Senior Letterwinners' Dinner
On the night before graduation, the Harvard Varsity Club & Department of Athletics welcome senior letterwinners, their families, friends, and coaches to a dinner to honor the graduating class’ athletic accomplishments. Over the decades, the dinner has grown from a gathering of modest size to 750 person celebration.
At the Dinner, special recognition is given to athletes who have made significant contributions to the culture and success of Harvard Athletics. Three awards were handed out at the first dinner: the Bingham Award, the Burr Scholarship, and the Fadden Award. Currently, there are eleven major prizes distributed.
The event started in 1967 when the club honored the top three athletes in the class with the Francis H. Burr Scholarship, the William J. Bingham Award and John P. Fadden Award.
The Francis H. Burr '09 Scholarship - First awarded in 1918, this award is a scholarship fund established in memory of Francis H. Burr by his friends. It is awarded to a senior “who combines as nearly as possible, Burr’s remarkable qualities of character, leadership, scholarship, and athletic ability.”
The William J. Bingham Award - First awarded in 1954, this award is given annually to that male member of the graduating class of Harvard College who, through integrity, courage, leadership, and ability on the athletic fields, has best served the high purpose of Harvard as exemplified by the late William J. Bingham ’16, former Director of Athletics.
The John P. Fadden Award - This award was established in 1966 in honor of the late John P. Fadden’s service as an athletic trainer and friend to Harvard athletes for many years. The award is given annually to a senior student (Varsity, JV or Intramural) who has overcome physical adversity to make a contribution to his/her team.
The list of awards has increased over the years to include the following eight:
The Radcliffe Prize - This award was first established in 1975. It is awarded annually to that senior woman letterwinner who, through outstanding ability on the playing field and dedication to her sport or sports and qualities of leadership, best reflects the purposeful achievement of Radcliffe Alumnae in every field around the world.
The Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics Prize - Established by the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics (HRFWA), this prize was first presented in 1986 and is awarded annually to the senior woman who best exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership, and athletic ability.
The John P. Reardon '60 Men’s Award - Established in 1987, this award is named in honor of John P. Reardon, Jr., ’60, Director of Athletics from 1977 to 1990. This prize is presented annually to the senior varsity male athlete who exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership, and athletic ability.
The Mary G. Paget Prize - The Mary G. Paget Prize is awarded annually by the presidents of Radcliffe and Harvard in honor of Mary Guest Paget’s many years of service as Director of Sports, Dance and Recreation at Radcliffe College. The prize was first established in 1975 and is awarded each year to the senior student who has contributed the most to women’s athletics.
The Francis J. Toland Community Service Award - This award was created in honor of former Senior Associate Director of Athletics Fran Toland, who retired in 2000 after 41 years of service to Harvard athletics. The award is presented to the senior athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to Harvard and its neighboring communities.
The Carroll F. Getchell Manager of the Year Award - In 1981, the Committee on Athletics voted to name the Manager of the Year Award, established in 1972, for the late Carroll F. Getchell, long-time business manager in the Department of Athletics. Each year the Department recognizes that manager in the senior class “who has best displayed integrity, courage, leadership, and ability” during his/her years of participation.
The Director’s Award - Established in 2007, the Director’s Award recognizes the person (or persons) who, through his/her pursuit of excellence and service to Harvard Athletics, has displayed exceptional leadership, personal character, integrity and commitment to education through athletics.
The Arthur L. Boland Award - This award was established in 2010 by the Department of Athletics to honor Arthur Boland, MD in commemoration of his 40 years of dedicated service to Harvard Athletics. The award is presented each year to a senior varsity athlete who will be attending medical school and who best exemplifies those characteristics and qualities which have been the hallmark of Dr. Art Boland’s care for Harvard athletes.