Reflections On The Life And Legacy Of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer

May 19, 2017

Jennifer Oppenheimer Photo

It is with heavy hearts that the Harvard Center for African Studies, and indeed, the entire Harvard community, reflects on the memory of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (AB ’89, JD ’93), who passed away on Tuesday, May 16th.

Jennifer was a zealous supporter of educational opportunity and a life-long learner who consistently sought and created opportunities for those without.

A daughter of Harvard, Jennifer’s commitment to the University and to promoting the study of Africa shone through not only in her and her husband’s contributions to Africa-related initiatives across the University, but also in every interaction she had with faculty, students, and even prospective students. She understood the power of Harvard to contribute to global conversations related to Africa as well as the importance of empowering African societies through educational excellence. She was a strategic visionary in bringing these worlds together. Harvard’s present commitment to Africa and African Studies is, in part, a reflection of Jennifer’s longstanding support, and of her insistence that we continue to work harder, think more deeply, and aspire to ever broader impact.

Together with her husband Jonathan, Jennifer has created a legacy that will continue to shape Africa’s future scholars, entrepreneurs and leaders.  

CAS sends condolences to the family of Jennifer Oppenheimer and to the innumerable individuals who have been touched by her life and unrivaled generosity. 



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