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Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard University, to Speak at Success Academy Commencement in June

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 4, 2019**

Contact: Brian Whitley, 510-495-5542 [email protected]

Contact: Ann Powell, 646-894-6407 [email protected]org


New York, NY — Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard University and one of the most widely respected leaders in American higher education, will address Success Academy’s graduating class at its commencement exercises on June 6. The Class of 2023, so-named for their anticipated college graduation date, is the second cohort of scholars to graduate from New York City’s top-performing public charter school network.

 Prior to becoming the 29th president of Harvard in June 2018, Bacow was the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s governing board. Bacow was president of Tufts University from 2001 to 2011 and was past Chancellor and Chair of the Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Known for his commitment to expanding student opportunity at Tufts, Bacow was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the White House Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

 “President Bacow’s leadership and commitment to educational access have expanded opportunities for countless students,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “He has inspired institutions and individuals alike to achieve their greatest potential, and it is so meaningful that he will speak to our graduating class.”

 A network of 47 schools, serving 17,000 students admitted by random lottery, Success Academy is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence and expanded opportunities for children from all socioeconomic demographics. In addition to having the highest student achievement in New York State, six Success Academies have been awarded the prestigious designation as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Success Academy students excel in chess, debate, dance, soccer, track, and the arts, regularly taking top honors in state and national competitions. One of the most popular choices among New York City parents, Success Academy has a uniquely child-specific focus and approach to K-12 education. This is Success Academy’s second Commencement, celebrating scholars who enrolled in the network’s first Harlem school.

 While president of Tufts from 2001 to 2011, Bacow emerged as a nationally recognized champion of expanding access to higher education through need-based student aid, while also advocating vigorously for federal support of university-based research. Bacow launched Tufts’ Office of Institutional Diversity and highlighted inclusion as a cornerstone of the university’s excellence.

 “I have been privileged to serve on the Tufts board and saw first-hand the remarkable work that President Bacow has done to support access and equity,” said Steve Galbraith, chair of Success Academy’s network board of trustees. “We are enormously proud that Larry will join us at Commencement and help to commemorate this milestone for our scholars and our educators.”

 Before his time at Tufts, Bacow spent 24 years on the faculty of MIT, where he held the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professorship of Environmental Studies. He is the author or co-author of four books and numerous scholarly articles on topics related to environmental policy, economics, land- use law, negotiation, and occupational health and safety. At Tufts, he held faculty appointments in five academic departments: Urban and Environmental Policy, Economics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Public Health, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Bacow attended college at MIT, and went on to earn three degrees from Harvard: a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 17,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. The size of the state’s seventh-largest school district, Success Academy had a combined math and reading score that topped every other district in the state: 98% of scholars were proficient in math and 91% proficient in ELA.  Success Academy schools received more than 17,700 applications for 3,288 open seats for the 2018-19 academic year.

For more information about Success Academy, go to and

Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard University


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