Harvard Business School (HBS) recently inaugurated its new anchor building in the Executive Education program – the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center.
The building was made possible by a $40 million gift from the Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and family foundation. This gift was given in tribute to the life and legacy of the late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, beloved matriarch of this most prominent and accomplished Chinese-American family.
The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center is a 90,000-square-foot, four-story Gold certified LEEDs structure that will be the gateway to the University’s Executive Education Program. This building anchors the Executive Education campus and is the center where all executives attending these programs will be greeted. In addition to a reception and registration area, the building offers an open theater-style forum with expansive seating capacity, state-of-the-art classrooms, meeting rooms, offices and dining facilities and an elevated outdoor terrace. Architectural firm Goody Clancy designed the new building, which was completed in 2 years.
“The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center epitomizes the ideals of its namesake, who so valued the broadening of minds that takes place when people come together to engage, share and learn,” noted Harvard President Drew Faust. “Her progressive views on the importance of education live on in her daughters, each of whom has used their education to improve the world around them.”
Chao family patriarch Dr. James S. C. Chao said, “We are humbled to dedicate this building to memorialize the life and legacy of my beloved Ruth to advance Harvard’s mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. Ruth and I drew on the culture of our ancestral land, China, to give our daughters an appreciation for education and that strong foundation allowed them to advance in America.” He added, “We believe the learning and exchange of knowledge that takes place in the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center will develop better leaders who will gain greater understanding, insight, and wisdom to lead in the world of the future.”
Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria believes that the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center reinforces the importance of the physical campus in the age of online learning. “Online learning creates many new possibilities in the educational arena,” he said. “But the human interaction that takes place on our campus is at the heart of transformational learning. And for generations of executives from all over the world, that transformational experience will begin in the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center”.