Senior Associate Director of Athletics Patricia Henry will retire June 30, bringing her 40-year tenure to a close, Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise announced in an email to Harvard affiliates Tuesday.
Henry furthered the Athletic Department’s mission of “Education through Athletics and Building Community and Pride in Harvard,” according to Scalise. He added that she was a tireless advocate for Harvard athletes and promoted the department’s philosophy of offering “Athletics for All.”
“She has demonstrated the highest level of integrity and ethics, exercised sound judgement, exhibited respect for others, and embraced the spirit of gender equity in both opportunity for and treatment for all athletes,” he wrote.
Henry established the Harvard Radcliffe Foundation for women’s athletics in 1981, which advanced the programming and financial support of women’s athletics programs, according to Scalise. Her dedication to promoting opportunities for female athletes culminated in her efforts to bring the 2006 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four to Boston.
Henry played a key role in the design and construction of the Murr Center, which opened in 1988 and is currently home base for the Athletic Department’s operations.
Scalise wrote in his email that one of the most notable aspects of Henry’s career was her fierce dedication to the wellbeing of Harvard student athletes.
“Pat Henry during her exemplary career has been a strong supporter for student-athlete health and safety,” Brant Berkstresser, the associate director of athletics for student-athlete health and performance, wrote in an email to The Crimson.
The Athletics Department has worked to promote student-athlete health this year, launching a collaboration with Harvard University Health Services’ Counseling and Mental Health Services. The program, entitled Crimson Mind and Body Program, focuses on mental health screening, education, and care through workshops for students and coaches. The initiative debuted at the beginning of fall 2018 in response to survey data collected over several athletic seasons.
Henry was integral to forming these sorts of strong collaborations, according to Berkstresser, who played a role in the creation and development of the Crimson Mind and Body Program.
“Under her guidance, the strong health-care model between the Harvard Athletics Sports Medicine Department and Harvard University Health Services is a model for other collegiate institutions to follow.”
Scalise noted Henry’s work extended well beyond Harvard. She served both on the United States Olympic Women’s Rowing Committee and the United States Olympic Committee Education Council, and she was the co-coordinator of the 1984 Olympic soccer matches held at Harvard Stadium.
—Staff writer Devin B. Srivastava can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.