As the final weeks of Black History Month 2002 approach, many will see HBS African and African-American Students running around campus in a hurry muttering to themselves “three days left, three days left, it’s almost here….” These AASU students are not talking about exploding job offers (wouldn’t that be nice) or counting down to the infamous Negotiations final exam.
No, these ambitious students will be anxiously focusing on the arrival of what is known by many black HBS alumni, students, prospective students, the Harvard black graduate community, and many professionals from around the world as “the conference”, more specifically, the 30th Annual H. Naylor Fitzhugh Conference, being held February 22nd-24th at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel at Two Cambridge Center on Broadway.
For many of black HBS students, especially the two co-chairs, attending the conference was the final factor that convinced us to choose HBS over other top MBA programs. Memories of those feelings motivate us to ensure that this year’s conference is the best ever.
Over the past few weeks, many of the articles appearing in the Harbus focused on many of the legacies that are part of the AASU tradition. These historical accounts of strong leadership, perseverance, and excellence by black students throughout past decades of HBS history provide the foundation of this year’s conference theme: “Excelling in the New Competitive Landscape: A 30-Year Legacy to Embrace!!!”
Ten years since the last U.S. economic recession, and a year since the last conference, the competitive landscape is undergoing multiple industry transformations, numerous massive restructurings, and of course, reacting the tragic events of September 11th. As these issues are of concern to all nationalities and ethnic groups, the entire HBS community is invited to share in the inspiration and guidance provided at this conference.
Many of the top African-American business leaders will join us as we celebrate the vast intellectual and social capital produced by HBS black alumni over AASU’s thirty-year history. From our black-tie banquet keynote speaker Pamela Thomas-Graham, HBS ’88, CEO of CNBC to Lillian Lincoln, HBS ’69, the first African-American female to graduate from HBS, AASU is excited to include panelists and speakers from each of the last four decades to provide invaluable career and business guidance in areas that include media/entertainment, financial services, consulting, and career development for MBA’s.
Each facet of AASU’s mission: increasing black student matriculation at HBS, maximizing the impact of AASU in both the business and civic community, and strengthening the HBS network of black professionals around the globe, is reflected in this year’s conference activities. Through hosting a targeted Prospective Student’s Day with Admissions, AASU, and HOLA, by launching a national initiative with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of America, and by having AASU’s 4th Annual Entrepreneurial Ventures Competition, this year’s conference will provide a strong value proposition for prospective students, current students, alumni, and professionals alike. We hope to see you there.
Editor’s Note: For a full view of this year’s H. Naylor Fitzhugh conference, being held February 22nd-23rd at the Cambridge Marriott, please check the conference website at
//sa.hbs.edu/aasu/Conference/Conference_02_home.html for a complete agenda and to register online.