New Web site Launched This Week Rings In One Hundred Years of Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School launched a Web site on Tuesday commemorating the history of the school as part of its Centennial Celebration.

The Web site, entitled Institutional Memory, showcases the past 100 years of the Business School through the personal recollections of its faculty, students, alumni, and staff.

“The purpose of the Web site is to tell the history of HBS through the experiences and the stories of the people who were a part of the HBS community,” said Melissa Shaffer, leader of the Centennial Institutional Memory Project.

“Instead of writing an authorized history of the HBS, we thought it would be better for others to learn about the history through those who were here.”

Mary Lee Kennedy, the Business School’s executive director of Knowledge and Library Services, initiated the idea for the web site, which took nearly a year to complete and consists of three main sections.

“Inquiry and Innovation: 1908-2008,” which is based in part on a 1987 book, “A Delicate Experiment: The Harvard Business School 1908-1945,” discusses how the Business School has gone about teaching students over the years, addressing four general questions that have shaped the evolution of the institution:

What makes a profession?

How do you educate to transform?

How do we define success?

What knowledge is useful?

The second part is “Community Narratives,” which presents memories from individuals who attended the Business School as students or who taught there over the years.

The third part is an interactive timeline of the school.

Institutional Memory also allows visitors to the site to add their own stories to the timeline, thus expanding the knowledge of the history of the Business School

“It’s a project that has tied together people from HBS not just geographically, but across years, so that the MBA 2009 students can listen to the stories of people who graduated in 1949,” Shaffer said.

“Bridging these generational gaps is something really special.”

As part of the Centennial, the Business School also plans to have a campus-wide celebration commemorating its official birthday on April 8, and it will host a Global Business Summit in October.