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Harold Haskins

February 25, 2013

Harold Haskins was appointed as the Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. After transitioning into the role of Director of Student Development Planning, Mr. Haskins retired after 33 years of serving both the Penn community at-large but also the university’s under-represented minorities.

Even before his time at Penn, Haskins made a substantial impact to the Philadelphia community. In 1967, Haskins produced the iconic film “The Jungle,” covering the gang life of North Philadelphia teens. After winning a Documentary Film Award at Festival de Popoli, Italy and encouraging hundreds of teen gangs to disband and go continue their education, Haskins took his drive and energy into Penn where he help combated the numerous black sit-ins and protests that occurred in the early 1970s.

Mr. Haskins left behind a legacy rooted in advocacy that promoted projects to engage students during their undergraduate and graduate tenures at Penn. Much of his work on Penn’s campus is not only visible, but is very much embedded in the current university atmosphere. Along with Bill Whitney in 1980, Mr. Haskin helped to found The Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD), a four-week summer program at the Wharton School which introduces youth of diverse backgrounds to the world of business. His other efforts on the University include the founding of the university-wide Tutoring Center, the Onyx Senior Honor Society, Support Services, Department of Academic Support Services, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Ph.D. Accelerator Program, which is a pilot summer project that introduces rising minority high school sophomores to research skills.

A great deal of Mr. Haskin’s work, from encouraging student’s academic growth to nurturing their leadership dexterities, is immeasurable. Following his retirement,” The Harold Haskins Fund” was established to commemorate the tireless contributions Mr. Haskins made to generations of Penn students and their families. The fund supports meaningful recognition honoring Mr. Haskin’s and to fund student-related initiatives and programs.

–Victoria Ford CAS ’15 & Ernest Owens CAS ’14

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