07 Apr 2022

Harvard Business School Announces New Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund

Fund to Enable HBS to Attract Students with Highest Potential for Leadership

BOSTON, April 7, 2022 – Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced the establishment of the Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund, which will benefit promising young leaders with high potential but limited means to attend HBS. The fund is made possible through the generosity of HBS alumni Robert Kraft (MBA 1965), founder, chairman, and CEO of both the Kraft Group and the Kraft Family Foundation, and his son Jonathan (MBA 1990), president of the Kraft Group. By creating the largest endowed fellowship fund of $24 million at the School, the Kraft family continues their longstanding commitment to and support of fellowship programs at HBS. The fund was first announced earlier today at an event held at the School, “Improving Opportunity through Increasing Access: A Real-Life Story and a Legacy of Educating Leaders—a Chat with Dean Datar & Robert K. Kraft.”

Dean Srikant Datar and Robert Kraft (MBA 1965)

The Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund will make the transformational educational experience of HBS more accessible to talented students who, without financial aid, would be unable to attend the MBA program. It will specifically support students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who are first generation college students or from other underrepresented student backgrounds. In recognition of the Krafts’ support, the School has named the Financial Aid Office and Director of MBA Financial Aid position in their family’s honor.

“Harvard Business School has a long and proud history of educating leaders who make a difference in the world, among them Robert and Jonathan Kraft,” said Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow. “Through this extraordinary act of philanthropy, father and son ensure that more lives are transformed as theirs have been. The University is grateful for their generosity and for the deep care with which they support the members of our community.”

The Krafts have a long history with and deep connection to the School. A native of Brookline, Massachusetts who grew up in a modest household, Robert’s lifelong dream was to attend HBS. While attending Columbia University on a full scholarship, Robert’s aspiration to attend HBS and pursue a career in business led him to visit the campus often, offering to do odd jobs around campus. This led to a life-altering relationship with then-Assistant Dean Richard Chapin (MBA 1949) and the decision to apply and ultimately attend HBS with support of a fellowship. Recognizing the critical role of financial support and mentorship in enabling his own journey, Robert and his family have been fellowship supporters since 1985, continually connecting with and guiding students throughout the years.

Jonathan Kraft (MBA 1990), Dean Srikant Datar, and Robert Kraft (MBA 1965)

“Being part of HBS changed my life, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to help others benefit from the transformational power of this experience,” said Robert Kraft. “Our family is proud of the extraordinary difference that our fellowship recipients make in the world.”

Jonathan Kraft and his brother Dan were born while their father was enrolled in the MBA program. Later, as a high-school student, Jonathan accompanied his father to the annual breakfasts with HBS fellowship recipients whom Robert and his late wife Myra sponsored. These gatherings solidified Jonathan’s hope to someday follow in his father’s footsteps as a student and then as a donor, which he did by graduating from the MBA program in 1990 and establishing his own fellowship fund in 2000.

The Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund advances the School’s commitment to making the MBA program more affordable and accessible. Nearly half of current MBA students receive financial aid, with an average one-year fellowship of $42,800 and more than $40M in need-based aid awarded annually. Admissions decisions are “need-blind” – made without regard to applicants’ financial circumstances, and admitted students receive financial aid based on demonstrated need, which factors in a student’s prior income, assets, and socioeconomic background.

Dean Srikant Datar

After offering flexible deferral and leave policies for the 2020-2021 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HBS welcomed more than 1,000 new students this past fall. Even with the increase in total enrollment, the School was still able to provide the same amount of financial aid on a per student basis, while simultaneously keeping tuition flat for the fifth year in a row and increasing its commitment to need-based scholarships, all thanks to the generous support of donors like the Kraft family.

“As HBS strives to ensure business is a force for good in society, it is increasingly important to educate leaders who anticipate the impact of their decisions on employees, customers, and their communities,” noted HBS Dean Srikant Datar. “Having the voices of fellow students from a range of cultures, industries, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the classroom broadens everyone’s perspectives on the real-world challenges they will face as business leaders. We are only able to foster this environment through the generous support of fellowships by leaders like Robert and Jonathan Kraft.”

"The diversity of viewpoints and experiences enrich the learning experience for everyone, and I know how grateful all of our students are to the alumni and friends who make their HBS experience possible. The fellowship program also helps reduce student debt, empowering our graduates to follow their dreams and make career choices that resonate with their passions to make a difference in the world,” said Susan Gilbert, Robert K. Kraft Family Director of MBA Financial Aid at HBS.


Mark Cautela


The Kraft family, through The Kraft Family Foundation, is committed to giving back to the community. The impact of their philanthropy has been felt by communities around the world through initiatives that nurture education efforts, unlock personal potential, and enrich health and wellness programs. With a focus on social justice, racial equity and vulnerable populations, the family’s philanthropic efforts include supporting initiatives that provide equal access, facilitate social and economic mobility, and create safety nets where they do not exist. Through the Kraft Family Foundation and other philanthropic initiatives, the Robert K. Kraft family has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations impacting our communities, including Harvard Business School, The Kraft Center for Community Health at Mass General Brigham, REFORM Alliance, Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program at Brandeis, New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, and many mission-driven, high-impact institutions.


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 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 70 open enrollment Executive Education programs and 55 custom programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, HBS 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, shaping the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.