HBS Readies for Centennial Year with New Bell from St. Danilov Monastery
BOSTON–LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Harvard Business School will mark a truly unique occasion on August 15 (Wednesday) – the installation of its “Centennial Bell” in the cupola of the School’s Baker Library. The bell replaces one of eighteen bells made in Russia before the Russian Revolution and owned by Harvard University for more than 75 years. In the course of the next year or so, all of them will be returned to Russia’s St. Danilov Monastery in an exchange that will restore the originals to the monastery, considered the spiritual home of Russian Orthodoxy.
The new bell, made of copper with a small amount of zinc, was cast by the Vera forgery in the Voronezh region of southwestern Russia. Weighing 4,409 pounds, it was specifically crafted to celebrate HBS’s 100th anniversary, which will be observed throughout 2008.
The new bell bears the inscription “Harvard Business School, 1908-2008,” and the words “Leadership-Excellence-Integrity,” concepts at the core of the School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world. It also features images of Baker Library, the St. Danilov Monastery, and a Fabergé egg nestled in decorative ivy. Before shipment to the Harvard Business School campus, the bell was consecrated on July 24 by Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia.
“It is a great honor to receive this exquisite new bell from the St. Danilov Monastery on the eve of the School’s centennial anniversary,” said Professor John Quelch, Senior Associate Dean and Faculty Chair for Centennial Planning. “Atop the iconic Baker Library, it will become part of the tradition and life of the School for hundreds of years to come. Its Russian heritage reminds us of the global nature of this institution, with students, faculty, staff, and alumni coming from around the world. We are grateful to the members of the St. Danilov Monastery and all the craftspeople who have helped make this day possible.”
The original eighteen St. Danilov Monastery bells came to Harvard University as a gift from Charles R. Crane, a U.S. industrialist and diplomat, who had purchased them in 1930 to prevent them from being melted down for ammunition by the Soviet government in an anti-religion drive that included the destruction of churches and monasteries throughout Russia as well as the execution of thousands of monks. The Danilov bells were one of a very few set of bells that survived the Stalinist era.
One bell was hung at Baker Library, while the other seventeen were sent to Lowell House, a dormitory for Harvard College undergraduates.
The costs associated with the bell exchange are being funded by the Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg as part of his campaign to bring back to Russia objects important to the country’s cultural heritage. Cast in the 18th and 19th centuries, the original bells are considered to be among the best pre-Russian Revolution bell sets, or ensembles, in existence.
The original bell will arrive in Moscow on September 12, 2007. The seventeen Lowell House bells will be exchanged in the summer of 2008 and returned to the monastery that autumn.
Editor’s Note: Electronic photos of bell installation will be available upon request on Wednesday, August 15th.
About Harvard Business School
Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School (www.hbs.edu) is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 40 Executive Education programs. For almost a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business around the globe.