Chao family gives $40 million to HBS

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Chao Family

During the half-century that the Harvard Business School (HBS) has admitted women, only the family of James S.C. Chao can claim four daughters among those graduates.

On Friday, the Chao family announced its intention to honor that legacy — as well as the life of its late matriarch, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao — with a $40 million gift to the School to support student fellowships and to build a new executive education center on the Allston campus.

“What a wonderful thing to have a building on this campus that is both named for a woman and comes from the gift of four daughters,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria during an afternoon press conference at Kresge Hall, which will be razed to make way for the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, set for groundbreaking in 2014. “It is so symbolic, so wonderful for us to be able to announce this gift in a year in which we’re celebrating 50 years of women graduating from Harvard Business School.”