Roger Porter, Faculty Dean
My father was an academic and I grew up in places like Provo, Utah; Ames, Iowa; and Ithaca, New York. Our home was filled with books, music, and much fun as we did our regularly assigned tasks and played a variety of sports. I enjoyed growing up around universities. My father has always seemed young to me, in part I think because he spent time around young people and new ideas. From an early age I found myself attracted to an academic career.
After attending Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, I studied and taught at Oxford University, and then completed my graduate studies at Harvard. My interest was in government and economics and I determined that seeing how public policies are shaped first-hand could enhance my teaching and research.
The opportunity to work in the White House on economic policy issues led to a fascination both with the substance of economic policy and with the processes by which such policies are adopted and implemented. During the last three and a half decades our lives have alternated between Cambridge and Washington. I spent over eleven years as an economic adviser in the Ford, Reagan, and Bush White Houses and the remainder of the time at Harvard where I teach courses on economic policy and on the American Presidency.
While a life of thinking and doing has brought experiences far beyond my initial expectations, the best for us is being blessed with four wonderful children. Robert, Stacy, and David graduated from Harvard College. Robert also graduated from Harvard Law School and is working as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. Stacy recently graduated from the Harvard Medical School and is doing a residency at the Stanford Medical Center. David graduated from the Kennedy School last spring and is working at edX, the online education initiative founded by Harvard and MIT. Rachel graduated from Brigham Young University and is completing her graduate studies at Boston College.
Our time at Dunster House has exceeded our high expectations and we are grateful for the warmth, encouragement, and sense of community we continue to experience from you. One of the great attractions of Harvard for a faculty member is the rich mix of undergraduate and graduate students. And the heart of interaction for these two remarkable sets of students is the House system. We look forward eagerly to seeing you around the House, in the dining hall, at Open Houses, at special dinners and outings, and at drama, music, athletic and other activities. We look forward to hearing about your hopes, dreams, ideas, and concerns and together making your time at Dunster House a truly memorable one.
Ann Porter, Faculty Dean
Growing up in Wyoming with five older brothers gave me exposure to many outdoor activities, sports, music and academics. Besides the traditional activities, I participated in 4-H projects and county and state fairs. I even managed a little horseback riding, barrel racing and pole bending. You may have to be a little bit cowboy to understand!
Roger and I met at Brigham Young University and began our married life together at Oxford, where we dined, on occasion, with the Lords and Ladies. My personal favorites were Sir Kenneth and Lady Wheare.
Upon our return to the United States and Cambridge, I had a variety of experiences working in the retail and hotel industries and at the Harvard Biological Laboratories. While Roger was working at the White House during the Ford Administration, I stayed busy in the U.S. Senate. The hours were long, instructive, and fascinating. Our perspectives on various issues were often very different.
With our return from Washington came the birth of our first child and the beginning of an incredible, on-going journey. If life‘s experience has taught me anything, it is the value of family. We look forward to getting to know each of you, our extended Dunster family, and in sharing the unique opportunities, experiences and cross-roads that the coming year will bring.