MBA Class of 1968 Shatters Records, Names Building

The MBA Class of 1968 outdid itself for its 40th reunion when it raised $46.7 million from 82% of the class, enough to name a building in Stanford GSB’s new home at Knight Management Center.

March 15, 2011

With an all-time record for dollars raised and a class record for participation, the MBA Class of 1968 outdid itself for its 40th reunion when it raised $46.7 million from 82% of the class. The group already had a very successful history and set records for its 25th, 30th, and 35th reunions. But the members of the class were especially motivated to surpass previous accomplishments to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Richard Rainwater and Garen Staglin

Richard Rainwater and Garen Staglin, both MBA ‘68, are part of an unprecedented effort that brought together their class to name a building.

The 40th reunion coincided with fundraising efforts for the Knight Management Center, and the class had high expectations of raising enough to name a building in Stanford GSB’s new home. They succeeded: the MBA Class of 1968 Building is the central building along Serra Street, with classrooms and breakout rooms on the ground floor and administrative offices on the second and third floors.

“The gift is really meant to reflect the time and money our class has given over the years,” says Jim Crownover, who chaired the class effort.

“In the last 15 to 20 years, we raised over $100 million for the school.”

Crownover, along with co-chairman Ed Johnson and chairs of previous campaigns (Terry Eakin, Rick Jones, and Pat Gross) started strategizing for the effort a year in advance of the reunion. Working with a volunteer group of more than 40 classmates, they made it a goal to personally contact every member of their class.

“The extraordinary two years spent at Stanford raised my aspirations, broadened my horizons, enhanced my career prospects, and gave me friendships that endure to this day,”Johnson wrote in a letter to classmates. “There is no question that our ability to support Stanford and other charitable priorities is greater because of those two years.”

For the reunion effort, the class benefited from leadership gifts from classmates Richard Rainwater, Lorenzo Zambrano, Reece Duca, and John Scully. Many others stepped up as well.

“People made stretch gifts to be a part of a banner year,”Johnson says.

While the small class size at Stanford GSB allows students every year to get to know their peers, the members of the Class of ’68 feel they — being one of the youngest classes in the school’s history composed mainly of single men straight out of their undergraduate studies — are an especially tight-knit bunch.

“My personal ties to my Stanford business school classmates are as great as my undergrad fraternity ties; they are my friends and my wife’s friends,” says Johnson.

The naming of the building is especially appropriate given where the class fits into Stanford GSB history.

“Our classmates were drawn to Stanford in the late ’60s because of the innovative approach to business education established during Dean Ernie Arbuckle’s tenure, and we were the first class to occupy the new building (GSB South),” Crownover says. “It’s symbolic to all of us that once again Stanford GSB has taken another innovative leap forward in business education, and this time we were able to do more than just occupy a new building — we could help create it.”

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