01 May 2015

Celebrating and Supporting Leadership

HBS alumni and friends around the world are gathering to learn about the goals and priorities of The Harvard Business School Campaign
Re: Hal Brierley (MBA 1968); Will Chen (MBA 1995); Jamie Dinan (MBA 1985); Trevor Fetter (MBA 1986); Anne Griffin (MBA 1997); Jerry Jordan (MBA 1967); Frank Klapperich (MBA 1961); Thai Lee (MBA 1985); Mickey Mikitani (MBA 1993); Leo Mullin (MBA 1967); Thierry Porte (MBA 1982); Mark Schwartz (MBA 1978); L.E. Simmons (MBA 1972); Roe Stamps (MBA 1974); Ratan Tata (AMP 71); Margie Yang (MBA 1976); Sid Yog (MBA 2004); Eric Calderon (MBA 2013); Carolyn Wolff Dorros (MBA 2003); Lisa Gunther (MBA 2000); Katie Hindman (MBA 2010); Craig Kessler (MBA 2014); Judith Li (MBA 2013); Cory Rothschild (MBA 2014); Thiago Santelmo (MBA 2013); Jordan Strebeck (MBA 2014); Maxeme Tuchman (MBA 2012); Rosabeth Kanter; Shawn Cole


Members of Section H from the Class of 2017 during section closure on the final day of Bridges, a three-day celebration during which all graduating students take time to reflect on the past two years and consider next steps on their career and life journeys. Coming together in their first year classrooms one last time to close out their HBS section experience, each section designed the session in way unique to their group and emphasized how they will move forward together.
Photo by Mary Knox Miller

Since the launch of The Harvard Business School Campaign on April 25, 2014, more than 5,000 alumni and guests have come together to celebrate the School and its mission at regional events around the world and the Campaign’s website has had more than 81,000 visits to view the over-500 Making A Difference stories of alumni, faculty, and student impact. Also, so far, more than 22,500 alumni and friends have made gifts of all sizes toward the Campaign’s financial goals.

Continuing the inspiring and celebratory nature of the festive HBS Campaign launch in Boston in April 2014, the School has been hosting regional events around the world giving attendees the opportunity to learn from faculty members about their current research, listen to inspiring alumni stories from campaign leaders, and hear an overview of the School’s objectives and priorities from Dean Nitin Nohria and HBS Campaign Chair John B. Hess (AB 1975, MBA 1977). As of the two-year anniversary, 25 regional events have taken place from Miami to Mumbai. In Chicago and New York, audiences were empowered by Associate Professor Amy Cuddy’s explorations into interpersonal dynamics. In Florida, Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter laid out the opportunities in America’s transportation and infrastructure challenges. And at events in China, Japan, and India, attendees heard from Professors Benjamin Esty and Shawn Cole about the latest thinking on global business leadership.

Alumni leaders have played a prominent role at these regional events. Among those alumni offering observations about the role of HBS in their lives have been: Harold M. Brierley (MBA 1968), William A. Chen (MBA 1995), James Dinan (MBA 1985), Trevor Fetter (MBA 1986), Anne Dias Griffin (MBA 1997), Jerry Jordan (MBA 1967), Frank Klapperich (MBA 1961), Thai Lee (MBA 1985), Hiroshi Mikitani (MBA 1993), Leo F. Mullin (MBA 1967), Ajay G. Piramal (AMP 110, 1992), Thierry G. Porte (MBA 1982), Mark Schwartz (MBA 1978), Laurence E. Simmons (MBA 1972), Roe Stamps (MBA 1974), Ratan N. Tata (AMP 71, 1975), Marjorie M.T. Yang (MBA 1976), and Siddharth Yog (MBA 2004).

Young alumni also have been featured at the regional events. Among those who have spoken about the impact of HBS on their careers have been: Eric Calderon (MBA 2013), Carolyn Wolff Dorros (MBA 2003), Lisa M. Gunther (MBA 2000), Katherine E. Hindman (MBA 2010), Craig Kessler (MBA 2014), Judith Li (MBA 2013), James E. Lysinger (MBA 2013), Cory Rothschild (MBA 2014), Thiago Santelmo (MBA 2013), Jordan Strebeck (MBA 2014), and Maxeme Tuchman (MBA 2012).

At each of the HBS Campaign regional events, Dean Nohria has spoken about the need to position the School for leadership in management education in the 21st century. The primary objectives of The Harvard Business School Campaign are to:

  • Inspire significantly increased levels of participation and engagement among alumni
  • Inform, identify, and engage the next generation of HBS leaders
  • Strengthen the perception of HBS and business in the world
  • Engage with and support the University in new and mutually beneficial ways
  • Raise funds for current priorities and future flexibility

"Let us take the opportunity to ask ourselves,” says Nohria, “When future generations look back on this time, what will our legacy be? What choices will we make? How will we reimagine this institution and leave it stronger than we found it?”

