Harkin estate gift supports Birkhead-Burkhead Fund
Alumnus James M. Harkin ’76
MSSc/’78 PhD (SSc) and his wife, Lucille Boilard-Harkin, have made estate plans
that will provide ongoing scholarship support to students in Maxwell’s MPA
The gift is an estate arrangement
with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, listing the Maxwell School
among designated ultimate beneficiaries. The gift will support Maxwell’s
Birkhead-Burkhead Fund, of which James Harkin was a founding donor in 1987.
The fund, which was developed with
the guidance and leadership of Professor Bernard (Bunny) Jump, honors former
Dean Guthrie Birkhead and former Maxwell Professor of Economics Jesse Burkhead.
Dean Birkhead himself was directly engaged in the current design of the fund,
which generates more than $8,000 annually to support scholarships and
fellowships for graduate students. Approximately 75 donors have contributed
more than $200,000 to the Birkhead-Burkhead Fund, to which the Harkins have
maintained a program of substantial annual giving.
While a student at Maxwell, James Harkin served as graduate
assistant for Guthrie Birkhead when the latter served as associate dean and later
dean. Dean Birkhead and Professor Burkhead were Harkin’s principal dissertation
advisors. As dean, Birkhead assured that the Harkin family was protected by
health insurance when the Harkins’ son, Jeremy, confronted serious ongoing
health concerns. Birkhead’s response to Harkin’s expression of gratitude was,
according to Harkin, “essential Guthrie”: “You can thank me by providing help
to others when someday you are in position to do so,” Birkhead said. “In that
exchange,” Harkin adds, “was the origin of the Birkhead-Burkhead Fund.”
Emilie Harkin, James and Lucille's daughter, later attended
Syracuse University. While there, she developed her own close relationship with
Guthrie and Louise Birkhead, who were important friends and counselors to her.
Emilie graduated in 2002 with bachelor degrees in political science and
magazine journalism. Today, she works at The
Atlantic as senior director, customer marketing and growth.
James Harkin recently
completed a five-year transition to retirement; he previously owned and
developed a personal and business financial planning practice. Lucille Boilard-Harkin
recently retired as an adjunct professor of French at Pima Community College,
and continues to work with private students.