The prestigious Yale School of Management will name its deanship in honour of PepsiCo’s India-born CEO Indra Nooyi as she gifted an undisclosed amount to her alma mater, becoming the school’s biggest alumni donor and the first woman to endow a deanship at a top B-school.
Yale did not disclose the amount gifted by Nooyi but said her “landmark gift” to endow the deanship of the school and inaugurate an innovation fund has made her the “most generous graduate” of Yale School of Management in terms of lifetime giving to the school.
She is also the first woman to endow the deanship at a top business school, the school said in a statement yesterday.
The PepsiCo chairman, who graduated from the school in 1980, credited her experience at the school for “forever” altering “the course of my life” and said her gift “pales in comparison with the gift that Yale gave me the fundamental understanding that leadership requires an expansive worldview and a deep appreciation of the many points of intersection between business and society.”
“Business issues are never just business issues, and my most ardent hope is that this endowment will teach future generations of leaders that the most successful companies of tomorrow will do more than make money,” she said in a statement. “They will make a difference and create shareholder value by improving the quality of life in every market in which they operate,” she said.
Nooyi joins several prominent persons of Indian-origin who have donated generously to US universities. In October last year, Nooyi’s sister and Grammy-nominated musician Chandrika Tandon and her husband Ranjan had made a 100 million dollar gift to the New York University’s School of Engineering, one of the largest philanthropic gifts by a member of the Indian-American community. In 2010, Harvard Business School had received a gift of USD 50 million from Tata Companies. Industrialist Ratan Tata had attended the School’s Advanced Management Programme in 1975.
The gift will also be used to inaugurate the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund, which is named in recognition of the fact that the school is entering its fifth decade; the first class entered the Yale School of Management in 1976.
The fund is an ambitious initiative designed to advance the school’s aim of developing leaders with the broad global mindset and multi-disciplinary approach to business that is needed to succeed in 21st-century capitalism. It will be open to additional substantial contributions that can help the school develop the technology and other infrastructure to support these and future initiatives.
Nooyi has a long record of support for the Yale School of Management, previously making substantial contributions to the construction of the Edward Evans Hall, including gifts to name the Nooyi Classroom and the Isaacson Classroom in memory of Professor Larry Isaacson.
The single largest gift to the School of Management has been USD 50 million given to it in 2010 by Yale College alumnus, the late Edward Evans to support the construction of the school’s new state-of-the-art campus.
A media official at the university said there have been other gifts to the management school larger than the one made by Nooyi but they were made by donors who were not graduates of the school. Nooyi’s giving is the largest and most generous by a graduate of the school.
Nooyi, who is regularly named among the most powerful and influential business women in the world, serves as a member of the boards of US-China Business Council, US-India Business Council, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Tsinghua University.
She is a past member of the Yale Corporation, the top governing board and policy-making body for the university and is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was appointed to the US-India CEO Forum by President Obama.
Yale University president Peter Salovey said Nooyi’s “sense of purpose, deep engagement with civic life, and pursuit of excellence exemplify the kind of leadership in service to society that we hope all Yale graduates will achieve.”
“The world needs skillful, purposeful, and dedicated leaders in every field and every sector, and Indra s name is synonymous with those core values of the university,” he added.Edward Snyder is the inaugural Indra K Nooyi Dean and has led the Yale School of Management since 2011. He was recently appointed to a second five-year term as dean.He said Nooyi has become a leading voice among Fortune 500 CEOs in no small part because of her willingness to take a stand on the broader purpose of the corporation, while delivering top-echelon performance.
“The Yale School of Management community has long been proud of Indra Nooyi’s accomplishments and her generous support will enable us to pursue new opportunities and initiatives, in keeping with the spirit of innovation that has always been a hallmark of Yale SOM,” he said.
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“Having the deanship named in her honour communicates to the world the school’s model of purposeful and broadminded leadership,” he added.