Students, alumni and faculty members gathered at Christie’s auction house on February 6 — alongside prints by Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler and David Hockney — for the annual reception of the Social Enterprise Program (SEP). Bill Lambert ’72, founder of the program's Advisory Board and a member of the School’s Board of Overseers, and his wife, Sheila, hosted the event.
“I always knew I wanted to be somewhere at the nexus of the arts and business,” said George McNeely ’85, Christie’s senior vice president of business development, who invited everyone to learn about the prints on the walls through quick “walkabouts” led by in-house specialists.
A dynamic combination of classroom and experiential learning, the SEP inspires and prepares students to apply ethically responsible management practices that address social as well as financial objectives. “We want to reach every student at Columbia Business School,” said Ray Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance, who has directed the program since 1981. SEP alumni can be found in both the public and private sectors, in venture philanthropy, international development, and health care and arts management, among many other fields.
“The MBA degree should be about lifetime preparation in business — that involves serious experience in the not-for-profit sector as well as an understanding of the social context of decision making,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “One of our goals is to broaden the next generation of business leaders.”