Prominent Government Professor Roger B. Porter and his wife, Ann Porter, have been appointed the new Masters of Dunster House.
Porter, who served in the Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations before joining the Kennedy School of Government three years ago as the IBM Professor of Business and Government, teaches the popular course Government 1540, “The American Presidency.” Ann Porter formerly worked in the United States Senate.
Roger Porter will serve as master, and Ann Porter will assume the post of co-master.
Porter said that he and his wife were excited about their new positions.
“Among the special opportunities at Harvard are the Houses, the sense of community that they develop and the interactions that occur among undergraduates, between undergraduates and graduate students and between students and faculty. In many respects, the Houses serve as both an anchor and as a sail in the life of students,” he said.
Carlos E. Diaz, a resident tutor in government at Dunster House as well as the head teaching fellow for “The American Presidency,” had nothing but praise for Porter.
“He has a sincere and unparalleled commitment to making a difference in the House,” Diaz said. He cited Porter as a personal source of inspiration, adding that he hoped that would extend to the residents of Dunster House.
“He seems to be known on campus more than many of our own professors, not just for his superb teaching, but for his loyalty to Harvard athletics,” Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis `68 wrote in an e-mail.
Students Courtney M. Dankworth ‘01 and Rachel E. Ahern ‘02, both members of the Dunster Masters search committee, noted Porter’s easy interaction with students.
“Professor Porter seemed to have an instinct for the fact that students like to be the initiators of the House activities here, but that an involved master could do some things students can’t,” Ahern wrote in an e-mail. They were both enthusiastic about Porter’s appointment, and especially noted the fact that he made a point of remembering peoples’ names.
“He’ll come into the dining hall and he’ll know half a dozen students by name,” Dankworth said.
Porter said that much of the excitement he feels at his appointment is due to the interaction he has had with students at many levels-he sees his students in class, but also attends their plays, concerts and athletic events.
Outgoing House Master Karel Liem said he was happy that Dunster House will have a master of Porter’s stature in government and business, both popular concentrations among Dunster students.
“The future looks good,” he said. Liem added that he thought Porter would energize the students in general, and his stature in the University would help him in being able to get “what Dunster students need the most.”
The Porters will be moving into Dunster along with their younger son and daughter. Their older children are both juniors in the College. The family poodle Colby will also be joining the Master’s Residence at Dunster.
“This is a student body rich with talent and with students who care about one another. We are delighted to join the special community at Dunster House,” he said.
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