Nancy Pinn, director of administration and student affairs in the Graduate Program, received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Appreciation Award during Harvard Law School’s Class Day exercises on Wednesday, May 29. Pinn was honored as the 2019 recipient for her “exceptional professionalism, empathy and genuine care.”
In nominating Pinn for the honor, a student wrote “[I] only wish that there could be more Nancys in Harvard, and in life.”
During her presentation of the award on Wednesday afternoon, Class Marshal Elisabeth Mabus heralded Pinn for going above and beyond to support students through challenging times.
“Anyone who has worked with Nancy knows that her dedication and care does not stop when a problem becomes personal rather than academic. She works tirelessly to ensure that students feel supported and that they have a community here at the law school,” Mabus said.
Pinn’s remarks reflected the close bonds that she develops with students throughout their time at Harvard Law School. Although she was the one being honored, she was effusive in her praise and gratitude to the members of the Class of 2019.
She commended the graduate students who matriculate at the law school each year. “LL.M. and S.J.D.s provide a level of experience and texture to this community, enriching us and offering a fresh spin on matters we may otherwise take for granted.”
She thanked them for putting their faith in her and trusting her to help them with decisions both in their academic careers and beyond. “My most gratifying moments are when you come talk to me about your hopes, your plans, and even your dilemmas,” she said. “Every interaction teaches me something, and I am lucky that you have let me share in a part of your experience.”
Pinn expressed a particular appreciation at being honored with an award named for former dean Suzanne Richardson, who was an early mentor to her. She lauded Richardson’s “strong legacy of fair-minded advocacy and community engagement,” qualities Pinn saw reflected in the students sitting before her.
Even as she closed her remarks, Pinn made it clear that she never stops caring for the students who cross her path, telling the class of 2019, “thank you so much, congratulations, and please keep me posted on your next adventures.”
Pinn is the 23rd recipient of the staff award and the 15th since the award was renamed for Suzanne Richardson, who was the HLS dean of students from 1993 to 2004.