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Harvard Business School Sets $1 Billion Five-Year Fundraising Goal

hbs fundraiserHarvard Business School (HBS) last week launched a $1 billion capital campaign and an outreach program to help drive engagement with and among alumni. Already the school has raised more than $600 million in gifts and pledges as part of a “quiet phase” of the campaign that began in 2012, the school announced. The $1 billion goal is part of a larger $6.5 billion university-wide campaign announced last September.

The public launch kicked off with a day full of events on HBS’s Allston campus last Friday. Hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and staff took part in case discussions, faculty-led student and alumni panels and other programming. Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and HBS Dean Nitin Nohria were joined by Campaign Chair John Hess (MBA ’77), CEO of Hess Corporation, in delivering remarks in the evening.

“What truly distinguishes Harvard Business School is our capacity to continually innovate,” Nohria said. “We see a challenge or an opportunity and we can respond quickly but thoughtfully to develop a novel solution… 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.”

As part of the campaign, HBS plans emphasize the importance of flexible funding to support innovations like the field method, which was introduced in recent years to complement the school’s signature case method, and HBX, a digital learning platform designed to extend the school’s impact and reach around the world.

Seeking to have an even greater impact on complex global issues, HBS will also actively work to better engage its some 80,000 alumni. “People often associate this school’s graduates with industries like finance and consulting,” Hess noted. “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.”

To enable HBS alumni to connect with each other based on a range of personal and professional interests, the school has launched a new website, which includes hundreds of stories showcasing the impact of HBS alumni and faculty in organizations and communities around the world.

Beginning with the kickoff event last Friday, the alumni engagement effort will continue over the next 18 months as Nohria and others from the school travel to alumni events across North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the school announced.

HBS has conducted three previous capital campaigns since its founding in 1908, with the most recent concluding in 2005. Funds raised from this campaign will support student financial aid, faculty research, globalization and curricular innovation, as well as enhancements to the HBS campus, the school noted.

Learn more about HBS’s new $1 billion capital campaign.