Students, alumni, faculty members and invited guests gathered at Christie’s auction house on February 6—alongside prints by Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler and David Hockney—for the Social Enterprise Program’s annual reception. Bill Lambert ’72 and his wife, Sheila, (pictured) 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 brief walkabouts led by in-house specialists.
An integrated combination of classroom and experiential learning, the SEP prepares students to apply management practices that address social as well as financial objectives. “We want to reach every student at Columbia Business School,” said Professor Ray Horton, 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.”
Aligned with this goal, MBA student Paul Jordan ’07 also addressed the audience on a nonprofit board initiative that is being developed. This program will offer students a unique glimpse of the nonprofit boardroom in preparation for future roles. Unlike programs offered elsewhere, a distinctive twist on this endeavor is that it will incorporate active learning and alumni mentorship.
The program, set to launch this fall, will pair 20–30 students with alumni who will act as mentors, sharing with students the challenges and rewards of serving on a nonprofit board. In addition to attending a few board meetings, students will also work with alumni on a small research project unique to the nonprofits’ interests.
“Our goal is to enhance the contributions of the alumnus to the nonprofit by leveraging the abilities of MBA students,” said Jordan. “In turn, students will learn about nonprofit governance from the uniquely experienced perspective of the alumnus.”
Alumni and MBA students interested in participating in the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program can find more information online.
From left: Karen Adam ’06, Stoney Cox ’07
From left: Wing-See Leung ’04, Senator Frank Lautenberg BS ’49
From left: Dean Glenn Hubbard, Professor Ray Horton