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Fall Family History Benefit

Honoring Drew Gilpin Faust, in conversation with Deval Patrick
In Person
October 26, 2023 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET
The Harvard Club, 374 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215
D. Brenton Simons
Ryan J. Woods

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Necessary Trouble: An Academic’s Approach to Family History

Kindly RSVP by October 12, 2023 

Join us as we honor American historian and author Drew Gilpin Faust, 28th president of Harvard University with our Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be in conversation with the Honorable Deval Patrick, 71st Governor of Massachusetts. Faust and Patrick will discuss Faust’s academic career, its intersection with family history, and her just-released memoir, Necessary Trouble, a story of growing up white and female in Virginia and her active engagement in mid-century social movements.

Proceeds of the Family History Benefit Dinner help fund our groundbreaking work, including educational programs, youth outreach, original research and scholarship, diversity programming, publications, and online services and content development.

Dress Code: Coat and tie required for gentlemen, cocktail attire for ladies.


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Drew Gilpin Faust


Drew Gilpin Faust is President Emerita of Harvard University and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Research Professor. She previously served as founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; before that, she was the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her just-published memoir Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury, she is the author of six books, including This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; and Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, which won the Francis Parkman Prize. She and her husband live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


In conversation with 


Deval Patrick


Deval Patrick, Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership and Professor of Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School, is also a Senior Advisor to Bain Capital and former co-chair of American Bridge 21st Century. He is the founder and former Managing Partner of Bain Capital Double Impact, a growth equity fund that invests in commercial businesses for both competitive financial returns and positive social impact. Prior to serving as Governor of Massachusetts for two terms, he was a senior executive in two Fortune 50 companies, a partner in two Boston law firms and the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U.S. Justice Department. He is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and the author of two books.

Executive Office
D. Brenton Simons
As President and CEO since 2005, D. Brenton Simons has overseen a period of extraordinary growth for American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. It now serves more than 415,000 members in 139 countries and millions of online users.
Executive Office
Ryan J. Woods
An educator and historian, Ryan Woods is Executive Vice President & COO of American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. Since 2006, he has led the development of award-winning experiences for exploring family history, heritage, & culture.
The Harvard Club

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For more information, contact Special Events Manager Kelly Neagle