Community Life

Students after 2011 Convocation

Update: March 20, 2020

A note for current HDS students from the HDS Office of Student Life (OSL):


Please know that during this unprecedented and challenging time, we are here for you. While Steph Gauchel, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Katie Caponera, Assistant Director of Student Services, are working remotely, the areas in which they serve and support students are still functioning. Both are available to connect with you via email, phone, or Zoom. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Student events, community gatherings, practices, and services:


While events and gatherings in person on campus are not happening, retaining our sense of connection and care during this time of social distancing is crucial. The Office of Student Life and the Harvard Divinity School Student Association (HDSSA) are working to best understand opportunities to maintain community and address student needs during this evolving situation.

  • As makes sense, OSL will continue to send out updates to students about student events, community gatherings, practices, and services.
  • Please reach out to Katie Caponera, Assistant Director of Student Services, if you want to more and/or are interested creating an event.
  • Chaplain Kerry Maloney has also been diligently consulting with leaders on the Noon Service Steering Committee and others in our community to explore creative and meaningful online methods for practice, gathering, and ritual. Please be in contact if you have ideas or want to connect.
  • Please reach out to HDSSA if there are specific questions or ideas you have for them.

Student support around academic, personal, and/or medical need:


We understand that this time of uncertainty, stress, and social distancing may also impact your academic, personal, and/or medical need. Please know we are here and you are not alone. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Steph Gauchel and/or your other faculty and staff supports if you are struggling, need human connection, and/or need resources and help.

  • Consultations for learning support, resource referral, and accommodations will continue to be provided through email and/or meetings on Zoom or by phone with Steph Gauchel. Steph Gauchel is also able to communicate with your faculty and other offices, if needed, in helping you navigate your academic, personal, and/or medical need.
  • Note about accommodations: The remote learning environment may uncover new medical challenges that require accommodation. Register well in advance with Steph Gauchel.
  • Note about financial need and/or food insecurity: As we are no longer able to offer food such as Community Tea and the food pantry, OSL is working closing with Financial Aid to best support students around these needs. Please reach out to Steph Gauchel, Katie Caponera, or HDS Financial Aid if you need help.
  • Other support services also remain open to you for wellness, including Harvard University Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health Services, and HDS Chaplain, Kerry Maloney.


A distinguishing feature of Harvard Divinity School is the vibrancy of our community life, and our greatest asset is our people. To maximize the benefit of the diversity and richness of experience of those who are part of HDS, life inside and outside the classroom is intentionally designed to promote conversation and connection among the wonderful people in this community.

One of the traditions at HDS for over 30 years is our Community Tea. Hosted by the Office of Student Life on most Tuesdays during the fall and spring terms from 4 to 5:30 pm in 60 Oxford Street, room 119, Community Tea offers a chance for students, faculty, and staff to engage in informal conversation over beverages and food. It is a time to relax, refuel, and reconnect with the community.

Informal encounters over lunch in the Rockefeller Café, study sessions in the library, Town Hall meetings, the annual Theological Revue, ice cream socials, meditation and worship and the sharing of spiritual practices—all of these provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom and for building intellectual and social connections among all members of the HDS community.

Of course, in addition to our traditions, our talented students bring lively new spirit each year. Members of the HDS community have expressed their talents in such venues as poetry readings, gospel concerts, film, artwork, journalism, and original plays. The wide array of events sponsored by the University—such as museum exhibits, film showings, athletic competitions, concerts, and theatrical performances—add important depth to the Harvard educational experience.