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McLaughlin Honored with Renamed Presidents-in-Residence Program

The permanently endowed program, which the longtime faculty member founded in 2001, will now bear her name
Judith McLaughlin
Judy McLaughlin
Photo: Kent Dayton

Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Long has announced that its Presidents-in-Residence program has been fully endowed and renamed in honor of its founder, Senior Lecturer Judith Block McLaughlin.

The news came at the opening of the 23rd annual Higher Education at Harvard event, which convened a panel of experts to discuss the pending end of affirmative action in higher education. Long previewed the event by announcing the next Presidents-in-Residence and shared that the program will be fully endowed to include two presidents in the coming years. It will also be named the Judith Block McLaughlin Presidents-in-Residence Program after the longtime HGSE faculty member, who started the program in 2001.

“Judy has touched the academic experiences of over 900 higher education alumni during her time at HGSE,” said Long. “And she has guided generations of college presidents, somewhere around 1400 college and university presidents at last count.”

Under her stewardship, the Presidents-in-Residence program has become a signature offering for higher education students and has welcomed two dozen presidents to HGSE, including current Harvard resident Lawrence Bacow.

“The Presidents-in-Residence program was a brilliant idea that Judy created over 20 years ago and I couldn’t be happier and more grateful that under Bridget Terry Long’s leadership, HGSE is endowing this program in Judy’s name,” said Senior Lecturer Francesca Purcell, faculty director of the Presidents-in-Residence program. “It provides a unique opportunity for our students to form close relationships with esteemed leaders and to better understand the complexities and nuances involved with leading colleges and universities. This is one of countless creative ways that throughout the course of her impressive career, Judy has supported the development of postsecondary professionals across generations. I am also deeply appreciative of the mentoring, support, and generosity that Judy has given me throughout my career. She’s a legend.”

Long highlighted McLaughlin’s accomplishments over the years, including as faculty director of the Higher Education master’s program at HGSE. She also serves as chair or co-chair of professional education offerings the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, the Harvard Seminar on Presidential Leadership, and Crisis Leadership in Higher Education.

“This is why showcasing you was so important,” said Long. “There was no better way we thought to honor so much that you’ve given to honor this community. In perpetuity, your name, your presence, your contributions will live on forever and ever.”

McLaughlin, who participated in the event remotely over Zoom, was taken by surprise by the news and thanked everyone who made the announcement possible.

“It means more than I can say,” said McLaughlin. “I think I’m glad I’m not there in person so you can only barely see the tears. They’re tears of joy and amazement and appreciation. Thank you so very much.”

The news received a warm response among the audience, both at Gutman Library and virtually. Dean Long noted the generosity of a number of people who donated to the endowment, including HGSE doctoral graduates Julie Englund and Brian Fitzgerald.

“Judy brought the program to HGSE and her research and expertise around presidential leadership is one of the things that drew me here," said HGSE Associate Director of Development Matt Grandon, Ed.M.'13, who participated in the Presidents-in-Residence program as a master’s student and who contributed and helped secure funds for its endowment. “I honestly don’t think that there’s any way to overstate her significance to the program.”

Several former Presidents-in-Residence also provided donations to the endowment: Barry Mills, Mary Marcy, Diana Walsh, Dennis Holtschneider, David Oxtoby, and Brian Rosenberg; as well as Higher Education Program alumni Michael Preiner, Ed.M.’04, Josh Butts, Ed.M.’08, and Ashley Perzyna, Ed.M.’13.

“At HGSE, we are committed to cultivating and developing higher education professionals and dedicated to bringing in presidents and leaders to positively impact the lives of our students regardless of where you are going,” Long said. “That’s why, given our unique program and the important lasting impacts of the Presidents-in-Residence program, that I set out to ensure that Judy’s vision of this program, this thing that she created 23 years ago, would remain a hallmark of our curriculum and further cement HGSE’s convening power of higher education leadership in perpetuity.”


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