A virtuous cycle of innovation
We are proud to be celebrating Cornell's 150th anniversary this year.
Cornell's Charter, signed by the governor of New York State on April 27,
1865, established the new university as non-sectarian and coeducational,
welcoming anyone who was academically qualified, regardless of sex,
color, creed, or national origins. Sage Hall, Johnson's home since 1998,
was originally built as Sage College for Women to make co-education at
Cornell a reality at a time when creating equal opportunities for women
was a radical idea. Our school, established as the Graduate School of
Business and Public Administration in 1946, took a bold step in 1983
by embracing a new identity as the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate
School of Management. The Sesquicentennial story in this issue, "A
Legacy of Innovation" tells more about this.
Johnson embraced innovation from its very inception. An example is Immersion Learning — Johnson's unique, signature semester for Two-year MBA students that integrates course and field work in a specific industry or career interest. Students who gain experience through immersion projects report back that those experiences boost their internship and job search successes. In addition, many participating companies keep coming back to Johnson to engage student consulting teams. Read more about this in "A Fresh Set of Eyes."
A more recent innovation is Johnson's 360 Leadership Assessment, a proprietary, behavior-based feedback instrument that students use in conjunction with the Johnson Leadership Matrix to guide their leadership development plans. Students in all of our MBA programs can use their 360 report to identify the dimensions on which they want to focus, and then use the matrix to craft their experience at Johnson to fit their personal leadership development goals and ambitions.
Johnson is promoting entrepreneurial approaches to innovation by helping to establish eHub, a new entrepreneurship center in Collegetown that will house eLab and PopShop as well as office space for Entrepreneurship at Cornell and other Cornell organizations that support student entrepreneurship. To make this effort a reality, Johnson is collaborating with Entrepreneurship at Cornell and several sister schools within Cornell: the College of Engineering, the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and School of Hotel Administration.
Our alumni also play a key role in helping drive novel changes at Johnson by sharing innovations in their industries with the Johnson community. They come back to campus as career coaches, as marketing professionals do each fall for the Marketing Executive One-on-One Mentoring program. Hosted by Warren Ellish '77, MBA '78, visiting senior lecturer of marketing and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group, this year's program brought together 98 marketing students who were mentored by 36 leading executives in the marketing world. Scores of alumni speak at symposia on campus and at Johnson events around the world; several serve on advisory councils; and many share their experience and expertise to show just how new technologies are transforming the way they work, as alumni in marketing did for "Engaging Customers with Captivating Content."
Of course, alumni also come back to campus to reconnect with faculty and one another, as many of you did for our very special Sesquicentennial Homecoming celebration this October. We will also celebrate Cornell's 150th anniversary at Johnson Predictions Dinners in January and February, and I hope you will join Cornell-wide celebrations and visit the Sesquicentennial website to learn more about Cornell and the myriad "firsts" on its timeline.
Innovation travels full circle at Johnson - from our distinguished faculty, who are eminent scholars as well as gifted teachers, through our collaboration with sister schools at Cornell, to our students, and back through our alumni, who achieve success and stay connected with Johnson. It's a winning model, and I am grateful to all members of the Johnson community who are passionate about leading innovation in today's fast-paced world, and who work together to keep innovation a living and ever-evolving endeavor at Johnson. Together, we help to sustain Cornell's position as a leading research university that lives up to the aspirations of its founders, Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White.
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean