Two years ago the Chao Family Foundation made a large and generous donation to the Harvard Business School (HBS), in memory of Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, who — in addition to raising six daughters and building a successful international shipping business with her husband — devoted her time and financial resources to educational achievement and making it accessible to others. The donation was given to build a spectacular new educational center and endow a fellowship for students who need financial support.
As covered on the China Daily, in late April 2015 the Chao family, including Dr. James S.C. Chao and his daughters, and HBS officials and representatives of the construction company, came together to celebrate the completion of the exterior construction work on the 90,000 square feet building. This new executive center’s name will serve as a reminder of Ruth Mulan Chu Chao’s efforts to improve cross-cultural understanding and relationships between her native country of China and her new home, the US. Her deep appreciation for educational achievement and love for her ancestral culture was passed onto her daughters, who took much delight in the traditional building “topping off” ceremony, held on April 24th.
Now work on the Center will move indoors, where over four floors of classrooms, offices, dining rooms and meeting rooms will take shape. When complete, the Center will be a beacon on the Harvard campus, for the thousands of international students who visit the top business school each year to participate in executive programs. According to Angela Chao, one of four daughters from the Chao family to have attended HBS, and Deputy Chair of the Foremost Group, the Center will be a symbol that bridges East and West. There is great anticipation among all involved that the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center will facilitate a dynamic exchange of ideas among the international executive student body, the HBS faculty and its students, resulting in long-lasting inter-cultural relationships and a free flow of thinking and solutions to the world’s ever-evolving challenges.