Shad Hall

Shad Hall is named for the Honorable John S.R. Shad (MBA 1949) in honor of his support of ethics and leadership.

A striking building that won the prestigious Harleston Parker Medal from the Boston Society of Architects when it opened in 1990, the Shad Hall fitness center was designed by Kallmann McKinnell & Wood. Despite its massive size, the 118,000-square-foot facility includes architectural details that allow the building to blend harmoniously with the Georgian Revival style of older campus buildings. Programming for Shad Hall is intended to meet the needs of the HBS community and includes classes and outreach initiatives that encourage wellness and fitness. The three-story, brick and concrete structure houses a multipurpose gym, indoor track, cardio and weight room, racquet courts, locker rooms, and exercise studios. The basement of Shad is home to the Computer Lab for Experimental Research, a 36-seat computer lab with six small-group rooms and sophisticated technology to facilitate research on human behavior. The roof is “green”—topped with 64 cubic yards of a gravel-like medium allowing for a variety of plants to grow there.

About the Name

Shad Hall is named for the Honorable John S.R. Shad (1923-1994), an extraordinarily active and generous supporter of HBS, a respected investment banker, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and US ambassador to the Netherlands. Known for his dedication to the highest ethical standards during a distinguished, three-decade career in investment banking, Shad (MBA 1949) became the first Wall Street executive to head the SEC in 50 years when he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Shad served in that role with distinction, significantly increasing investor protections and insider-trading prosecutions while reducing the costs and simplifying the paperwork involved in corporate financing. After stepping down from that post in 1987, he continued in public service as US ambassador to the Netherlands for two years before returning to the private sector as chairman of the Drexel Burnham Lambert Group Inc.

Shad, who received the School’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1985, maintained close ties to HBS throughout his career, generously offering his knowledge, insights, and friendship to the School’s leaders. In 1987, during the tenure of Dean John H. McArthur, Shad pledged the largest gift in HBS history at the time, to endow the Business Leadership and Ethics program. Funds from that gift have served as a catalyst and organizational umbrella for a broad range of research, curriculum, and faculty development initiatives, including the John Shad Professorship of Business Ethics, new required and elective MBA courses, a video archive of exemplary business practices, and an awards program honoring managers, academics, entrepreneurs, and business journalists for extraordinary contributions to business leadership.

Announcing the Shad gift in 1987, Dean McArthur said, “We are proud and very grateful that John has given us this challenge and this support. For years, he has pushed us to move sooner, to probe more deeply, and to think more ambitiously in the fields of ethics and leadership. By endowing the Shad Program, he now challenges us to move in a significant way.”