While many in the Boston area were keeping warm and dry indoors during the snowiest winter on record this year, two Harvard Art Museums employees were courageously battling the elements, day after day (and night after night), on behalf of the museums. Maintenance technicians Paul Correia and Dennis Lesse put in countless hours clearing snow and ice from atop the museums’ towering glass roof, as well as from the ramps, sidewalks, and entryways below, ensuring that the recently renovated building remained in operation. More than once, Correia and Lesse spent the night at 32 Quincy Street in order to keep up with the intense snowfall.
For their valiant actions, Correia and Lesse have been named Harvard Heroes. The title is reserved for Harvard employees who demonstrate “leadership, teamwork, adaptability, innovation, and exceptional contributions.” In 2015, just 64 Harvard employees (half of 1 percent of eligible staff) were named Heroes. Correia and Lesse were nominated by a number of museums staff, including Michael Eigen, assistant facilities manager.
“They were up on the roof in the middle of the night shoveling in a blizzard,” Eigen said. “It doesn’t get more above and beyond the call of duty than that. I can’t say enough about their dedication and loyalty.”
Lesse, who recently celebrated his 25-year anniversary with Harvard, and Correia, who has worked for Harvard for more than a decade, were recognized in a university-wide ceremony on June 8. The staff of the Harvard Art Museums enthusiastically thanks them for their super-heroic actions—and applauds them for this well-deserved honor.