13 May 2013
The Power of Three
Anne Dias Griffin, Julie D. Frist, and Teresa A. Teague (all MBA 1997) Topics:
Perhaps it was because they had worked together at Goldman Sachs before business school, or because two of them had been roommates at HBS. But whatever held them together remained in force when Anne Dias Griffin, Julie Frist, and Teresa Teague formed the Major Gifts
Committee for their 15th Reunion. Demonstrating the leadership skills they honed at HBS, the three women initiated innovations—such as pre-reunion receptions and fundraising “captains” organized by city, rather than by section—that led to record-breaking levels of giving: The Class of 1997 shattered the previous 15th Reunion record, raising $4,000,835.
To demonstrate their commitment and to inspire their classmates, the trio led the way with major contributions of their own. “I personally benefited from a fellowship that allowed me to go to HBS,” Dias Griffin explains. “It was an incredible vote of confidence—and I wanted to do the same for another young person.”
Frist agrees. “The mission of the School is to educate leaders,” she says. “It’s critical to attract the best possible students, regardless of their ability to pay.”
In addition to supporting fellowships, class gifts to the Dean’s Fund provided flexible funding for innovation, such as the FIELD course and the Harvard Innovation Lab. “HBS is an incredibly relevant institution and always manages to be at the forefront of developing trends and key themes,” says Teague. “I am inspired by the work and the leadership of the School.”