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David R. Friedrich, the newly-appointed manager of the Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH), aspires to make the trek to the quad worth it for Harvard’s student body. Under his leadership, he said, Hilles “will become the place to be.”
“Once you set foot inside this building and grasp the magnitude of what is offered here, the space draws you in and asks to be used,” Friedrich wrote in an e-mail.
Friedrich, a Harvard Divinity School graduate, took office on Sept. 25 to oversee Hilles’ new facilities and help student groups maximize the center’s resources. Friedrich said he hopes to make the center a space that is conducive to both serious projects and laid-back coffeehouse performances.
Friedrich assumed his duties as the final touches were being made to Hilles—the last of Penthouse Coffee Bar’s construction, preparation for the center’s grand opening, and the organization of a student advisory board that will be involved with the administration of the center.
Assistant Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II said Friedrich is off to a “roaring start.”
“It’s an unenviable position, to start a new position at a new place for a new program in a newly renovated building,” McLoughlin wrote in an e-mail. “He’ll do fine as evidenced by all the balls he is juggling right now. In short, I couldn’t be happier.”
According to McLoughlin, Friedrich will also assist the Office of Student Activities with administrative duties.
After graduating from the Divinity School in 2004 with a Masters in Theological Studies, Friedrich took a post at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., where he worked at the Student Activities Office until returning to Harvard.
At Endicott, Friedrich wrote in an e-mail, he worked to maintain a student environment that encouraged “the holistic development of students in terms of social, recreational, cultural and educational involvement.” He also planned campus-wide activities such as orientation, homecoming, and commencement.
The opportunity to work at Harvard and particularly at Hilles was “irresistible,” Friedrich wrote.
“The commitment Harvard has made to students by building this space is incredibly student-centered, and demonstrates that the College cares greatly about extracurriculars,” he wrote.
Friedrich said that he hoped SOCH’s resources would ensure its success despite its location up in the Quad.
The student offices and meeting spaces in SOCH opened Sept. 18. The rest of Hilles’ facilities, including the coffee bar, performance space, and recording studio, will be unveiled at a grand opening on Oct. 19.
—Staff writer Elaine Chen can be reached at email@example.com.
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