College To Fund Social Event Planner Post

Seniors who have a knack for party planning and haven’t gotten enough of the Harvard social scene are in luck: the College has created a new one-year fellowship for recent graduates to help spice up and smooth the way for more social events on campus.

Modeled after Zachary A Corker ’04’s current post as assistant to the dean for special programming, the Harvard College Fellowship for Campus Life is a full-time position available to graduating seniors for the first time next year.

The recipient will be charged with “[broadening] the range of social activities offered to students and provid[ing] logistical support and advice on funding and procedures,” according to the listing on Harvard’s employment website, www.atwork.harvard.edu.

The position is the only one of the nine Harvard University Management fellowships offered next year at the College. The position—70 percent paid for by the Office of the President and 30 percent by the College—offers full University benefits and a competitive salary, according to the listing.

Corker, who has been working as a liaison and coordinator of student activities since October, proposed the idea for his position, on which this new fellowship is based, in a letter to the College the summer after his graduation.

“I wanted this position to be a resource to stimulate and support student ideas and help them be carried out,” Corker said.

Corker said that he had many ideas held over from college and wanted to help students tackle the administrative hurdles involved in planning social events—and the administration agreed that a position should be created.

“We already had a lot of thoughts about this position and Zac had a great proposal that came at an opportune time,” Assistant Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II said. “He helped us shape the current position and planned some amazing events with students.”

McLoughlin said Corker contributed more actively in the planning of events than first expected.

“When I brought Zac in, I thought what we needed was someone on the administrative side,” McLoughlin said. “I thought students were chomping at the bit to plan their own activities.”

Corker, a key coordinator of the Harvard-Yale tailgate, said that in addition to meeting regularly with members of the Undergraduate Council, he “crashes” club gatherings and speaks with students in the dining hall of Pforzheimer House, where he currently resides. He also worked for a month and a half with K.C. Cleary ’05 to organize Friday’s dodgeball tournament.

“Zac’s doing such a great job,” Cleary said. “[The administration] realizes there’s potential to leverage success from this year to future years.”

Cleary said he briefly considered deferring his job offer from Goldman Sachs for a year to take up the fellowship after working with Corker.

After this year, Corker said he will join the Peace Corps on an eco-tourism business development assignment in Latin America for two years. He then plans on attending graduate school in business or law.

“It’s depressing that I know I’ll never find a better job,” Corker said. “But at least I had it once.”