In his introduction of Dick Spangler, the Chairperson of The Campaign for Harvard Business School, Dean Kim Clark at the podium in the middle of the full basketball arena in Shad Hall, flanked with stadium screens projecting his live image, made light of his own fundraising skills.
He told of the conception of Spangler Hall, for which he invited Dick Spangler to HBS to introduce him to his vision “to bring students together.” Said Dean Clark, “When [Dick Spangler] tells the story, he says I said we wanted a cafeteria, but I distinctly remember mentioning a place ‘to bring people together.'”
In his office, Dean Clark recalled that Mr. Spangler interrupted him as he told of his vision for Spangler Center and said, “What do you need?” Said Dean Clark, “I said, ‘I have a dream,’ and he said, ‘No, what do you need?’ And he had to tell me what to ask for and how it should work…He taught me an important lesson.”
Dean Clark then told the crowd that the Capital Campaign had already raised $250 million of its stated $500 million goal.
Dick Spangler took the podium next. An HBS alumnus and successful college president and businessman, Spangler recalled of the dean’s story, “The dean took me out to the parking lot and swung his hand over five or six parking spaces. I thought he wanted a student snack bar. I told him my family would be happy to help. But he heard, ‘happy to pay for it.'”
After Spangler’s remarks, Dean Clark introduced Harvard University President Larry Summers. Before President Summers took the podium, Dean Clark showed a picture of himself and a bearded President Summers when they were both economics graduate students at Harvard University in 1976. The two shared a Research Associate.
President Summers praised HBS as a model from which American academia should learn. “HBS is truly a unique and wonderful institution,” he said. He also heaped praise on Dean Clark for his leadership and diplomacy in the University community.
Dean Clark concluded the evening with his remarks. He spoke of the time in which the school was founded and said, “They were times not unlike our own.” Businesspeople were referred to, he said, as either “robber barons or shopkeepers.” He elaborated on each fundraising goal: attracting the best students, attracting the best faculty, increasing the use of technology in the curriculum, increasing the school’s global presence, and “our responsibility to upgrade” the campus.
Dean Clark finished his remarks by reading a letter he wrote five years ago in which he discussed how leadership and values are core to the community and its curriculum. “The world out there rightly holds us to a higher standard,” he wrote.
“This is a very successful place. It’s doing really really well, but we’re changing it,” and that “takes courage,” said Dean Clark. “What we do here matters. It’s important what we do.”
The dinner was a three-course meal with filet mignon as the main dish. The tables each sat about 10 guests with assigned seats and were formally set with fine linens and china. Approximately 35 tables were serviced by a professional catering staff from Restaurant Associates, all of whom had come to Boston from New York to cater the event.