Harvard Student Agencies Mourns Founder & First General Manager

Burke McCoy HallHarvard Student Agencies is saddened to report that Dustin M. Burke ’52 passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88. “Dusty” led a rich professional and personal life, but we are especially grateful to him as the founder and first General Manager of HSA.

In 1957, the Harvard Dean of Financial Aid enlisted Dusty, then the university’s Director of Student Employment, to investigate student businesses as a possible source of financial aid. Dusty convinced 14 ambitious students who were running small-scale businesses out of their dorm rooms to come together under one roof and secured the capital needed to start a new corporation. On December 13, 1957, Dusty and six other original incorporators made it official by signing the HSA charter. As General Manager for the next 13 years, Dusty guided HSA through its turbulent formative years, bequeathing us the stable company it is today. It is no exaggeration to say that, without Dusty, none of us could have enjoyed the fulfilling and lasting experiences we received from our time working at HSA and Let’s Go.

Dustin M. BurkeFor those who would like to pay their respects, there will be a celebration of Dusty’s life tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sherborn, MA. His family also invites those who knew Dusty to post stories and remembrances on his website for all to share. Also on the website, Dusty’s obituary contains more details on his remarkable life.

HSA, our alumni, our employees, and all our partners extend our fondest thoughts and deepest condolences to Dusty’s family and friends. Dusty’s legacy will always live on at HSA in our permanent home of Burke-McCoy Hall, in the annual Dustin M. Burke Award for Outstanding Leadership, and in the entrepreneurial spirit of our students.

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