Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association to Profile Women Graduates as Part of the School’s Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Women MBAs

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Harvard Business School African-American Alumni participate in the School’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of women being admitted to the MBA program by spotlighting a cross-section of alumnae, women who represent a variety of career choices and are leaders making a difference in the world.

African-American MBAs represent the broad mosaic of our Harvard Business School community and all of them are living out the School’s mission of developing leaders who make a difference in the world.

The Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association (HBSAAA) today launched its part in the School’s major celebration of 50 years of women in the full-time MBA program with a new website (http://www.hbsaaa.net ) that will be filled over time with photos and profiles of a number of illustrious alumnae.

Throughout 2013, Harvard Business School has hosted a series of special events, programs and exhibitions, which have explored the past, present and future of women leading in business and civic life.

The School invited its global network of alumni clubs to participate in the celebration in their own ways. The HBSAAA has chosen to identify and celebrate alumnae who are leaders in their fields and communities, and/or in their volunteer and philanthropic activities. A series of HBSAAA profiles will begin appearing on its new website today and will be updated regularly in the coming weeks.

Said Kenneth Powell (MBA ’74), president of HBSAAA, “A number of our African-American alumnae have participated in the School’s celebration, but we wanted to spotlight more of our members, exemplary leaders who have chosen a variety of career paths, all of whom are giving back to their communities.”

The HBSAAA W50 Celebration Committee was led by Ivy Jack (MBA ’04), who said, “It has been a revelation to learn more about the extraordinary lives and experiences of our African-American alumnae. They represent the broad mosaic of our HBS community and all of them are living out the School’s mission of developing leaders who make a difference in the world.”

The first of the profiles on the website includes Lillian Lincoln Lambert (MBA ’69), the first African-American woman who earned her MBA in the full-time program. Mrs. Lambert wrote that when she arrived at HBS she was “one of 35 women and one of nine blacks in a student body of 1,600.” Living in the Radcliffe College graduate dormitory because women were not allowed to live at HBS, her first thought was, “Why am I here?”

After two rigorous, lonely and tumultuous years, which included the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 as well as student sit-ins and protests against the Vietnam War, she learned that, “In the end, no obstacle is insurmountable. In fact, I learned to use obstacles as stepping stones to higher levels of achievement.”

A future profile is of Linda Oubre (MBA ’84), dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University. She wrote: “In a world where only 18 percent of business school deans are women, and less than 1 percent are African-American, I live the life of someone who no one expects to be the ‘one in charge’. Thirty years after HBS, I have learned to ‘strut my stuff’, not to put my degree to the wall as I have been told by so many people. As women and people of color, we need to scream to the world: ‘We are HBS!’”

About HBSAAA: The Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association (HBSAAA) serves over 2,100 African-American, African, and other black graduates of HBS who identify with an African-American heritage. It is dedicated to building and sustaining a beneficial network that connects alumni, current students, and applicants with HBS to increase our influence at the School and in the broader African-American Community.

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