Hawes Hall: The Next Generation

Baker Beach has new competition. New-kid-on-the-block Hawes Hall completes the fourth side of the Aldrich courtyard, creating a new grassy lawn with benches and landscaping that is attracting a new set of followers stricken with spring fever.

The building was officially dedicated in a ceremony and reception last Friday, April 26, which hosted the Hawes family, Dean Kim Clark, SA Co-Presidents Annemarie Jensen and Sal Khan, and other HBS dignitaries.

Standing three stories tall with an additional basement level, the building features an attractive brick fa‡ade, painted wood trim, cast-stone accents, and other architectural features that relate to the Neo-Georgian design of McKim, Mead, and White, who were the original architects of the HBS campus. It connects to Aldrich on all levels and offers restrooms on each floor.

But beyond the classical features, Hawes Hall offers new amenities to bring instruction into the next generation of education at HBS. The building significantly enhances the school’s teaching capability with eight new classrooms, four with 92 seats and four with 68 seats, all in the traditional amphitheater-style layout common to HBS. Notably, the building will host classes for both the MBA and Executive Education programs, which traditionally have held classes in separate buildings.

New classroom features enhance HBS’s hallmark teaching method, which emphasizes dynamic interchange between faculty and students. Several classes have already been held in the building, and students have noticed the improved acoustics over those in Aldrich. Unlike most rooms in Aldrich, Hawes rooms’ chairs are moveable, and many students enthusiastically note the natural light from windows in the classrooms.

Windows in each room are equipped with light-filtering and blackout shades, which can be controlled from the room’s podium. The classrooms also feature three sets of stacked, electronic blackboards, and also have two fixed blackboards on the sidewalls. Interior finishes include wood-paneling, fabric-covered acoustic panels, and carpeting, all intended to create a “warm, inviting” space, according to promotional literature.

Most notably, Hawes Hall continues Dean Clark’s renowned initiative toward advanced technology at HBS with several new features. In addition to wireless Ethernet access throughout the building, the most stunning features are the classrooms’ new video, webcast, and even broadcast capabilities – built into each classroom.

There are three broadcast-quality cameras and two projection zones in each classroom, with equipment for a third projection zone, to ensure high-quality broadcasting and videotaping capabilities. Classrooms also have a built-in ceiling microphone system for high-quality audio recording throughout the rooms.

Control capabilities for the new technical features reside with the “touch-panel control” at the front podium, and there is also a new “central control capability” that enables technology systems in all Hawes classrooms to be fully controlled simultaneously by a single technician in a building location known as the “Head End” room.

The open spaces in Hawes differ dramatically from Aldrich because the layout relies more on wide, comfortably furnished galleries to facilitate breakout meetings, comparable to the purpose of Aldrich’s “fishbowls.” Large windows provide an abundance of natural light throughout the open spaces, which feature terrazzo (mosaic flooring), carpet, wood, and acoustic panel finishes. Students will also recognize flatscreen daily event monitors as seen in Spangler and Aldrich.

Rodney A. Hawes, Jr. (MBA ’69) and his wife Beverly, for whom the building is named, attended HBS with four young children, with two more following in 1973 and 1976. Hawes graduated as a Baker Scholar and worked almost four decades in the insurance industry before retiring in 1998 as chairman and CEO of Life Re Corporation, a Stamford, Connecticut based provider of life and health reinsurance.

Rodney and Beverly Hawes are now proud grandparents of eighteen grandchildren. According to promotional literature released by HBS, the Haweses are active in the Mormon Church and their philanthropic interests include Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and a number of humanitarian causes around the world.
Hawes Hall’s architect was Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C., and the Construction Manager was William A. Berry & Son, Inc.

[The Harbus wishes to thank the HBS Communications and Marketing Department for their generous assistance with this story.]
May 6, 2002
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