UPDATED: April 25, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
Harvard Business School aims to raise $1 billion in its portion of Harvard’s ongoing capital campaign, a total that accounts for 15 percent of the University’s $6.5 billion goal, the school announced at its campaign launch on Friday.
The school has already raised $600 million in gifts and pledges, putting it well on its way to fulfilling its share of the University-wide goal, the most ambitious in Harvard’s history, according to a press release.
The School’s priorities, articulated broadly, include investments in innovation and financial aid.
The day-long launch, which brought together top-level administrators, faculty, students, and alumni for panels, discussions, and announcements, comes nearly eight months after the University-wide launch last September, which concluded the campaign’s three-year quiet phase and kicked off its public phase. The campaign is expected to last until 2018.
According to the School’s campaign website, priorities include developing innovative approaches to education such as field-based learning, bolstering financial aid, and supporting efforts to recruit faculty and cultivate faculty research endeavors. The School has also stated commitments to enriching the global perspective of its student body and educational programs, as well as better integrating with other schools at Harvard.
The Business School, which offers MBA, Doctoral, and executive education programs, has recently expanded in online education through its new digital platform HBX, as well with global immersion programs for its students. Significant capital investments have been allocated in recent years toward the school’s publishing arm, which distributes a variety of business and management education materials, and toward the improvement and expansion of its executive education program, according to the school’s 2013 annual report.
Speakers at the launch events included University President Drew G. Faust, Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, and Business School campaign chair John B. Hess ’75.
In her remarks, Faust highlighted the role of the school in the Harvard community as a whole, particularly within of the context of the University’s expansion into Allston, just north of the Business School’s campus.
“Harvard Business School will be physically at the center of Harvard’s campus,” she said. “But this is just a first step as we plan for a future research enterprise zone that will have partnerships that reach beyond the University to the broader for-profit and not-for-profit world, and as we plan other academic endeavors in the extraordinary spaces that Allston makes available to us.”
Faust also spoke of the Business School as a driving force for societal good, a theme that was emphasized throughout the night’s event.
“The public has lost trust in business. Business and society have never been more divided,” said Hess, who earned his MBA at Harvard in 1977. “In an era of budget austerity and political gridlock, business is called upon to play a larger role in providing social good. And we need the public to understand how important Harvard Business School is to this effort.”
Hess is joined by 18 honorary co-chairs, including former Business School Jay O. Light and prominent University donor Hansjörg Wyss, as well as dozens of regional chairs and committee members.