"When I look at the challenges facing our world today, I'm convinced that now more than ever we need the type of leadership Harvard Business School can provide," Nohria says. "Over the last century, more than a billion people have been brought into the circle of economic inclusion—but there are still billions more waiting, in America and around the world. Business leaders have a vital role to play in helping to widen this circle of inclusion. Together, we can make a difference. To prepare leaders to succeed in this more complex world, and to increase our scale and reach to bring our mission to even more people, requires a relentless dedication to innovation."

John Hess, CEO of the Hess Corporation and chair of The Harvard Business School Campaign, has joined Dean Nohria at many of the HBS Campaign regional events.

"In America and around the world, the public has lost trust in business," says Hess. "Business and society have never been more divided. Even as the economy has recovered, trust has not. As business leaders, we need to remind the public that business is a force for good and is fundamental to societal progress by creating jobs, investing in communities, and bringing the world much-needed products and services.

"In an era of budget austerity and political gridlock, business is called on to play a larger role in providing social good. And we need the public to understand how important Harvard Business School is to this effort," Says Hess.

University-wide Effort

The Harvard Business School Campaign is part of an historic University-wide campaign. At the time of The Harvard Campaign kick-off in September 2013, Harvard President Faust said, "Although a campaign is most explicitly about generating resources, it is at the same time about intensifying the commitment of alumni and friends, creating new supporters, and identifying emerging volunteer leadership. A campaign is inevitably a defining moment—an opportunity for institutional reflection, analysis, and self-definition, and for articulating aspirations and pursuing priorities."

The goal of the five-year Harvard Campaign is $6.5 billion; the financial goal for the HBS Campaign is $1 billion. At HBS, gifts are being directed to the HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation or toward specific priorities.

"This campaign gives us new opportunities to connect with our alumni," notes Hess. "Personally, it's been a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know so many of you. It's natural for the School to look toward alumni for financial support. But it wants—and needs—us to serve other roles as well—to recruit, mentor, and advise students; to inspire and inform case studies; and to share our insight and experience."

Mission and Priorities

"The mission of Harvard Business School is to educate leaders who make a difference in the world," says Nohria.

"By joining this campaign, alumni are joining with us to push forward in our mission, and investing to build better leaders. No gift can have greater leverage than an investment in developing leaders. Each of you has witnessed the difference leadership makes in the organizations you care most about—how an effective leader can create so much better and how an ineffective leader can destroy so much value. Leaders have a powerful multiplier effect. They can make the investment you make in any organization produce significantly greater returns.

"Put simply, leadership makes all the difference—and few institutions can rival Harvard Business School in developing leaders. I ask you for your support in this important work."

Referring to the School's five "I's" priorities, Nohria explains how the Campaign will promote progress in each of these areas:

  • Innovation—Redefining management education for the 21st century through current-use and endowment gifts to support continued innovation in the MBA Program, such as the field method and HBX, the School's new online education platform.
  • Intellectual Ambition—Pursuing cross-disciplinary faculty collaboration, generating important and relevant scholarly work focused on society's complex challenges, and supporting the development of junior and practitioner faculty.
  • Internationalization—Pursuing a broad intellectual footprint with a lean physical footprint through research, case writing, and the HBS global research center network.
  • Inclusion—Current-use and endowment gifts will support MBA and doctoral fellowships and help create an inclusive environment where the world's best talent can thrive and be inspired to do their best work in support of the School's mission.
  • Integration—Pursuing opportunities to encourage and support research and curriculum development for HBS faculty members teaching undergraduate and graduate students across the University through the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) and in cross-University initiatives such as the Public Education Leadership Project.

"In order to innovate in our educational programs to develop the next generation of leaders," Hess says, "the School requires flexible funding to invest in innovation. That's an important part of what this campaign will help to achieve."

A crucial element of support for the innovative work of the School and its faculty is the HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation, which provides immediate-impact (current-use) funding for new and emerging initiatives. Without these funds the School's ability to advance pathbreaking new programs and activities is severely limited.

Gifts to the School's endowment strengthen the ability to fund established commitments such as professorships and building projects. Current-use, unrestricted funding gives HBS the flexibility to pursue exciting new paths and programs and is the most powerful way for alumni and friends to drive innovation and new initiatives at the School.

"The innovations we are pursuing," says Nohria, "are great examples of how we are responding to the big shifts we see in the world today—globalization, vast entrepreneurial opportunities, the transformational power of digital technologies, and the immense potential of One Harvard to meet these challenges. They are designed to make Harvard Business School stronger and the leaders it educates better prepared to make a difference in the world.

"As important as we believe these innovations will be, we must have the humility to accept that the world will inevitably present challenges we cannot anticipate today," Nohria adds. "By undertaking these innovations and proving to ourselves we can do so successfully and sustainably, the most important thing we are doing is preparing HBS for any future challenge. As we have shown throughout our history, the best—indeed only—way to remain a leader is to be an innovator. The enduring legacy of this campaign will be to enable HBS to be the best at innovation—not just for the coming decade, but for many more to come."

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1977, Section A

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