When asked to choose the object that best represented him, Alexander J. Tennant ’08 picked a gift from his great-uncle: a black-and-white photograph of unidentified soldiers during Pearl Harbor.
“The picture means a lot to me because I am a pretty patriotic person,” said Tennant. “It also reflects my desire to really understand my family and random people that I meet. I want to know what makes them tick, what they love about their lives.”
This eager and unassuming friendliness has characterized Tennant’s past four years at Harvard, whether it be as the vice president of the Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), the captain of the JV basketball team, or the first class marshal for the Class of 2008.
Tennant’s tenure at HSA has been marked by innovation—he was responsible for the expansion of the “Guide to Summer Opportunities” to Brown University last year—and quiet leadership.
“He’s very well-liked,” said Timothy J. Creamer ’09, the incoming president of HSA. “He’s supportive without being intrusive and very good at managing the professional and personal side that you get at HSA.”
Tennant spends a lot of time with his blockmate, William B. Hauser ’08, who is the current president of HSA. One might think that all those hours spent together would occasionally aggravate some latent tensions, but the two have yet to come to blows.
“I honestly can’t remember a single time I got in a fight with AJ,” said Hauser. “He’s always calm and has a positive attitude.”
Tennant’s teammates on the JV basketball team share these sentiments of respect and regard. “[Tennant] assumed the role of captain because there was never any real question that it was going to be AJ,” said Nicholas P. Manzo ’10, who is also on the team. “He’s just AJ, he just takes it upon himself and does a great job of it.”
Tennant’s rave reviews are not limited to any one group of people, as proven by the classmates who voted him first marshal of the Class of 2008, by a “pretty sizeable victory,” according to Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development official Alexandra Monti in a Dec. 10, 2007 article on itemlive.com.
So what does this well-loved, business-savvy student aspire to do with his life?
He wants to take some time off to travel to South America, meet up with the long-lost relatives in Scotland who invented the famous Tennant brew, initiate a startup in Silicon Valley, and serve his country by going into politics. Oh, and he wants to convert his family’s home videos into DVDs because “the VHS’ simply are not going to last.” That will be a good use of all his spare time.