winter-spring 2001

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Highlights of the Hamada Years

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Making History: Hamada’s contributions to fundraising for the GSB included launching th five-year, $175 million campaign. More than 200 alumni came to Chicago in March 2000 to celebrate the campaign kickoff.

Raising Funds and Launching the GSB Campaign

By Roger “Whit” Shepard
Former Associate Dean for External Affairs

For someone who kept insisting that he didn’t like to raise money, Bob did a pretty fair job, to say the least. By the time of my departure in November 2000, he and his development team had raised a total of almost $160 million in gifts and pledges over a five-year period. We were raising an average of $33 million on an annual basis, almost three times the previous rate.

Bob’s legacy will include the creation of an entirely new campus for the GSB, the naming of Gleacher Center, the creation of interdisciplinary centers for marketing and entrepreneurship, and the establishment of a host of endowed professorships, among many other achievements. Surely, the incredible generosity of some outstanding GSB alums was there, waiting to be tapped. But they needed to be inspired to give as they did. That is what Bob did. He also inspired the development staff as we worked to ensure they were asked in the right way, and for the right purpose.

Which is not to say it was easy. In his single-minded crusade to quantify the ultimately unquantifiable (he was a true son of the GSB, after all), no strategy was set and no ask was made before it (and we) had survived the withering drumfire of Bob’s questioning. He was an implacable foe of the fuzzy thinking that too often derives from the fundraiser’s genetic tendency toward optimism. Bob is, first and foremost, a teacher, and he taught us that numbers count in a way that a whole generation of development staff will never forget.

Ultimately, the secret to Bob’s fundraising success lies in his complete and total commitment to the ideal represented by the GSB: a place where the best and the brightest minds live, work, and breathe together for the common good. Everything he does, including the crucial job of raising money, is permeated by that commitment. That, too, is his legacy.

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