Looking Back-The First Graduating Class

Editor’s Note

In 1908, the world was vastly different. Henry Ford gave the world the Model T, the Sixteenth (allowing federal income tax) and Seventeenth (requiring direct election of Senators) Amendments to the United States Constitution were adopted, major railroad companies were consolidating and oil was discovered for the first time in Persia. Harvard Business School was born of these times. Industry was on the move and it needed drivers. HBS has always been an institution for its times.

The WestPoint of Capitalism, as it was commonly called, was once perceived as a training ground for champions of the capitalist system. In the battle against communism, it trained capitalist soldiers in finance and operations. As feminism marched, the numbers of female graduates swelled. As the tide of globalization began coming ashore, the school became more international in student body and curriculum content. As corporate scandals multiplied, the pedagogy of ethics and accountability took center stage. Always timely, always relevant, always forward thinking–that has been HBS.

We pause this week to mark time and reflect on the impact of a great institution. In this issue we also seek to look forward through the eyes of alumni, faculty and students. At a time when the world faces profound challenges, it is right to pause and think about how HBS has helped advance society in the past and can continue to do so in the future.

Happy Birthday, HBS.

With warmest regards,