The family of the late William F. Connell, M.B.A. ’63, has donated an additional $10 million to Harvard Business School (HBS) to establish the Margot and William F. Connell Family MBA Program Innovation Fund.
The gift will help support the School’s efforts in curriculum innovation, focusing specifically on the second year of the M.B.A. program.
Connell was the founding chairman and CEO of the Boston-based Connell Limited Partnership, a group of manufacturing companies doing business principally in the automotive, energy, mining, construction, and agricultural sectors
Connell, who grew up in Lynn, Mass., the son of a bus driver, died in August 2001 at the age of 63. In the spring of 2001, he received Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award, the highest recognition HBS can bestow upon a graduate. His wife, Margot, taught math and science in elementary schools in New York and California after graduating from Michigan State University in 1963. She now chairs the board of the Connell Limited Partnership.
The Connell family provided these funds to the School in gratitude for the impact the HBS educational experience had on the lives of its family members and in recognition of the need for HBS to continually innovate and strengthen the M.B.A. curriculum and experience to prepare students as effectively as possible to lead in today’s business world.
Married for nearly 40 years, the Connells have six children — Monica, Lisa, Courtenay, William, M.B.A. ’02, Terence, M.B.A. ’13, and Timothy, a 2013 graduate of Boston College Law School. The gift was made in honor of Bill Connell’s 50th Reunion from Harvard Business School.
“We are very grateful for the generosity and support of Margot and the entire Connell family,” said Dean Nitin Nohria. “They are a remarkable success story, all of them eager to add value to the community and give back to society. Bill truly personified the mission of the School to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. A previous gift from the family in 2003 helped launch the School’s Leadership Initiative — now appropriately headquartered in Connell House — which has helped our faculty undertake research and course development in this field, which is at the center of all we do at HBS. This new donation from the Connells provides us with the financial support we need to enhance our second-year curriculum and make it a deeper, more cohesive, and more innovative experience that will have a life-long impact on our students.”
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