member of the Kellogg School community plays a part in securing
its future, say senior administrators. Here's how —
and why — you should lend your support to take Kellogg
to the next level
School needs you, now more than ever. And, actually, you still
need Kellogg too.
the message the school's top administrators are sending its
alumni as peer competition spurs innovation in the MBA marketplace,
and as global markets pressure leaders to continually "refresh"
their degrees with the latest strategic insights. It's a situation
that has encouraged many Kellogg School graduates to remain
engaged with their Evanston alma mater, benefiting from the
relationship's lifelong learning opportunities.
||© Nathan Mandell
Dean Dipak Jain and Roger (Whit) Shepard, associate dean
of development and alumni relations.
resources to attract and keep the best students and faculty
are essential to secure the Kellogg School's future --- for
all its stakeholders. Without tools such as scholarships,
endowed chairs and research funds, no school can expect to
thrive among the elite institutions shaping thought and practice
its leaders, a school's reputation has a significant and tangible
impact on the reputation and fortunes of its alumni.
our alumni invest in Kellogg, the more value is produced both
for them and for our school," says Dean Dipak C. Jain.
has ranked among the top business schools for years, but it
didn't achieve this stature by remaining static, says Dean
Jain --- and it won't retain its position without a concerted
effort by those closest to the school.
not the time to stop our efforts," Jain says. "The business
world continues to evolve, presenting new challenges for leaders.
We need our alumni to work with us to ensure that Kellogg
can continue providing leadership that makes an impact and
distinguishes the school and its graduates."
World spoke with Dean Jain and Roger (Whit) Shepard, associate
dean of development and alumni relations, about the role that
philanthropy plays in enabling Kellogg to deliver an unsurpassed
World: Why is it important for Kellogg alumni to give
back to the school?
Dipak Jain: One answer is so that they remain connected
with an institution that continually strives for excellence
and endeavors to make a lasting impact by producing extraordinarily
talented and ethical leaders. This is an exciting project
to which alumni can make key contributions. Further, alumni
engagement demonstrates a commitment that benefits both Kellogg
and our graduates. Our rankings are a reflection of our alumni's
reputation in their workplace.
(Whit) Shepard: Alumni giving is a sign of an institution's
health. Alums support a school in response to the quality
experience that they had there, and from a sense of having
a stake in its future. Alumni are essential to keeping Kellogg
as good as it is and making it even better. Fortunately, I've
never seen people as enthusiastic about their school as our
Jain: Also, alumni giving is essential for a private institution
such as Northwestern because, unlike state schools where government
contributes funding, we rely on alumni for our innovations,
curriculum design and intellectual capital creation.
Those three crucial areas demand ongoing resources, right?
Jain: Exactly. On all three dimensions we seek not only
monetary help from alumni, but also their corporate connections,
which can create opportunities for case writing and faculty
research. We also desire their insights about the best way
to prepare our students for leadership roles. Another important
way alumni can give back is by mentoring our students and
those graduates who have been out three to five years.
: Beyond being affiliated with a leading school, what
other benefits can alumni expect to enjoy if they contribute
Jain: Giving is a two-way street. We cannot just ask them
for resources; we also have to give back to them. That's why
we continuously look for ways to replenish our alumni's knowledge
base. If alumni feel they are getting renewed, they will put
resources into Kellogg so that they do not lose these lifelong
It's both a transactional exchange and something much more
than that. Alumni do 'get' something out of this lifelong
partnership as they become stakeholders in this organization.
But there is also an important emotional dimension. People
talk about the special experiences they enjoyed here, and
they remember the faculty and staff who went out of their
way to make that experience great.
Jain: Our alumni feel that they personally know the people
at Kellogg --- including our faculty, with whom alums desire
an ongoing connection --- and we pride ourselves on these
personal relationships. Our graduates should know, for instance,
Jim Corboy (director of Alumni Relations), Whit Shepard and
Dipak Jain. This fact has bearing on our development goals
because people give to people.
(Whit) Shepard: At many schools, nobody knows who you
are. At the Kellogg School, the administration and faculty
are enthusiastic that our students are here; they go out of
their way to make this a nurturing, supportive place. And
we must deliver this personal touch to our alumni too. We
have the Kellogg Alumni Network, which is so valuable for
forming a virtual community worldwide, but it's not enough.
People want to see us, to identify individuals who are there
Is there a secret to getting the alumni engaged more?
(Whit) Shepard: The biggest secret in fund raising is
that there is no secret. The fact is, Kellogg has not been
aggressive in asking its alumni for philanthropy. Now we have
to change that message and say, 'We need your philanthropy
more than ever before, and we deserve your support.'
Jain: It is very important for us to be proactive. We
can't wait for alumni to come to us. They are busy molding
their careers. We must approach them to explain how this engagement
is a long-term relationship.
: What would you say to an alum who told you, 'With
all due respect, I paid my tuition while earning my MBA degree
--- and it didn't come cheap. Why should I give you any more
Jain: That's a fair question. It's correct that they paid
for what they received from Kellogg. But the knowledge base
is not static --- you must continuously replenish it with
new ideas. Particularly in management education, there are
so many changes happening about which our alums need to be
informed. The least costly means for them to do that is through
Kellogg. The alternatives are far more costly, and the cost
of not acquiring these insights can result in losing one's
competitive edge in the marketplace.
(Whit) Shepard: Philanthropy plays a role that no other
money can. It funds endowed chairs, fellowships and research
support for attracting and retaining the best faculty. Scholarships
are another example: A school can only be great if its students
are among the very best. We need scholarships to allow the
best students to attend Kellogg, and we must remove the financial
What is the vision for the Kellogg School?
Jain: The most important thing is maintaining our competitive
edge. Kellogg is a school that brings innovations to the market
and executes them very well. The school's vision involves
producing socially responsible global leaders. We need to
craft very carefully what these words mean: the socially responsible
aspect, the global aspect and the leadership aspect.
(Whit) Shepard: We're redefining global leadership. You
cannot be a leader without having a full appreciation of the
larger social context. Kellogg is in a position to change
the leadership paradigm better than anyother school because
of the values we hold --- the team leadership concept, the
comprehensive sense of leadership.
It sounds exciting --- surely something our alumni will find
Jain: Our alumni have proven themselves to be exceptionally
talented and passionate. We need them to join us on this journey
forward, and we ask them to consider how they personally can
make a difference at Kellogg --- for themselves and for our
students. And, ultimately, for the betterment of all society.