Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Call for Donation from the Berkeley HAAS Alumni Network

Last week, I received another call from a representative of the University of California(UC) Berkeley MBA Haas Alumni Network. I have been receiving this call about once a month for the last six months asking for donation or pledge for FUNDS for the school. The call always start with a Hello and verify what year did I graduate from the school (1980 in my case). The caller then would give me the latest news and status and standing of the school compared to other graduate school in business here in the US. He said while Harvard and Stanford are getting lots of money for their school program, UC is far behind and thus depend on its alumni for support. Then at the end the caller urged me for a donation. I told the caller I am retired and have a fixed income, thus have no extra money to donate. He keep on insisting that he will accept any amount. I was almost tempted to contribute, but recovered that I really I can not afford to donate. The caller then answered that he understand but if in the future my financial condition improves, he will be delighted to receive my pledge and contribution. We indeed the phone call with me promising that if I win the lottery, I will give 20% of my winnings to the Alumni Network.

During our conversation, he indicated that UC Berkeley MBA program is now ranked #1 for this 2014 school year and the undergraduate program #7. I told him this is really good news. I was not sure if he is pulling my legs just to get a pledge so I check the Internet and I found the article dated March 12, 2013 written by Kelsey Sheehy published at as follows:

"The top business schools held firm this year, with Harvard and Stanford University sharing the No. 1 spot again and University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School at No. 3. University of Chicago's Booth School of Business fell out of a three-way tie for 4th, dropping to 6th, leaving Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management tied for the No. 4 spot. Several of the top 50 schools shifted places, but few climbed higher than University of Washington's Michael G. Foster School of Business, which jumped from 35th to a tie at 23rd.( There is no mention that UC undergraduate school business program is #7 in this paragraph)

The Kellogg School fell from first to third in the part-time MBA rankings, making way for the Haas School of Business at University of California—Berkeley to claim the No. 1 rank. Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business jumped 15 places, improving its rank from 32 to 17, tied with Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. On the other end of the spectrum, Babson College's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business dropped from 16th to 46th in the part-time rankings".

In addition to the UC Berkeley Alumni Network, I am also receiving letters and e-mails from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy Alumni Association asking for donation( Letter of Solicitation will be posted soon). My son David III on the other hand also gets a regular call from Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Association as well as letters of solicitation asking for help. Thanks to the University of the Philippines( my other Alma mater) Alumni Association who has not bothered me for almost a decade now for financial contributions and support.

Here's an e-mail from the Dean of the Haas School of Business, Undergraduate Program.

Dear David,

As an alum of the Haas School of Business, you are our competitive advantage. Your gift is the high-powered capital that allows us to invest in our people, place, and culture—our three most important assets. Please join me in supporting Berkeley-Haas.

Thanks to the generosity of alumni like you:

Our faculty has never been stronger. Four Haas faculty were just honored in Thinkers50, Janet Yellen was nominated to be chair of the Federal Reserve, and 81 of our faculty made our prestigious “Club 6” for excellence in teaching. Your gifts allow us to attract and retain top thinkers and teachers.

Our students are putting new ideas into action. Berkeley-Haas students are learning the skills to become innovative and inspiring leaders—skills like rapid prototyping, influencing without authority, and problem framing. Today’s business climate demands a different type of classroom experience. Your gifts build flexible teaching spaces and a new curriculum centered on experiential learning.

We are changing society in meaningful ways. Our new Institute for Business and Social Impact is rethinking the role of business in society. Our Energy Institute is sparking policy change and leading breakthroughs in clean technology. Our Institute for Business Innovation is launching entrepreneurial businesses around the globe. More and more you will see path-bending enterprises begin through collaborations at Berkeley-Haas.

You make all this possible—tuition and state support keep our doors open, but the support of our alumni and friends is what brings us to greatness. Please reinvest in Berkeley-Haas today.


Rich Lyons, Dean, Haas School of Business

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