“Hi Scott, I need you to come in to the office for a confidential, high-profile tour tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM.” I was sitting in Annenberg eating dinner at 7PM when I got a phone call from my supervisor Robin. I thought it was pretty unusual for her to be calling me so late in the evening, but I figured someone booked a campus tour at the last minute. I was on campus this summer as a General Program Summer School Proctor. I had the luxury of having housing in Lowell House (an upperclassmen House), as well as a meal plan in Annenberg Hall (dining hall for first-year students), and the option of taking a summer school course–I took a Computer Science class in the Java language. The best part? It was all free! In addition, I had some extra time to work in Harvard’s Information Center, greeting visitors and giving historical campus tours.
When I went in to work the next morning, Robin told me that I would be giving a tour for the Manchester United Football Club (“Man U” for short), as they were in town to play a game against the New England Revolution and wanted to explore Harvard. I knew I had definitely heard of this organization before, but being a volleyball and basketball fan, I didn’t think much of it. To be honest, I’m embarrassed to admit that I referred to them as a “soccer” team until my friend told me that soccer is primarily a term used in American English. Oops? I didn’t immediately comprehend what a big deal this opportunity was until I saw crowds of people taking photos of the team in Harvard Yard. Man U was greeted warmly by President Faust, as well as many other members of the community. The Harvard Gazette published a great highlight video, which you can check out below.
While the athletes themselves were only in the Yard for about 10 minutes due to their busy schedule that day, I was able to give my full hour-long tour to Sir Alex Ferguson (Man U’s manager) and his staff. For being one of the most successful teams in their sport, I was in disbelief at how down to earth everyone was. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was lucky to have, as well as the highlight of my summer. They were incredibly personable and thanked me for giving them the tour by giving me tickets to their game the next day. I went with my friend and two cousins, and had an amazing time. Man U beat the Revolution, and I can definitely say that they have a new “football” fan in me. Well, a new Manchester United fan, at least.