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Harvard Business School Aerial View, ©Gren Hren for Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School Receives Its Largest Fellowship

Robert Kraft, founder, chairman, and CEO of both the Kraft Group and the Kraft Family Foundation, has established a $24 million fund at the Harvard Business School—the largest endowed fellowship in school history.

The Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund, announced by HBS last week, will make Harvard Business School’s MBA program more affordable and accessible. It specifically targets students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who are first generation college students or from other underrepresented student backgrounds. Kraft, who is also CEO of the New England Patriots, established the fund with his son Jonathan, president of the Kraft Group. Both the Krafts are HBS alumni, with Robert graduating in 1965 and Jonathan earning his MBA in 1990.

“Harvard Business School has a long and proud history of educating leaders who make a difference in the world, among them Robert and Jonathan Kraft,” Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow says. “Through this extraordinary act of philanthropy, father and son ensure that more lives are transformed as theirs have been. The University is grateful for their generosity and for the deep care with which they support the members of our community.”


Kraft, a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, had a lifelong dream of being a student at HBS. He attended Columbia University on a full scholarship before deciding to apply and ultimately attend HBS through the support of a fellowship. Kraft has since been a vocal supporter of fellowships and the critical role of financial support and mentorship in higher education.

“Being part of HBS changed my life, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to help others benefit from the transformational power of this experience,” Kraft says. “Our family is proud of the extraordinary difference that our fellowship recipients make in the world.”

Nearly half of current MBA students at HBS receive financial aid, with an average one-year fellowship of $42,800 and more than $40M in need-based aid awarded annually. Admissions decisions are “need-blind”—made without regard to applicants’ financial circumstances, and admitted students receive financial aid based on demonstrated need.

“As HBS strives to ensure business is a force for good in society, it is increasingly important to educate leaders who anticipate the impact of their decisions on employees, customers, and their communities,” HBS Dean Srikant Datar says. “Having the voices of fellow students from a range of cultures, industries, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the classroom broadens everyone’s perspectives on the real-world challenges they will face as business leaders. We are only able to foster this environment through the generous support of fellowships by leaders like Robert and Jonathan Kraft.”

Sources: Harvard Business School, New England Patriots

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