Edgar Kley Filho, administrative and operations supervisor in the Dean of Students Office, received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Appreciation Award during Harvard Law School’s Class Day exercises on May 23. He was selected by the Class of 2018 for his “kindness, patience, and competence” and his tireless efforts in making the HLS community welcoming and inclusive. “Filho’s knowledge of how to get things done is unparalleled,” said Class Marshal James McEntee Jr. ’18 in his introduction.

“This makes me happy beyond what you can imagine,” said Filho. “This is a recognition of everything I have worked hard for all these years.” Filho recalled his own Harvard history, working in landscaping at the college in 2003 while taking English classes at night. He gave thanks to the students, his mother–who was watching in Brazil–and his husband of 13 years.

To great applause, Filho said, “I am a gay man, a Spiritist, a person of color, and an immigrant.” He urged the Class of 2018 to choose kindness and to remember “the history of this country welcoming people like me from all over the world.”

Filho is the 22nd recipient of the staff award and the 14th since the award was renamed for Suzanne Richardson, who was the HLS dean of students from 1993 to 2004.