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Faust Says No to Fundraising for Boston 2024

UPDATED: February 11, 2015, at 1:45 a.m.

University President Drew G. Faust said on Tuesday that Harvard will not help the Boston 2024 Olympic bid with fundraising even though some of the bid’s correspondence has publicly entertained that possibility.

“We would not divert fundraising to the Olympics, and we would not share names of donors who are confidential and part of Harvard’s community,” Faust said in her first sit-down interview of 2015 with The Crimson. “We would not share those beyond our own community.”

Harvard in the Olympics
If Boston is chosen to host the 2024 Olympic Games, Harvard could host up to 10 events.

Faust said that she did not see the bid documents before they were released and that all plans are in preliminary stages.

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But Boston 2024's budget proposal, dated Dec. 1, 2014, suggested a fundraising partnership. 

“We intend to capitalize on this momentum and strong base of support to diversify our funding sources and continue to secure leadership level gifts,” it read. “We also look forward to collaborating with our college and university partners in this bid, whose established fundraising programs have created endowments that are among the largest in the country," including Harvard and MIT's.

The value of Harvard’s endowment at the end of fiscal year 2014 was listed last month as $35.9 billion.

On Tuesday, Faust emphasized that Harvard will not make concessions to accommodate the Olympic bid.

Interview with President Faust
University President Drew G. Faust, pictured in 2014.

“We will follow certain principles as we engage around the question of what the Olympics might be in 2024 and those include a fundamental commitment and priority of our academic mission and of our institutional program,” Faust said in the interview, which was also attended by University spokesperson Jeff Neal. “We will not make any compromises in resources that would be allocated to those.”

She added that Harvard would encourage individuals who are interested in volunteering or participating in the organization of the Olympics.

Harvard could host up to 10 events in the 2024 games if the International Olympic Committee selects Boston as the host city. Under preliminary plans in the bid documents, field hockey would be held at Harvard Stadium, and the Albert H. Gordon Track and Tennis Center would host fencing. Overlays would be constructed in both venues to accommodate Olympic traffic.

The committee also plans to hold aquatics and tennis events at temporary venues that would be built specifically for the games on Harvard’s property in Allston.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at theodore.delwiche@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.

—Staff writer Mariel A. Klein can be reached at mariel.klein@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @mariel_klein.

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