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Giving Back: The Class of 2002 Starts a New Tradition

The job market is as tough as it has been in decades, but members of the Class of 2002 did not let that blind them to local needs – answering the call to give something back with strong participation in the first HBS “Class Gift” drive.

More than 80% of the class contributed to the inaugural campaign, with Section I leading the way at 92%.

That high participation gets what the organizers hope will be a new tradition off to a strong start. The Class Gift is a way for the Class to come together and make a difference while still here at HBS, accomplishing something as a Class that we could not accomplish as individuals.

The money raised – more than $19,000 – will be donated to Allston’s Gardner Elementary School to finance much-needed upgrades to the computer labs and teaching materials.

This year’s effort started several months ago when a group of second-year students began exploring the possibility of trying to start a Class Gift tradition here at HBS. The committee included individuals from each section (see box). The effort sprang from a desire to show the commitment of the Class to improving our soon-to-be alma mater, and also from an interest in creating something that has already met with great success at several other top-tier business schools.

In selecting the gift, the committee considered a variety of criteria and solicited input from the entire class. The criteria included the tangible impact the gift would have and also how it would help HBS. After a student-wide poll was conducted to identify potential themes, numerous gift proposals were researched and two specific proposals were selected by the committee. The two proposals were then put to a class-wide vote.
The overwhelming winner of that vote was the proposal that focused on giving back to the broader community in which HBS resides. It was decided that the 2002 HBS Class Gift would go to helping the Gardner Elementary School. Gardner is a school in nearby Allston and 80% of its students live below the federal poverty line.

In addition to its physical proximity to the HBS campus, Gardner enjoys another special relationship with HBS. The HBS/Gardner Tutoring program is one the largest volunteer activities for HBS students – there are over 80 student participants from the Class of 2002 alone. The funds will assist the school in modernizing its curriculum resources and in updating their computer labs.

In difficult times, it would have been easy for students to justify not participating in a Class Gift initiative, but the generosity of the Class of 2002 has created a new tradition here that will last long after we leave the halls of Aldrich and the comfort of Spangler.

Finally, this gift not only further illustrates the commitment HBS has to the surrounding community, but it also will make a meaningful difference in the lives of a number of children who face much greater challenges than a weak job market.
Participation Rates by section:
(Through May 21, 2002)

Section A 83%
Section B 83%
Section C 77%
Section D 89%
Section E 81%
Section F 86%
Section G 70%
Section H 61%
Section I 92%
Section J 79%
Section K 86%
Committee Members:

Section A:
Jonathan Tower, Sean Gass, Patrick Chung

Section B:
Tyler Morse

Section C:
Kevin Greene, Craig Shepherd

Section D:
Brett Kenefick, Brent Brown , Nick Maynard, Lori Schock

Section E:
Alok Sanghvi

Section F:
Greg Gerstenhaber

Section G:
Jennifer Vogt, Doug Leister

Section H:
Chris Grosso, Daniel Rethazy, Mike Genstil

Section I:
Daisy Wademan

Section J:
Paul Carter, Andrew Rodriguez, Ahalya Nava-Majmudar

Section K:
Julie Russell , Mark Plunkett

June 3, 2002
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