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Farewell, Dean Long

Bridget Terry Long will depart her role as dean at the end of June, leaving a legacy of commitment, adaptability, and innovation in the field
Bridget Long at her welcome party in 2018
At the celebration of her appointment as dean, May 2, 2018

When Bridget Terry Long began her tenure as dean in 2018, she did so with a sense of excitement, optimism, and great purpose toward a new phase of HGSE. There were clear challenges ahead of her as a new leader, including the launch of a newly redesigned master’s program in education, a drive to increase financial aid for students, and the quickly approaching Centennial. What she couldn’t possibly have anticipated: the ways in which both HGSE and education as a whole would have to change when faced with the adversities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Long was up to the challenge, shepherding the school through unknowability and stress, and finding ways to keep the community together, even as we were forced to be apart. 

What follows are highlights, photos, and quotes from Long's tenure, as well as reflections from some at the Ed School who have worked with her closely and know her well. 

“I take this job with a great sense of purpose. I’m here because I believe in this community and what we can do as a community. I come with gratitude for the many, many things this place has already given me and my family, and I give you my commitment, my ideas, and my untiring work ethic as we enter this exciting new chapter.”

Bridget Terry Long, May 2, 2018


Bridget Long preparing for a remote Commencement, 2020
Commencement 2020, Dean Long gives her remarks remotely, sharing messages of hope with graduates as they head into an uncertain education landscape.

“As our current circumstances have made clear: schools are more than just physical buildings that provide academic content; educators do more than just stimulate minds; community-based organizations, often interwoven into the activities of our schools and families, are essential to the fabric of our lives; and equity and access to educational opportunity are even more critical in this rapidly changing world.”

On COVID-19 Response:

“I will never forget your decisiveness and foresight in the most challenging situation most of us will have faced in our higher-ed careers: the optimistic, engaged, and bold response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Senior Lecturer Matt Miller 

On the launch of new master's programs and Foundations:

“Our Foundations courses are co-constructed by teams of faculty and doctoral students, representing the largest self-directed, multi-year professional development initiative of any Harvard school or education school in history. And we pulled it off during COVID. This is a testament to your vision, Bridget, and your commitment to pushing us forward even in the darkest times. “ – Professor Meira Levinson

On HGSE's innovations in online learning:

“Don’t we all love Bridget’s persistence?! … What a gift it is! It’s that persistence that transformed how HGSE offers an education. Bridget took the most challenging of circumstances and turned  them into a vibrant, connected online learning community that is changing the lives of our most accomplished students.” – Senior Lecturer Irvin Scott

On HGSE's dedication to teachers and teaching:

“I am so grateful to Bridget for ensuring the life of Harvard’s teacher education program for generations to come, and for what it means to the teaching profession when the most prestigious university in the country commits to it. It says teachers are important.” – Professor Heather Hill

On commitment to increasing financial aid:

“I am grateful that Dean Long understands how critical financial aid is and has made it her fundraising priority so that students like me have access to world-class mentors and a community of scholars bound by their passion for improving education. I belong here.” – Evan Chavez, Ed.M.'24

“I am determined to continue down the path of hope, action, and progress, and I hope you will join me on that path. As has been the case throughout my over two decades as a member of this HGSE community, I am supported and bolstered every day by the boundless energy, determination, and innovation of the people who surround me (whether here on Appian Way or in our global community) — people who refuse to tolerate the status quo, who are endlessly working to make a difference.”  

– Bridget Terry Long, "Confronting the Injustice that Surrounds Us," 2/1/23

"I look forward with excitement to how the school will continue to grow and advance its mission over the next 10 years as it confronts the many new questions, and new challenges, that are at the forefront of our field and our society. I’ll be vigorously addressing those challenges myself, as I return to active scholarship, using my expertise, research, and voice to address some of the larger debates about higher education that are now unfolding."

– Bridget Terry Long, "A New Chapter," 1/18/24


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