19 October, 2020

Harvard March

We cadets at the ‘West Point of Capitalism’ forged ties that endure

AFP (From Outlook 07 October 2013)
Harvard March

Early in our first term at the Harvard Business School in 1969, I returned from breakfast to see my suite-mate had overslept. I woke him up and went to class. He rushed into class and slid into his seat exactly on time, dressed in hastily pulled on jeans and a sweatshirt.

The professor threw him out.

As befitted cadets at the ‘West Point of Capitalism’, the rest of us were formally dressed. “Class is a business app­oint­ment and it requires professional clothing,” the professor told my abashed suite-mate as he left. Quite evidently, the professor was making a point about business decorum.

The class taught him a lesson instead. The following morning, my suite-mate was dressed in a suit. The majority of the 80 students in the class—myself inc­luded—were in jeans and sweatshirts. Yet, there had been no conversation bet­ween us about the clothing rebellion. It was a spontaneous decision. The point we were making to the stunned professor: we are paying tuition to learn about marketing; we are well aware of the...



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