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$5 Million Donation to Harvard Business School Will Fund Case Studies in Artificial Intelligence

Harvard Business School.
Harvard Business School. By Jason K. Thong
By Grace A. Greason, Crimson Staff Writer

A recent multi-million dollar donation from a Harvard Business School alumnus will fund the development of case studies examining the intersections of artificial intelligence and business, the school announced Monday.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, who received his MBA from the Business School in 1972, donated $5 million to support the efforts of HBS faculty members producing case studies in the field, according to a press release.

Schwarzman is the co-founder and CEO of Blackstone, a multinational private equity, asset management, and financial services firm.

Students in the MBA program at the Business School learn using the case method, an innovative approach to learning pioneered by the Business School in the 1920s, through which students analyze, discuss, and brainstorm solutions for real-world issues in business and industry. According to the press release, the Schwarzman Research Fund will support case studies on a wide array of topics related to artificial intelligence, including the development of new markets, worker productivity, and ethical concerns.

Schwarzman said his experience heading Blackstone underscored the importance of the relationship between technology and business.

“The disruptive implications and opportunities surrounding AI are far-reaching,” he said in the press release. “Executives need to understand how to anticipate, act on, and manage these changes. I am hopeful that through these case studies— hallmarks of the HBS experience that have helped train a century of business leaders— we can better prepare the next generation to help shape the application of AI in an ethical and accountable way that benefits the public interest.”

HBS Dean Nitin Nohria said he welcomes the opportunity to expose students to a new and increasingly relevant field.

“AI has profound implications for the future of work and for society more broadly,” said Nohria. “Steve's generous gift will accelerate faculty research in this area, advancing understanding and exposing business leaders around the world to this increasingly important topic.”

Schwarzman’s donation to the Business School comes as the University completes its capital campaign, which hauled in a total of $9.6 billion dollars — an all-time high in higher education. The Business School was consistently among the top of Harvard’s professional schools in donations throughout the five year campaign.

—Staff writer Grace A. Greason can be reached at

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