An upbeat Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III returned yesterday after taking a month's leave for a kidney transplant.
"They had a lovely tea for me at 10 this morning. It was great to see everyone," Epps said. "It was very, very, thoughtful."
Epps, who spent January at home recuperating from the surgery, immediately turned his attention to reacquainting himself with the office.
"I opened mail and saw students, got brought up to date on a couple of things," the dean said yesterday. "At the moment, I'm trying to catch up."
Epps, who oversees race relations on campus, said he would also read President Neil L. Rudenstine's annual report tonight. The document, which addresses the history of diversity at Harvard and in higher education, was released on Monday.
The dean said that he is feeling well, and added that his wife Valerie, the kidney donor, is also recovering nicely. Valerie Epps is a professor at Suffolk University Law School.
Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 wrote in an e-mail message yesterday that he was happy to see his colleague return to University Hall.
"It's great to have him back," Lewis wrote. "I was in meetings out of the office most of the day, but I am told that he looks much better than he has looked any time in the recent past."
Epps will resume his office hours for students this week, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Assistant Dean of Students Sarah E. Flatley assumed the bulk of Epps' duties while he was on leave.
Lewis said in the e-mail message that Thomas A. Dingman '67, associate dean of the College, assisted Flatley.
The January leave was Epps' second for medical reasons this year. The first, in September, followed a heart bypass surgery.
This is Epps' 25th year as dean of students.