By Stacy Blackman Consulting
Harvard Business School plans to raise $1 billion over the next five years, and has launched an alumni outreach program to increase engagement with and among alumni well in to the future, the school announced at its public capital campaign launch on Friday.
HBS has already raised more than $600 million in gifts and pledges since 2012 as part of the campaign’s “quiet phase.” The overall goal is part of Harvard University’s $6.5 billion campaign announced last September.
This is the fourth campaign since the school’s founding in 1908. Funds raised 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,” says Dean Nitin Nohria in a press statement announcing the news. “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.”
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,” says Campaign Chair John 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.”
A new website 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 alumni and faculty have 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 effort to engage alumni began in Boston on April 26th and will extend around the world over the next 18 months.
“The world turns to Harvard Business School for leadership not only because it is core to our mission,” says 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.”
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