Cash House

Portrait of James I. Cash by Gale Fulton Ross. A gift of Section G or the MBA Class of 1978.
Cash House west entrance.
Cash house name plaque
James I. Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

James I. Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Cash House is named to honor the legacy and contributions of James I. Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus.

One of 12 original buildings on the HBS campus, Cash House was created as a faculty residence by architects McKim, Mead & White and completed in 1926. Previously known as Glass House, the three-story 7,563-square-foot stucco and brick, Georgian Revival-style structure was one of seven buildings that were named after influential US Secretaries of the Treasury. The space was repurposed several times, most recently in 1984 as updated administrative space for the School’s Executive Education programs.

About the Name

Cash House was re-named in 2020 to celebrate and honor the contributions of James I. Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus.

Cash has been described throughout his career with words reserved for the most special of individuals: pioneer, trailblazer, legendary, game-changer. After receiving his BS in Mathematics from Texas Christian University, followed by MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Purdue University, he joined the HBS faculty in 1976, and became the first Black member of the faculty to receive tenure in 1985. He taught in the MBA Program and in all the School’s longform Executive Education programs, and was a prolific case writer, the author of numerous books and articles, and a noted scholar on the strategic use of information technology in the service sector. During his time at the School he served as Chair of the MBA Program, head of the Leadership and Learning initiative, Chair of Baker Library, and Senior Associate Dean and Chair of HBS Publishing.

After more than 27 years at the School, Cash retired in 2003, but his contributions and impact at the School remain strong. He continues to contribute to pivotal events at HBS by leading thoughtful discussions, reflecting on the School’s history, and bringing the community together for important conversations. His extraordinary friendship and mentorship and the diversity he’s fostered in the community are felt across the HBS campus to this day.

Carter Glass, Glass House's first namesake, served in the US House of Representatives for Virginia from 1902-1917 and as Treasury Secretary from 1918-1920, returning to the Senate for another 26 years until his death in 1946. His achievements in business include helping establish the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and passing the Federal Reserve Act. Yet these accomplishments are overshadowed by his active promulgation of segregationist policies in his home state, including poll taxes and literacy requirements that prevented many thousands of Black citizens from voting.

In an announcement to the HBS community, Dean Nohria noted, “We… cannot allow the Glass name to remain at the School, even while we recognize and cannot forget that it has been a fact of our history for 75 years. It is important that members of our community see themselves in our spaces and take pride in those whose names define our physical landscape. Cash House will reflect our deepest belief that leaders are individuals of not just great competence, but also outstanding and impeccable character.”

Cash exemplifies the School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world in every aspect of his personal and professional life. In addition to his extraordinary intellect and accomplishments, he is a man whose humility and genuine warmth make him beloved by all who know him. HBS is proud to recognize him for his accomplishments and impact at the School.

Portrait of James I. Cash by Gale Fulton Ross. The portrait is the gift of Section G of the MBA Class of 1978.

James I. Cash and artist Gale Fulton Ross with the portrait she created for the dedication of Cash House. The portrait is a gift of Section G in the MBA Class of 1978.

April 11, 2022 ribbon cutting: (from left) Former Dean Nitin Nohria, Dean Srikant Datar, James I. Cash, Clemmie L. Cash, Harvard President Larry Bacow

James I. Cash, Clemmie L. Cash, and Dean Srikant Datar at the Cash House dedication celebration