27 May 2010

Harvard Business School Marks 100th Commencement


BOSTON— The candidates for master's degrees in business administration who participated in Harvard Business School's Commencement exercises today have the distinction of being members of the School's 100th graduating class.

After University-wide Commencement exercises ended in Harvard Yard this morning, Dean Jay Light, in his final year as Dean, presided over the HBS exercises for both master's and doctoral candidates.

2010 HBS Graduates Celebrate
Photo: Harvard Business School

At the diploma ceremony, held on the green in front of Baker Library/Bloomberg Center, nine hundred and one students received their MBAs, while six were awarded doctorates in business administration. In addition, in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, eight graduate students earned Ph.D. degrees - five in business economics, one in organizational behavior, and two in health policy and management. Two other doctoral candidates received degrees earlier in the academic year.

Dean Light offered congratulations to the graduates, noting that the landscape had changed since they arrived on campus in the fall of 2008. "You are graduating into a more uncertain world with challenges and problems to solve. But, the world needs leaders now more than ever." He also encouraged the students to make contributions to society, advising, "It's not about you. It never has been. It never will be. It's about what you can do for everyone else."

The top five percent of the MBA Class of 2010 (46 graduates) graduated with high distinction as Baker Scholars (named after the School's initial benefactor, George F. Baker). Forty-five earned their diplomas with distinction.


Yesterday's HBS Class Day ceremony featured an address by student speaker John Coleman (MBA/MPA 2010) and a keynote by Sir Ronald Cohen (MBA 1969), chairman of the Portland Trust and Bridges Ventures and cofounder and former chairman of Apax Partners. Widely regarded as a founding father of the European venture capital industry, Cohen stepped down from his management responsibilities in 2005 to devote all his efforts to social investing in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Also at the ceremony, the Class of 2010 honored five faculty members for excellence in teaching: Tom Nicholas (who teaches The Entrepreneurial Manager course in the first-year required curriculum), Thomas Piper (who teaches Financial Reporting and Control in the first-year required curriculum), Clayton Christensen (who offers the second-year elective Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise), David Moss (who teaches the elective Creating the Modern Financial System) and Zeynep Ton (who teaches an elective called Coordinating and Managing Supply Chains).

John Coleman (MBA 2010)
Photo: Harvard Business School

Following these festivities, several hundred members of the class made their way to Burden Auditorium to take the student-led MBA Oath, pledging to "not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society" and to "remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards." According to student leaders, approximately 300 members of the HBS Class of 2010 have signed the Oath, joining over 3,000 MBA graduates at 15 schools in the U.S. and around the globe. (For the complete oath and further background, see www.mbaoath.org).


Early employment figures for the Class of 2010 indicate that as of Commencement, 85 percent of the class received a job offer, up from 83 percent for the previous class.

Beginning in 2008, in response to the global economic crisis, the School's MBA Career & Professional Development (CPD) office expanded the scope of its educational offerings and outreach efforts. With additional career coaches, more job search training programs, and increased employer outreach efforts, the Class of 2010 was well supported in its job search efforts.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.