Dean Douglas D. Anderson
Are you a naturally trusting person who generally finds that assuming the best of people leads to good results? When you run into someone who takes advantage of you, do you find these experiences disorienting? Do you ever wonder if your life philosophy is naive, and whether you should be more careful about extending support to others? If so, you may want to consult, Give And Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant.
It’s been my privilege to get to know Adam this year. He truly is a nice person and the highest-rated teacher at Wharton. Professor Grant observes that “in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.” His research confirms that most people operate consistently either as takers, matchers, or givers. While the world is full of examples of “takers” who make it to the top, Adam argues persuasively that it is “givers” whose success is assured in the long run. His book is full of surprising and interesting examples that you might not have encountered. But it probably won’t surprise you that one of his great “giver” examples is Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., who has given his name and much of his fortune to our college. Another great giver who is profiled in this issue of the Huntsman Alumni Magazine is Jeffrey D. Clark. Jeff has served for more than seven years on our National Advisory Board and has chaired the capital campaign for our new business building. His recently announced anchor gift has enabled the newly named Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship. The Clark Center will be an extraordinary engine for innovation, not just for our business students but for students all across campus and across the state.
“Grant observes that ‘in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.’”
We recently broke ground for Huntsman Hall, which will house the Clark Center. It was a deeply resonant, symbolic moment. We have to dig down to lay a solid foundation before we can build up. Huntsman Hall will include many outstanding spaces for learning, creating, sharing, and discovering—and not just for the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship, but also for a number of other centers of excellence in development now, and for twenty-one new, state-of-the-art classrooms!
In a recent column in The Washington Post, George Will wrote: “Today the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive.” We owe our hardworking, talented, and ambitious students an education that is as excellent as their potential—a rigorous education that will enable them to rise above the widening inequality gap that is growing in this country. The Clark Center and Huntsman Hall will provide the facilities, and our dedicated and well-trained faculty will provide the inspiration. Our hope is that our students will go on to become givers, in the spirit of those who came before them.