HBS Dedicates New Home for Executive Education Program

Robert F Worley

Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group and a former student of the executive education program, donated $50 million to build Tata Hall, where many of Harvard Business School’s executive education students will now live and attend classes.

Administrators, students, and other affiliates of Harvard Business School gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the dedication of the newly completed Tata Hall, the future home of the Business School’s executive education program.

Construction of the 163,000 square foot building, which will include residential and learning space for the executive education program, began in Dec. 2011. Currently, students in the program, which trains over 10,000 professionals from around the world on issues related to business management, live in McArthur, Baker, and Mellon halls.

“The best thing about the building is the name,” said former Business School Dean Jay O. Light, who, along with University President Drew G. Faust and current Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, among others, spoke at the ceremony Monday.

Tata Hall is named after Indian tycoon and University donor Ratan N. Tata, a former student in the advanced management branch of the executive education program. Construction of the building was partially funded by a $50 million dollar donation from Tata Group, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, and the Tata Education and Development Trust.

Light praised the river-facing building, calling it “the greatest reigning key site on the Charles River.” Like other speakers at the ceremony, he said that Tata Hall is notable for its interior, which was designed to cater to the needs of the executive education program. The building includes two large “breakout” spaces and two 99-seat tiered case-study classrooms.


“Through the masterful use of technology and space, Tata Hall has been specifically designed to raise the level of [student] interaction to new heights,” said Das Narayandas, chair of the executive education program. “This graceful building will help enormously in furthering our mission to shape future leaders for generations to come.”

According to a press release, Tata Hall, which was designed by William Rawn Associates, was built to attain LEED Platinum certification, the highest level awarded by the United States Green Building Council based on a structure’s efficiency and sustainability. Among the building’s green features are a low-flow plumbing system and a solar array used to generate air conditioning power. The building has yet to be certified.

At the dedication, speakers commented on the growth of the executive education program, pointing to its diverse participant pool and gifts from international donors.

“Almost 60 years ago when I was a student here, there were no women in my classroom and there were no Indians either,” said C. Dixon Spangler Jr., a former president of the University Board of Overseers who is the namesake of the Harvard Business School’s student center. “Now the president of Harvard is a woman, and the dean of the business school was born in India. So Harvard too has changed and changed very much for the better.”

Looking back at the multiyear planning and construction process, Nohria said that he feels a “sense of relief,” prompting laughter from the audience.

“We look forward to welcoming remarkable leaders, investing in their education, and contributing to their ability to make a profound difference in the world,” Nohria said.

—Staff Writer Indrani G. Das. can be reached at Follow her on twitter @IndraniGDas.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: Dec. 12, 2013

An earlier version of the caption of the photo accompanying this article incorrectly stated the size of a donation by Ratan Tata to fund the construction of Tata Hall. In fact, Tata donated $50 million.


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