The Network at Harvard Launched in February

A new force is taking Harvard University by storm. It is called The Network at Harvard, the first and only network organization uniting all of Harvard University’s graduate school women from the graduate schools of arts and sciences, business, law, government, medicine, education, public health, divinity, dentistry and design.

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

The Network’s launch was sponsored by the HBS Women’s Student Association (WSA) and 85 Broads. 85 Broads is a global network of women currently and formerly from Goldman Sachs and from 12 of the world’s leading business schools (including HBS). Alison Levine is a regional chapter head for the West Coast of 85 Broads.

Being a noted business and community leader, Alison Levine was voted by The Network founding members as the best person to address the subject.

During her ten 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, subsequently joining Goldman Sachs to pursue a career on Wall Street. In 1998, she started climbing after a second heart surgery to repair a life-threatening condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. While climbing to rebuild both health and strength, she managed to climb the highest peaks on six of the world’s continents.

Thus, in 2001, Alison Levine was invited to lead the first team of American women 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 through an exclusive sponsorship by Ford. As part of her climb, she raised funds for the Jimmy Valvano Foundation, and also raised funds to build two schools in Nepal 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, and also speaking at VC conferences and the Girl Scouts. Since her climb, 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.

Mary Beth Laughton (OD), 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 launch took place on the evening of February 10th at the Gutman Conference Center, part of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Over 150 women graduate students from Harvard University were present at the launch.

“The launch was 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.