One of two buildings on the original HBS campus that were named for their functions, Ludcke House opened in 1927 as the first Faculty Club. Designed by McKim, Mead & White in the Georgian Revival-style, the three-story, stucco and brick building faces the lawn in front of the Baker Library | Bloomberg Center. Until the mid-1950s, the HBS faculty was small enough to gather for meals on the second floor of the 6,900-square-foot building. The facility has since been repurposed several times, as home to the Doctoral Programs, External Relations, the Communications Group, and HBS Operations. The building also experienced several name changes, including Alumni Center, before it was rededicated in honor of Gipp L. Ludcke (MBA 1925) in 1991. After extensive renovations, the building became headquarters for the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. Led by Bishop William Lawrence University Professor Michael E. Porter, the institute is dedicated to the study of competition and its implications for company strategy; the competitiveness of nations, regions, and cities; and the relationship between competition and society.
Gipp L. Ludcke (1900-1995) was a highly regarded figure in the evolution of the mutual fund industry. After graduation from HBS, the Minnesota native began his career with Incorporated Investors, one of the first mutual funds in the country. In 1940, he joined the George Putnam Fund of Boston, where he became president and director of Putnam Fund Distributors, Inc., and vice president and director of the Putnam Group Mutual Funds. He later became senior partner.
After his retirement from Putnam in 1965, Ludcke continued his influence in the industry as the widely read author of “The Human Side of Investing,” a syndicated financial column that ran in 17 newspapers across the country. In addition, he and his wife, Eleanor, shared a devotion to philanthropic causes. In 1991, the couple established the Ludcke Foundation, which supports organizations that provide resources and services to children and families, with an emphasis on physical and emotional health, education, and social development.
Ludcke cultivated close ties to HBS throughout his career, serving as a volunteer career adviser, fundraising volunteer, 60th Reunion chairman, and Class Secretary. Through a bequest, the Gipp Ludcke (MBA 1925) Fellowship was established in 2004. Ludcke House was named in honor of his longtime commitment to the School and in appreciation of his generous support.
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