CHAPTER 10 Deborah Bial

Chauncy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a street nestled in the heart of Harvard University. Four- and five-story prewar brick buildings intermingle with trees along the short, wide, one-way street connecting Garden Street to Massachusetts Avenue. It's rare enough that anyone has the good fortune to be accepted at Harvard, and rarer still to live on Chauncy Street while there. With Radcliffe a stone's throw in one direction and Harvard Law School a stone's throw in the other, students are within walking distance of almost anywhere they might need to be on campus.

We wonder what the chances are, then, that someone matriculates at Harvard twice and ends up living on Chauncy both times, at the same address, in the same apartment. It turns out that with the right conditions in place, it's not nearly as unlikely as we would have thought.

Deborah Bial is best known as the founder and president of The Posse Foundation. As she has built Posse into what it is today, over 30 years after its inception, her path has been punctuated by accomplishments and experiences that many can only dream of. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. She invented a college adaptability index and has received over 25 honorary doctorates. President Obama donated part of his Nobel Peace Prize money to assist Debbie's cause; a decade later, so did MacKenzie Scott, who gave Posse a grant of $10 million. Debbie ...

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