolerated by us. Believe it or not, Ralph Nader is one of the opposition “petition candidates” here. While Ralph Nader may have had some name-recognition in the past, Ralph Nader has once again placed himself on the wrong side of an issue. For a description of what the “petition candidates” are trying to do, please see:

Thank you very much for your careful review and consideration of this matter. I hope that you will vote for Affirmative Action and for the principle of inclusiveness that continues to make our very special alma mater so great. I hope that you will vote for the seventeen (17) above-numbered candidates recommended by the Harvard Alumni Association – and by me, too.

John Tormey ‘84

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