The Network at Harvard Launches

A new force is taking Harvard University by storm. It is called The Network at Harvard and it will be the first organization to unite all the women students at Harvard University’s graduate schools of arts and sciences, business, law, government, medicine, education, public health, divinity, dentistry, and design.

The HBS Women’s Students Association (WSA) is a sponsor of The Network at Harvard. Mary Beth Laughton, WSA Co-President and a founding member of The Network, remarks: “We are thrilled to be involved, and proud to be a sponsor of this exciting initiative. We think it will be a great opportunity for the women at HBS to connect with other women across all of Harvard University’s different graduate schools.”

The Network will launch on February 10 with a keynote presentation by Alison Levine, Team Captain of the First U.S. All-Women’s Mt. Everest Expedition. Ms. Levine’s team of five American women scaled the heights of Mt. Everest in the spring of 2002. Prior to climbing Mt. Everest, Ms. Levine climbed the highest peaks on six of the world’s continents. Her keynote presentation to The Network at Harvard will focus on “Personal and Professional Leadership: Lessons from Climbing Mt. Everest.”

A noted business and community leader, Alison Levine was voted by The Network founding members as the best person to address the subject. While spending 10 years as a sales and marketing executive in the health care industry, she was one of the first American women to do business in Vietnam. She then went on to complete her MBA and subsequently joined Goldman Sachs to pursue a career in Wall Street.

In 1998, she underwent a second heart surgery to repair a life-threatening condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. After the surgery, she took up climbing as an activity to rebuild her health and strength. She managed to climb the highest peaks on six of the world’s continents and in 2001, was invited to lead the first team of American women attempting to scale the world’s highest peak. She prepared for the Mt. Everest expedition while at Goldman Sachs, and took a break to climb the mountain, helped by an exclusive sponsorship from Ford. As part of her climb, she raised funds for the Jimmy Valvano Foundation for Cancer Research, as well as for building two schools in Nepal, which are now educating over 2,000 children.

Ms. Levine is currently a renowned speaker in many circles, addressing women’s networks across Wall Street and corporate America, including new analysts and associates at Goldman Sachs, as well as speaking at VC conferences and the Girl Scouts. Since her successful expedition to scale Mt. Everest, her story has become the subject of articles in numerous publications such as O – The Oprah Magazine, The National Geographic, Lifetime Magazine, and Sports Illustrated Woman.

The launch will take place on the evening of February 10th at the Gutman Conference Center (Appian Way corner Brattle Street). The Network expects several hundred women from Harvard University’s 10 graduate schools to attend the event.

“The upcoming launch in February is an exciting opportunity to come together and appreciate women with different backgrounds and professional interests. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and collaborate with women from other schools at Harvard University,” reflects Grace Park (OA), a founding member of The Network.

The Network at Harvard invites all HBS women to take part in what will be one of the most exciting organizations bridging Harvard University’s disparate schools and disciplines.