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Harvard Business School Inaugurates 1st Building Named After a Woman

Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center Opens at Harvard Business School

A day of firsts at Harvard Business School

The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center opened its doors at Harvard Business School (HBS) on June 6, 2016. The Center represents the physical cornerstone of Harvard’s Executive Education program. It is the first building on the HBS campus named for a woman and the first for an Asian-American.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by a large group of dignitaries and supporters, including Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, Dr. Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charles Baker, US Senators from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and from the Chao family, the Center’s benefactor: Dr. James S.C. Chao, and his daughters, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, sisters May, Christine and Grace and Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, Angela Chao.

The Center’s construction was funded by a generous gift million from Dr. James S.C. Chao and Chao family foundations. The gift was made in memory of the Chao family matriarch, the late and beloved Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, as a way of keeping alive her legacy of educational excellence and commitment to furthering Asian-American understanding.

HBS Dean Nitin Nohria said that the new Center will serve as a magnet for thousands of students from around the world, who join the School's Executive Education program each year. He added that the dedication ceremony honored the devotion of Dr. Chao and his wife, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, to their daughters, to the importance of education, and to Harvard Business School. All of her sisters standing by her side, Angela Chao spoke on behalf of all the sisters at the luncheon celebration about the contrast between her mother’s humility and the power of her actions; traits that her daughters strive to emulate. She said that she hopes that the students who enter the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Executive Center will be inspired by her mother’s perseverance and humility as they become successful in their own paths in life.