01 Jun 2006

A New Day for Fellowships


HBS changed my life. The education I got here made all the difference,” retired CEO of Alleghany Corporation John Burns (MBA ’55) told students in Associate Professor Andrew McAfee’s Managing in the Information Age class.

Burns was among several dozen HBS graduates from the 1950s and 1960s who came to campus in April for a pilot program called “Fellowship Day.” After attending classes, touring Baker Library, and gathering for a reception, the group of fellowship supporters joined other donors for the Fellowship Dinner.

This annual dinner brings together fellowship recipients and the alumni and friends who generously support financial aid at HBS. Over the past five years, the fellowship program has grown substantially. There are now more than 350 fellowship funds that support MBA students, and the average two-year fellowship for the Class of 2007 will be close to $32,000, nearly double what it was for the Class of 2002.

About 450 members of the HBS community attended this year’s dinner. Across tables in an elegantly transformed Shad Hall, students and donors shared stories about their HBS experiences. Com-paring notes on HBS courses, career trajectories, and the climate for business, the conversations were lively and warm.

“My father talked about HBS as if it were a great friend,” said program speaker Gregg Petersmeyer (MBA ’78), whose family established a financial aid fund in 1995. As a donor and the son of a fellowship recipient, Petersmeyer urged attendees to “concentrate on value, not on worth” and stressed the importance of personal relationships. Fellowship recipient Justine Lalonde (MBA ’06), a psychiatrist and mother of two, discussed the strong community she found at HBS and her own personal transformation. In closing remarks, Dean Jay Light noted that “financial debts can be settled, but the gifts of fellowships endure.” Evidence of that could be heard as the evening wrapped up and a chorus of thank-yous rang throughout Shad.

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

John Burns
Class of MBA 1955, Section D
Class of MBA 1978, Section C
Class of MBA 2006, Section J

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