BOSTON—Harvard Business School today publicly launched a capital campaign to raise $1 billion over the next five years and an alumni outreach program that will significantly increase engagement with and among alumni well in to the future. The School has raised more than $600 million in gifts and pledges as part of the campaign’s “quiet phase,” which began in 2012. The overall goal is part of Harvard University’s $6.5 billion campaign announced last September.
The kickoff took place on the Business School’s Allston campus with hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends participating in a day-long series of events that featured case discussions and faculty-led student and alumni panels on a wide range of business topics. In the evening, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, and Campaign Chair John Hess (MBA 1977), CEO of Hess Corporation, offered remarks.
This is the fourth campaign since the School’s founding in 1908. The last concluded in 2005. Funds raised from this campaign will support priorities such as student financial aid, faculty research, globalization, and curricular innovation, as well as enhancements to the School's residential campus.
“What truly distinguishes Harvard Business School is our capacity to continually innovate,” said Dean Nohria. “We see a challenge or an opportunity and we can respond quickly but thoughtfully to develop a novel solution. This is what led to the launch of the MBA degree, the first management case study in 1912, and the retraining programs that ultimately became Executive Education after World War II. Our faculty has developed breakthrough research ideas that have shaped management practice for decades. In short, we have been unafraid to anticipate and respond to changes in the world around us. Our vision is to continue to embrace these two capacities: to hold fast to the characteristics we most cherish, and to be bold— even relentless—in innovating for a better future.”
In recent years, HBS has introduced the field method, a complement to the case method, in the MBA curriculum; a cornerstone of that effort is Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), a year-long course during which all first-year MBA students travel to emerging market countries to develop their international intelligence. Earlier this year, the School announced the launch of HBX, a digital learning platform that will extend its reach and impact around the world. The campaign will emphasize the importance of flexible funding to support these and other innovations across the School.
The aspirations for the Business School’s campaign are closely aligned with those of the Harvard Campaign.
“The Harvard Campaign calls upon us to articulate and affirm the fundamental values and purposes of higher education in the rapidly changing environment of a global and digital world—a world filled with promise for improving human lives and one in which creativity and curiosity will fuel the future,” said President Faust. “I am delighted that Dean Nohria and the faculty of HBS have seized upon this moment to focus on the role of business in driving the innovations that could lead to a more prosperous future for all. This campaign will contribute enormously to educating the business leaders who will make a difference in the world economy.”
To have an impact on complex global issues, Harvard Business School will actively engage its 80,000 alumni around the world, many of whom are positioned to make change happen in established companies, new ventures, and social enterprises.
“People often associate this School’s graduates with industries like finance and consulting,” said Campaign Chair Hess. “But HBS graduates are essential in leading every type of organization, including hospitals, schools, and social enterprises. Good leadership exerts a multiplier effect, and the alumni that I speak with are eager to put their management knowledge to work in taking on some of most complex issues faced by society today.”
The School has also launched a new website that enables HBS alumni to connect with one other based on a wide range of personal and professional interests. The website includes hundreds of stories that highlight the impact of HBS alumni and faculty in organizations and communities around the world.
Professor Robert Steven Kaplan, the School’s Senior Associate Dean for External Relations, spearheaded the effort to bring the voice of alumni into the campaign by enlisting several hundred alumni in committees, each of which explored topics that ultimately shaped the campaign themes and direction.
“The world turns to Harvard Business School for leadership not only because it is core to our mission,” said Kaplan, “but because our alumni are setting the example of true leadership by the impact they are making in large and small ways every day. They are the key to our future.”
The effort to engage alumni will begin in Boston on April 26 and extend around the world over the next 18 months as Nohria, Kaplan, and others from the School travel to alumni events across the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.