Secretary Elaine Chao

 
 
 

Harvard Business School “Topping Off” of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center New Executive Education Center Due to Open in June 2016 Will Be the First Building on the Harvard Campus Named for a Woman and a Chinese-American

BOSTON — Harvard Business School (HBS) held a “Topping Off” ceremony at the construction site of a new Executive Education facility—the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center—on Friday, April 24, 2015, signifying the completion of the structural phase of the project. The 30-minute ceremony began at 11:30 a.m. with remarks by Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria; former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (MBA 1979); Ms. Angela Chao, Deputy Chair, Foremost Group (AB 1994, MBA 2001); and Robert C. O’Leary, Senior Vice President, Lee Kennedy Company, the construction firm building the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center.

The “Topping Off” ceremony is a long-standing tradition in construction derived from an ancient Scandinavian builders’ rite held when the highest beam of steel is hoisted into place with a small tree affixed to “appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction.” In the modern-day version, it marks an important milestone in the building process. The entire HBS community, including students, faculty, and staff, along with construction workers, was invited to sign the beam and then watched as it was raised into place.

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