Garth McCavana, dean for student affairs, will retire from his position at the end of the 2019–2020 academic year, after serving GSAS for 26 years and Harvard for 32 years.

Garth McCavana holding a petition

Dean for Student Affairs Garth McCavana, PhD '90, with a copy of the petition for a graduate student center (he was the first to sign).

“During his career, Garth has helped generations of students navigate and successfully complete their graduate education,” said Dean Emma Dench. “His impact is incalculable, and while his retirement is much deserved, he will be sorely missed.”

McCavana earned his PhD in romance languages and literatures from GSAS in 1990. While still a student, he and his wife Connie started their family, raising two children while Garth also served as the resident dean in Kirkland House. This experience made him the perfect advocate for student-parents, and at GSAS he successfully championed events, resources, and new benefits that include the Parental Accommodation and Financial Support (PAFS) program.

As a student, McCavana also served as the vice president of the GSAS Student Council, and in 1988, his was the first signature on a petition to create a graduate student center. With the change from Dudley House to the GSAS Student Center, he has come full circle in overseeing the creation of a space wholly dedicated to GSAS students.

“It has been an honor to help countless GSAS students over the years,” said McCavana. “I know that under my successor, the Office of Student Affairs team will continue to provide GSAS students with important support as they pursue their graduate education.”

Dean Dench will open a search for a new dean for student affairs during March.

A New Chapter

Photo by Martha Stewart