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Faust Travels to Mexico, Dallas for Speeches and Donor Events

University President Drew G. Faust addresses graduates, alumni, and honorees during the Afternoon Exercises of the 2014 Commencement services.
University President Drew G. Faust addresses graduates, alumni, and honorees during the Afternoon Exercises of the 2014 Commencement services.
By Matthew Q. Clarida, Crimson Staff Writer

University President Drew G. Faust, fresh off an international trip to Mexico, will stop in Dallas on Friday for an alumni event and to give a speech on the importance of college at a local magnet school.

The speech is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Friday morning at Dallas’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual Arts.

The speech is not focused on attracting students to Harvard but rather has a broader goal, Faust said last week.

“It’s much broader than Harvard,” she said. “It begins with ‘is [college] worth it?’ in the most narrowly construed way which is, ‘How about the dollars?’ What do you invest?’ and so I have a lot of statistics that I’m sure you’ve seen in many settings about how much better in life college graduates do financially and also in terms of employment vs unemployment, and then some other measures which can be expressed in metric terms, like health outcomes, civic participation, all those things.”

Faust added that she plans to emphasize the importance of college beyond simple dollars and cents.

“Then I move to a more abstract consideration of what the impact of college is,” she said. “Creating habits of mind that enable you to adapt in situations well beyond what you may have trained for in a particular job.”

Faust’s Dallas speech marks the conclusion of a major international trip that saw her spend most of this week in Mexico. There, she met with Harvard affiliates and alumni and hosted a major alumni reception in Mexico City. More than 500 attended the reception.

At the event Faust—who rarely takes major abroad trips more than once a year—highlighted Harvard’s global vision.

“The University’s increasingly global reach is exemplified by the students and faculty we now attract, and by expanding research and course offerings across the University,” Faust said, according to the Harvard Gazette. “The research interests that spark connections between Harvard and Mexico are extraordinarily varied—from archaeology to the arts, from education to public health, to economics, politics, [and] public policy.”

The event also featured a panel of Harvard officials, including Vice Provost for International Affairs Jorge I. Dominguez, Dean of the School of Public Health Julio Frenk, and others. Before assuming his deanship, Frenk was the Mexican health minister.

Faust, who spent Thursday in Dallas with no major public events, will finish her trip with a major alumni event Friday night that is expected to draw participants from across the state. The event marks the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Harvard Club of Dallas.

—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at matthew.clarida@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattClarida.

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