01 Dec 2018
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What a Difference a Community Can Make

by John B. Hess (MBA 1977), Chair, The HBS Campaign

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As chair of The Harvard Business School Campaign, I am honored to have worked with all of you and thrilled that our collective efforts have been so successful to create a solid financial foundation for Harvard Business School’s future. Equally important, over the past few years we have strengthened our ties as members of a global community with a shared belief in the importance of educating leaders for the 21st century.

I have been humbled by the extraordinary generosity and talents of the alumni, faculty, staff, and students who worked together not only to meet our ambitious $1 billion financial goal but, in true HBS fashion, to exceed it. It has been a joy and a privilege to take part in such a broad, collective effort to ensure that HBS has the resources to remain the standard-bearer in management education for years to come.

In addition to raising the bar for fundraising, a key Campaign priority was to broaden and deepen the ways in which alumni engage with the School and with each other. A wide range of events and programs, along with new ways to connect online, have energized interactions among alumni and inspired new collaborations, business ventures, and friendships—outcomes we will continue to foster for years to come. The Campaign has left us with an enhanced understanding and appreciation of each other and of our relationship to this remarkable institution.

We should be proud that 59 percent of MBA alumni participated in this effort and that there was a significant increase in Executive Education alumni giving as well. The $1.4 billion raised is already having a meaningful impact at HBS. While enhancing core activities such as the case method, fellowships, and strengthening the faculty, recent investments guided by the School’s priorities are also funding innovations such as the Harvard i-lab, the FIELD course, HBX, and joint degree programs with other Harvard schools.

From the conversations we have shared, I know that many of us think that business can and should be a force for good. The best business leaders take seriously their responsibility to create sustainable solutions to real-world problems and to help bridge the divides that are so evident in society today. More than anything, the results of this campaign demonstrate our collective belief that Harvard Business School has a critical role to play in educating young women and men who will embrace those responsibilities as future leaders of large and small organizations in communities across the globe.

It has been an honor to serve as chair of this historic campaign. As a result of our efforts, HBS is much stronger today. Thank you for your support and for all that you do to make a positive impact in the world.

“The best business leaders take seriously their responsibility to create sustainable solutions to real-world problems and to help bridge the divides that are so evident in society today.”
—John B. Hess

 
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