Boston, MA, April 2, 2015–Helping to kick off Harvard’s first annual “Climate Week,” centenarian F. Gorham Brigham, Jr., and 97-year-old Del Markoff, Harvard Business School’s oldest living alumni, are calling on the school’s alumni, staff, faculty, and students to fulfill the HBS mission by being the leaders who will make a difference in the world—in this case, on the matter of climate change. Brigham and Markoff are the last remaining members of HBS’s famed Class of 1939.
In recognition of their longevity and leadership on both business and social causes, Brigham and Markoff are being featured in an alumni-supported, full-page advertisement on the back of the April 6th edition of the student-run HBS campus newspaper, The Harbus. The ad, in the form of a letter to the school (see below), suggests that HBS undertake a project to, among other objectives, “examine the true existence of global warming, if and how it creates weather change, and the associated impacts.” The letter goes on to suggest five specific areas of research.
Not surprisingly, Brigham and Markoff are not the only HBS alumni, nor the only Harvard-affiliated dignitaries who are concerned about climate change. Others include Harvard President Drew Faust, who has organized a Harvard Presidential Panel on Climate Change, to be held on April 13th. Numerous other HBS alumni are also calling on the business school, led by Dean Nitin Nohria, to demonstrate more leadership on the issue by identifying and elucidating not only the notable risks, but also the great opportunities associated with climate change, and by applying HBS’ well-known case study methodology to climate change. The many ongoing challenges and opportunities associated with climate change cut across all peoples, businesses, industries and countries.
To: Our Fellow Alumni, and the Administrators, Faculty and Students of Harvard Business School
From: F. Gorham Brigham, Jr. and Delmor B. Markoff–-The Class of 1939, Harvard Business School
We, the proud members of the class of 1939, the “eldest statesmen” of the school, being aware of the many great successes in problem solving by our school, wish to propose a new project.
The questions of global warming, climate change and air pollution are now important points of discussion and decision. Without preformed conclusions, we must examine the true existence of global warming, if and how it creates weather change, and the associated impacts.
If our climate is being changed, then what are the causes, natural or manmade, or some combination?
What are the economic consequences of a changing climate and how they can be ameliorated?
If, at present, politics has mixed into this discussion, how can it be eliminated or managed?
What are the questions and opportunities for international collaboration?
How can we better communicate a total analysis to all governments and their populations?
Leadership in all of the foregoing from our school, together with the resources of Harvard University, would be a great step forward in improving the well-being of our world.
Respectfully and hopefully,
F. Gorham Brigham, Jr.
Delmor B. Markoff