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University President Drew G. Faust and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh stopped by Allston Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the fact the Harvard-Allston Partnership Fund has allotted $1 million in grants to local nonprofits over the past decade.
Amid heavy rain, University officials, municipal leaders, and Boston-area residents assembled in Ray V. Mellone Park—named after a prior chair of the Harvard-Allston Task Force who led the group through tumultuous financial times—in Allston for the tenth annual Harvard-Allston Partnership Fund awards. Past award recipients have included educational programs and health and fitness programs. This year, 13 nonprofits were awarded HAPF grants totaling $100,000.
The program was established by Harvard and the City of Boston in 2008 to provide “neighborhood improvement projects, cultural enrichment, and educational programming” in Allston. The funding for community programming has continued every year since then, despite Harvard temporarily halting its construction on the $1 billion Science and Engineering Complex for a number of years after the late 2000s financial crisis.
The SEC complex is now slated to open in fall 2020.
Faust said at Wednesday’s ceremony that the fund has provided 102 grants to 32 different “community partners” over the past decade and recognized those partners for their service to the neighborhood, where she said 43,000 people live.
“Today we recognize organizations that are helping us reach our full potential as neighbors,” Faust said.
Harvard’s expansion into Allston has remained a significant focus of Faust’s presidency. Faust is preparing to leave her office in June.
“When I became president at Harvard in 2007, I could not have ever imagined all the wonderful moments that I shared with you and how I've enjoyed watching this partnership grow over the past almost 11 years,” she said Wednesday, addressing local residents.
Following opening remarks by Paul Andrew, Harvard’s vice president for public affairs and communications, the youth string group of the Boston String Academy, which received $12,500 from HAPF this year, performed two pieces.
At the ceremony, Walsh praised Faust for her leadership at Harvard and thanked her for her dedication to strengthening the University’s relationship with Allston. Walsh said he expects to hold the next president, Lawrence S. Bacow, to the same standards.
“I plan on holding the next president's feet to the fire, and I met with him the other day. If he's half as cognizant of our relationship as you are, Madame President, he will be a success,” Walsh said to Faust.
—Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lucyyloo22
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