Peter Henry, Dean of NYU Stern School of Business
When you are responsible for an institution with more than five thousand students, several hundred faculty and administrators, and one hundred thousand alumni, school is in session year-round (Langone and EMBA students especially know what I am talking about). But I did manage to take some time away from the office with my wife Lisa and our four sons earlier this month. When you think of vacation hot spots, Cincinnati, Ohio, does not typically spring to mind, but we are always thrilled to invade Lisa’s parents’ home with our small village. Cincinnati means family, food (Skyline Chili, Eli’s ribs, and Graeter’s ice cream), and fun. And fun for me includes time to read. In honor of 19 years of marriage, which Lisa and I celebrated the day after we arrived, I treated myself to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy could use a dash of Stern EQ to go with his other fine qualities, but that is a matter for another day!).
After emerging from the world of 19th century British nuptials, I turned my attention to the other side of the Atlantic and a fascinating essay, Here is New York, by E.B. White (he of Charlotte’s Web fame). In a particularly memorable passage, White tells us that “New York is the concentrate of art and commerce and sport and religion and entertainment and finance, bringing to a single compact arena the gladiator, the evangelist, the promoter, the actor, the trader, and the merchant.” Written in 1949, White’s conjunctive characterization of New York City —notice how many times he uses “and”—rings no less true today. Indeed, his words apply with particular force to that corner of our city called the Stern School of Business.
Since its earliest days, Stern has reflected the wide-ranging ambitions of society and enterprise. We have evolved from the School of Commerce, Accounts, and Finance in 1900 to a world class institution where Nobel Prize winners and future business leaders interact in class and online to figure out how to use the intellectual disciplines of modern business to transform problems into opportunities to create value. Name your passion. From hedge funds to human rights, luxury goods to charter schools, consulting to startups, we believe that business is the most powerful force for changing the world.
And we have the data to support that view (I am an economist after all!). If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at how your School is redefining “An Education in Possible”: http://launch.stern.nyu.edu/ LAUNCH is many things—the beginning of the next stage of Stern’s evolution, a time to look anew at this extraordinary journey called your life—but above all, it is a conversation among you, your School, and our community. As we begin a new school year, I invite each of you to remember that family is all around you. With that kind of support behind you, you can afford to take smart risks, dream big, and ask yourselves this question: In the coming weeks and months, how will you enrich your journey and your transformation by using the gifts of the extraordinary community that is Stern?
Welcome to a new year!