A STAR-STUDDED TEAM
The Warrior-Scholar Project seems not to have had any problem recruiting well-known professors to guest lecture and mentor students. During the week, University President Drew G. Faust, Government professor Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. ’53, and Kennedy School professor David R. Gergen all made appearances, among others..
“It’s too easy,” to get professors to help out, said Leslie, who noted that professors were willing to fly in just to speak to veterans.
Faust, who reinstated Harvard’s ROTC program in 2010, has made an effort to strengthen ties between Harvard and the military. In a speech to participants in the Warrior-Scholar program, she urged them to pursue education while holding onto their experiences from the military.
“You have such important messages and lessons to bring to our communities in your role as warrior-scholars,” Faust said in her prepared remarks to the program. “I hope that as you become scholars, you don’t entirely abandon your role and your experiences as warriors, but that you bring the richness of that experience to the communities which you will be entering.”
Mansfield, an Army veteran, dissected Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” with the students and noted that the veterans brought a different perspective and “proven character” to the table.
“These students have an advantage compared to Harvard students,” Mansfield said. “They are willing to sacrifice their lives—they have been serious about something.”
Indeed, many professors found the veterans to bring different, real-world perspectives into the classroom. interesting insights and unique perspectives. Government professor Eric M. Nelson ’99, who led a seminar on “the concept of democracy,” called the veterans “remarkably clever.”
“It’s very rare that we get the opportunity to offer thanks and provide help to our veterans,” Nelson said. “It was really an honor to find myself in their company.”
Gergen, a Navy veteran, spoke with participants about their potential for leadership within academic settings, and changes in the role of veterans within greater society. He also praised the program as an important means of helping veterans reintegrate into academic settings.
“This country desperately needs a new generation of leadership and they have all the makings of what it takes, but they do need to finish college,” Gergen said. “It is very very important...to produce bridges for people coming out of the military.”
—Staff writer Ivan B. K. Levingston can be reached at Ivan.Levingston@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @IvanLevingston.
—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.