Last week, Harvard University announced the value of the university’s endowment, and Harvard Business School (HBS) announced that it would honor James I. Cash, a retired faculty member, by renaming a building on its campus.
For fiscal 2020, Harvard University’s endowment was valued at $41.9 billion (as of June 30th, the end of fiscal year 2020), an increase of $1.0 billion (2.4%) from a year earlier. Another highlight was a 7.3% return on endowment assets during fiscal 2020. This is up from a 6.5% return in 2019. Additionally, President Lawrence Bacow, Provost Alan Garber, and Executive Vice President Katie Lapp informed the Harvard community that $20 million in central funds would be distributed to the schools and affiliated institutions to supplement operating costs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Harvard Business School unveiled the new Cash House name in a virtual town hall attended by faculty, staff, and students. HBS Dean Nitin Nohria said, “When one thinks of individuals who have advanced racial equity in the US, many names come to mind. They are all leaders who, in ways that may be more or less visible yet always against all odds, realized tremendous personal achievements and also actively worked to lift others. Jim Cash is someone who exemplifies such leadership. Not only has he transcended many racial barriers in his own life; he also has propelled generations of Black students, faculty, and staff, as well as scores of business leaders, to successful and meaningful lives and careers.”
Cash became a faculty member at HBS in 1976, and became the first Black tenured professor at the school in 1985. His work focused on information technology, and he taught in the MBA program and executive education programs, including the Program for Management Development, the Program for Global Leadership, and the Advanced Management Program. In addition, Cash served as Chairman of the MBA program, Chair of the Baker Library, and Senior Associate Dean and Chairman of Harvard Business Publishing.
According to Linda Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, “It is impossible to overstate the impact that Jim has had on students, faculty, and business leaders over the years. Not only have I witnessed it firsthand, I’ve personally benefited immeasurably from Jim’s generosity and wisdom, and most of all, his friendship. For the Black community, he is an inspiration – a role model on what it means to be world-class in all you do.”
Cash House, formerly named Glass House, is one of the 12 original buildings on the HBS campus and was named for Carter Glass, whose accomplishments are overshadowed by his support of segregationist policies in his home state of Virginia.
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