BOSTON — The family of former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao has donated $40 million to Harvard Business School for a new executive education center to be named for her late mother.
The gift announced Friday is from a family foundation established by Chao’s father, shipping magnate James Si-Cheng Chao, and honors Ruth Mulan Chu Chao. The Chao family is the only one to have four daughters, including Elaine Chao, attend the Harvard MBA program. It began accepting women 50 years ago. Their gift includes $5 million for student aid.
Chao served in President George W. Bush’s administration. She said her mother “believed in the transformational power of education regardless of gender.”
Harvard President Drew Faust praised the family’s commitment “to making Harvard more accessible to more people.”