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As "a realistic step toward adequate preparation for any national contingency," Wallace B. Donham, Dean of the Business School has requested information on the training and experience after graduation of 9,000 alumni of the School. Dean Donham stated that such a questionnaire should have no alarmist connotations. He also explained to the alumni that the information was sought on his own initiative and not at the request of any government agency.
In his letter to the alumni accompanying the questionnaire, Dean Donham said:
"Too little is known of the reservoir of management ability which can be tapped in this country in the event of a national emergency. Modern war is no longer a struggle between men, but between men and machines backed by an industrial organization capable of supplying both military and civilian needs. Fortunately we have great industrial organizations to rely on; but if in any emergency their activities are to be coordinated effectively, the government will require men who are trained and skilled in the job. Here, as I see it, the School should be ready to help.
"This questionnaire therefore is simply an attempt to take an inventory of the abilities and experience of the 9,000 men who have studied administration in the Harvard Business School."
Each alumnus is asked to check the various fields and functions, both in business and government, of which he has had experience and to describe in full his training and any special skills he may have developed. The project is designed to provide the School with a record of the activities and experience of its alumni which should be of permanent as well as possible immediate significance. For if a national crisis should arise in this period of war, this record should be of vital aid in determining what policy our government should folow.
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