01 Mar 2015

Committed To HBS’s Success

Re: Ed Hajim (MBA 1964); David Wolff (MBA 1964); Ron Agel (MBA 1964); Dick Corbett (MBA 1964); Sam Gibara (MBA 1964); Chuck Lee (MBA 1964); Leo Swergold (MBA 1964); Mark Stevens (MBA 1989); Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989); Dennis Campbell; Shikhar Ghosh; Scott Snook


Keeping HBS Competitive

Mel Tukman (MBA 1966)

Mel Tukman (MBA 1966), a longtime supporter of Harvard Business School, recognizes the far-reaching impact of the School’s mission. He is committed to helping HBS continue to attract and cultivate the best minds—from the professors who lead case discussions to the students who participate in them.

“The School faces tough competitors,” says Tukman, president of Tukman Grossman Capital Management Inc.

“Great as it is, HBS is only as good as its faculty and its students. If one wishes to help ensure the School’s ongoing success, what better way than to support its people?”

With his contribution to The Harvard Business School Campaign, a gift that also honors his upcoming 50th Reunion, Tukman converted the Mel Tukman Dean’s Fund, a discretionary fund he established in 1999 that was used for faculty fellowships, into a Senior Lectureship to give it greater focus and permanence. The Tukman’s Dean’s Fund has supported Professor Dennis Campbell, Associate Professor Noam Wasserman, and Senior Lecturers Shikhar Ghosh and Scott Snook. The new Mel Tukman Senior Lectureship will further strengthen the faculty by bringing leading practitioners to campus. Tukman also added to his MBA fellowship fund, which has benefited about 50 students from the San Francisco area since it was established in 1990.

“HBS aims to be close to practice,” says Tukman. “Often in business, practice leads the way and theory follows. The best example of that is the case method, which is all about practice. Having practitioners on the faculty is perfectly consistent with that approach,” Tukman observes. He expects that many of the senior lecturers will be HBS graduates who have succeeded in business and are succeeding in the classroom. “Most of my extraordinary professors were HBS MBAs,” he observes. “My personal HBS experience is my bias.”

Record-Breaking Reunion Class Giving

1964 Major Gifts Chair David Wolff, Major Gifts Committee member Dick Corbett, and Reunion Chair Ed Hajim

1989 Participation Committee member Cathy Benko, Reunion Gift Cochair Mark Stevens, and Major Gifts Committee member Karen Francis-DeGolia

Milestone reunions often inspire classes to come together and break records, and two recent MBA 25th and 50th Reunion classes did just that. In a remarkable, first-of-its-kind occurrence, the new record for largest class gift was set and broken within the same year. The Class of 1964 led off with a 50th Reunion gift total of $37,259,587, the all-time highest gift ever raised by a single class. That record held for six months until the Class of 1989, in honor of its 25th Reunion, raised a phenomenal $78,701,451.

Leadership is always a key component of such success. For the Class of 1964, Reunion Chair Ed Hajim and Major Gifts Chair David Wolff had the support of a large and enthusiastic reunion committee. “Much of our effort was put into raising the expectations of our classmates,” Wolff says, “especially in exceeding the gift amount of the previous 50th Reunion.” Hajim points to classmates Ron Agel, Dick Corbett, Sam Gibara, Charles Lee, and Leopold Swergold as key participants in the effort.

The Class of 1989 also benefited from a large volunteer team to achieve its class gift total. Reunion Gift Cochair Mark Stevens cites the effort and dedication of the Major Gifts and Participation Committees. He adds that, “Major donors were identified early, and we broke the 25th Reunion record well before we convened for our reunion in September.”

One gift that played a key role in catapulting the Class of 1989’s total to impressive heights came from Len Blavatnik, who directed his support to programs aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial culture in the life sciences across Harvard University.

The impact of these two record-setting performances will be felt for some time, raising the bar for future 25th and 50th Reunion campaigns and for class giving overall.

Learn more about MBA class fundraising efforts at alumni.hbs.edu/classgiving

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1966, Section B

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