© Nathan Mandell
Dean Jacobs was joined by his family, (left to right):
Diane and David Jacobs, Leesah Jacobs-Givot and Ann
to the "Dean of Deans" caps illustrious Jacobs tenure
6, Kellogg hosted a gala dinner to salute Donald P. Jacobs,
the "dean of deans." Nearly 700 guests, including
Kellogg faculty, staff and students, as well as dozens of
corporate leaders, CEOs and educators, attended the dinner
at McGaw Memorial Hall. People traveled from as far away as
Japan, France, Germany, Israel and the United Arab Emirates
to honor Jacobs, who retired July 1 after a 26-year tenure
as dean. Jacobs will remain a professor at Kellogg and will
serve as director of the Zell Center for the Study of Decisions,
Risk and Risk Perceptions, a new research center based at
for his intelligence, tenacity and vision in transforming
Kellogg into one of the world's premier management education
brands, Jacobs was honored by friends and colleagues throughout
an evening that culminated in a tribute video produced by
the Leo Burnett company.
received a 112-page hardbound book filled with hundreds of
congratulatory letters and photographs highlighting the dean's
career. Many of the notes recalled not only Jacobs' academic
initiatives but also his warm, personal attributes -- especially
his ability to leave an indelible impression on colleagues
and their families.
Ryan '59, chairman and CEO of Aon Corp. and president of the
Northwestern University Board of Trustees, served as master
of ceremonies for the evening as eight esteemed guests recalled
their memories of Jacobs' deanship and celebrated the man
behind those professional achievements. Excerpts from the
evening's speeches included the following remarks.
|© Nathan Mandell
Jacobs with Sushant and Dipak Jain
Lavengood, Kellogg professor emeritus of business history:
"Don Jacobs is not only the remarkable head of the Kellogg
family, but probably the senior dean in the world. While there's
a staggering array of publicly observed effects associated
with his deanship, there is also a less conspicuous side of
Don Jacobs. Early in his tenure, Don took to speaking of the
school's faculty and staff as family. He called us other things
too, but his favorite reference was to family. He wanted to
think of us as bound together, not only in a common enterprise,
but in a kind of kinship that presumes mutual care. He created
a community that regards itself and everyone in it with true
Bienen, president of Northwestern University:
worked for Don Jacobs for six years and he's one of the best
bosses I've ever had. All kidding aside, I had a terrific
working relationship with a great dean and a tremendous institution
builder. I formed a warm friendship and had my fair share
of good cigars and brandy with Don...I thank him deeply for
his leadership, his friendship and his great zest. We're all
in your debt, Don."
Fetzer '61, chairman of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board:
Jacobs is a risk-taker who doesn't believe in red tape. He
can see around corners and moves quickly to address lacks.
For example, he helped establish Kellogg's high-tech curriculum
in three months. Don has also been the architect of the school's
Miles, chairman of the Kellogg Advisory Board: "Don
shares the extraordinary strengths and skills that have enabled
a select few individuals to lead great institutions. He's
a great listener: to students, faculty, the advisory board
and recruitersHe has tremendous energy and is dedicated to
quality in everything he does."
© Nathan Mandell
Carole Cahill with Nancy and Phil Kotler
Tabatoni, member of the Academie de France: "I
express admiration for Don Jacobs' realism and leadership.
You have made history in management...As a friend of 25 years,
Don has never ceased to surprise me, and sometimes puzzle
me, which is a rare gift in a friend...He maintains full authority
while expecting from everyone initiative and personal drive...He
has built an impressive international network in which Kellogg
students are actors and ambassadors. Although he rarely uses
the rhetoric of change, he's a very active proponent of change
and a formidable strategist."
Levy Jr. '47, chairman of Levy Venture Management: "There
is one word that best describes Don. The word is caring.'
He cares for his family, faculty, students, friends and co-workers.
Don is the nicest person I've ever met."
Jain, representing the Kellogg faculty: "It
has been a wonderful experience working with Don. I have learned
a lot. Don's contributions in terms of faculty development
and intellectual growth at Kellogg are especially noteworthy...Don
has always emphasized that learning is a lifelong activity,
and not only for business executives, but for faculty as well.
He can discover the hidden skills of a faculty member to broaden
that person and offer encouragement, pushing us in the right
direction, away from the silos we work in...Don's intuition
is always right on the mark."
Jacobs '90, representing the family: "I
remember my father's objective was to create a cohesive family
at Kellogg where [both] the work comes first and the family
comes first. Our family has been a part of all the [Kellogg]
milestones, and [the Kellogg community] has been a part of
our extended family... We're extremely proud of you, Dad,
and we love you."