Giving Back/Schools Committee of Sarasota/ Manatee


An alumni/ae volunteer resource to the Harvard College Admissions Office, the Committee’s primary purpose is to arrange for personal interviews of all local applicants. The interviews provide Admissions officers with indispensable insights into applicants’ personalities, interpersonal skills, and potential “fit” in today’s richly diverse Harvard community.


The Committee also operates a Public Relations initiative by assigning alumni volunteers to attend select Sarasota area College Fairs and High School Career Events. These alums share information and experiences with high school guidance staff and prospective student applicants, and promote appropriate interest in applying to Harvard.


To volunteer, email Committee Chair Karen Chapman:


Why you should consider participating

  • An invaluable service to Harvard College Admissions, enabling Admissions Officers to go beyond documented credentials and learn about the Applicant as a real person;
  • Contribute the benefit of your Harvard, professional and life experience to enhance decision-making and engage the Applicant;
  • Engage with the Applicant generation and stay current on their lives and challenges, as well as with what’s new at Harvard.

What is the Schools Committee’s role and why is it so important?

  • The Club’s Schools Committee arranges for personal interviews of all local applicants, and to provide insights into applicants’ personalities, interpersonal skills, and potential “fit” in the Harvard community.
  • The insights not only complement the basic documented Application, they can be definitive. They are also invaluable to Applicants, who get a chance to learn about the Harvard experience from experienced alums.
  • The Committee also arranges for alum volunteers to attend between two and four local College Fairs and High School Career Events each year. Typically, two alums are assigned to each event to answer questions and hand out information to high school guidance counselors and prospective student applicants, and to promote interest in applying to Harvard. Each event lasts about 2-3 hours. Information materials are provided by Harvard. For 2017-2018 The Club will be represented at fairs in September and February.

How do you volunteer?

  • The Schools Committee is headed by a Chair appointed by the Board. The Chair manages the relationship with Admissions, coordinates alumni volunteers to conduct interviews of applicants identified by Harvard, assigns interviewers and reviews online interview reports submitted by interviewers to Admissions.
  • The Chair of the Committee will email all alums in August, inviting interested alums to respond and go online to complete an eligibility form which is emailed by the Harvard College Admissions Office.
  • Or better still, don’t wait – email the Committee Chair Karen L. Chapman, MD:

What’s involved?

  • Each Committee member interviews between one and four Applicants in each admissions cycle, depending upon their availability, and submits an online report.
  • The Admissions cycle occurs in two stages –  first for Early Admission in November, and then for General Admission in January-March.

Interviewing ‘refresher’ and reporting guidelines

  • The Harvard Admissions website where alums register as interviewers provides information resources and guidelines. Once you have registered go to and select “Documents & Resources”.
  • Volunteering alums also have the option to attend the annual Cambridge Admissions Conference at Harvard. For 2017 it will be from October 26 - 28. This also offers a chance to learn about new developments at Harvard.