About the Harman Program
Founded in the fall of 1998 by Professor Roslyn Bernstein, who has served as its director for sixteen years (1998 – 2013), the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence program brings distinguished writers to the Baruch College campus every semester, including poets, playwrights, novelists, journalists, and essayists. Endowed by alumnus Dr. Sidney Harman (’39), the Harman residency reflects his belief that “good writing is revelatory. It is not merely a transference of fully formed material from brain to paper. Writing is an act of magical creation; writing is discovery.”
The Harman program relies on an intense workshop design, where visiting writers teach small classes and hold individual conferences. Students are encouraged to hone their personal styles and to find their own creative voices.
In addition, the Harman program sponsors student creative writing competitions, literary internships, individual guest readings, and a week-long residency.
Sidney Harman (’39) came to City College’s 23rd Street campus (later Baruch College) during the Great Depression. He studied business but also devoured arts and humanities courses. The Harman Writer-in- Residence Program was an incarnation of his belief that “writing is thinking.”
Dr. Harman urged leaders to be innovative, calling for “poet managers” who could distill wisdom from the past and move forward boldly into the future. He himself was the quint-essential poet manager.
A high-fidelity industry pioneer, Dr. Harman founded Harman/Kardon in 1953, growing the company into Harman International Industries. From 1970 to 1973, he was the president of Friends World College, an experimental Quaker institution. He founded the program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dr. Harman was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Baruch in 2009, the 50th anniversary of his graduation.
At USC, Dr. Harman was the Judge Widney professor of business and was appointed a presidential professor in 2010. He was instrumental in the 2007 creation of a new cultural center in Washington, DC, named Sidney Harman Hall in his honor.
Dr. Harman served as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees at the Aspen Institute.
As an author, Dr. Harman published “Starting With the People” with Daniel Yankelovich in 1988 and “Mind Your Own Business” in 2003.
In the last year of his life, Dr. Harman turned to journalism, acquiring Newsweek and merging it with the Daily Beast, a web publication. It was a bold move that he hoped would result in the “renewal and reinvention of media.” Looking forward, he said: “it may well lead the revolution.”
The Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program at Baruch College is funded by the Harman Family Foundation, Dr. Barbara Harman, executive director.
“I celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Harman Writer-in-Residence program. I regard it as the single most creative impulse in my life and I do so because the arts should not be treated as decoration, as some extra-curricular activity. They should be intrinsic and organic in the developing life of a creative business person. That is what our Writer-in-Residence program encourages.”
— Sidney Harman
Links to other pages about Sidney Harman on the web:
- Harman Center for the Arts
- Harman Family Foundation
- Harman International
- January 24, 2004. Better Than Business School: Book Review of Mind your Business (Forbes)
- Mind Your Own Business by Sidney Harman
- Harman Writer-in-Residence Program’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. Check here for Video.
- Dr. Harman receives honorary degree and speaks at Baruch College’s 44th Commencement ceremonies-Video
- A Personal Recollection of Sidney Harman