Year in Review 2021 Celebrating our community

This pandemic year brought challenges, uncertainty, and also many rewards. Our community came together with great heart, and by working together, we continued to learn, grow, and innovate.

Here's a look back at some of the highlights.

We welcomed students safely back to campus.

Dean Ann Harrison addressed the new FTMBA class.

Our full-time, evening & weekend, and executive MBA, undergraduate, PhD, and MFE students started their studies on campus.

Hula hoops helped break the ice during the EWMBA Class of 2024 Cohort Olympics, one of many team-building activities during WE Launch orientation.
All smiles: the Executive MBA Class of 2023 breaks for a photo shoot.
Class of 23! Students in the new full-time MBA class signal their grad year.
Getting acquainted: New undergrads meet up at a courtyard mixer.

Students didn't waste any time jumping into the swing of things. And we celebrated with our pandemic graduates at belated commencements.

From top to bottom, left to right: The undergraduate class of 2020 got a belated commencement ceremony (Mary Balingit, middle, former assistant director of outreach & admissions for the undergrad program, returned to Haas to attend) ; An MBA student team won the 2021 UT Austin Real Estate Challenge, for the third time out of four years; Robert Ford, EMBA 15 (center), chief executive officer at Abbott Laboratories, returned to Haas as a Dean's Speaker Series guest (DSS photo credit: Katelyn Tucker); Rob Paylor, BS 20, a former Cal Rugby player, received a standing ovation after a triumphant walk across the stage at commencement. Paylor had been told that he'd never walk again after suffering a catastrophic spinal injury during a championship match; MBA students and their families gathered for the International Consumption Function in the Haas courtyard. (photo credit: Jenny Lee).

We launched a new way for working professionals to complete a Berkeley Haas MBA.

Online instruction during came with unexpected upsides, including flexibility for learning in remote locations. Now, evening and weekend MBA students can enroll in the new Flex option, taking their core MBA courses online and then choosing to take electives in person or online. The new format makes the MBA accessible to a more diverse array of students in different stages of life, such as those with young children at home.

The Biden Administration tapped Haas faculty expertise.

Two Haas economists joined Secretary Janet Yellen, Haas professor emeritus, in the Biden administration's Treasury Department. (Photo: Shawn Thew - Pool via CNP/CNP via Zuma Wire)
Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, the Soloman P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics (left), started in February as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Capital Access in the Office of Domestic Finance. Prof. Catherine Wolfram, the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration (right), started in March as Assistant Secretary for Climate and Energy Economics in the Office of Economic Policy.

We expanded our faculty with ten new professors, whose expertise includes innovation and corporate strategy, health care markets, and housing.

From top left: Saikat Chaudhuri, Jonathan Weigel, Celia Gaertig, David Holtz, Olivia Natan, Peter Maxted, Aruna Ranganathan, Matthew Grennan, Park Sinchaisri, and Timothy McQuade. Other new faces included two new visiting professors and 10 new lecturers.

We mourned the loss of Professor John Morgan.

John Morgan was an economist who found elegant new ways to analyze the world through the lens of game theory. During his nearly two decades at Berkeley Haas, Morgan left his mark through his prolific and wide-ranging research, his unconventional teaching that drew on strategy games he invented, and his generous leadership and mentorship.

Morgan passed away on Oct. 6 at age 53.

We doubled down on our work to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all members of the Haas community.

In the spring, we adopted a new five-year DEI Strategic Plan. And thanks to generous donations, we created new fellowship programs aimed at increasing access to business leadership and scholarships for underrepresented groups.

We enrolled the most diverse full-time MBA class in the history of the school.

Data-driven faculty research shed new light on systemic racial, ethnic, and gender disparities.

Clockwise from top left: A Wall Street Journal op-ed by Prof. Laura Kray and post-doc Margaret Lee highlighted an overlooked cause of the gender pay gap; a study by Asst. Prof. Drew Jacoby Senghor and doctoral students Derek Brown and Michael Rosenblum looked at why insisting you’re not racist may backfire; a study by Assoc. Prof. Amir Kermani showed why Black and Latino homeowners profit less than whites.

We also bolstered the Haas School Board, adding more diverse leaders with deep corporate experience to help Dean Harrison achieve Haas’ ambitious vision of addressing society’s biggest challenges and opportunities: innovation, inclusion, and sustainability.

The new board members include (left to right) Monica Stevens, MBA 96, senior vice president and credit risk leader, Wells Fargo Merchant Services; Frank Cooper III, BS 86, senior managing director and global chief marketing officer, BlackRock; and Eric McKissack, BCEMBA 04, founder and former CEO, Channing Capital Management LLC.

Two influential women joined our senior leadership team, and two professors stepped up to lead the faculty.

In July, Erika Walker (second from left) was named Senior Assistant Dean for Instruction, succeeding Jay Stowsky. She's responsible for overseeing instruction in the school’s six degree programs. In October, Élida Bautista (left) officially became our Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) officer. Professors Don Moore and Jennifer Chatman were appointed as our newest Associate Deans for Academic Affairs, leading the Haas faculty.

As conversations about race and social justice swept the country, members of our community shared their perspectives in the Haas Voices series.

Clockwise from top left: Junaid Lughmani, MBA 23, in Afghanistan; Luis Liang, BS 12, EWMBA 23; Verse Gabrielle, associate director, full-time MBA program admissions; Erinn Wong, BS 21.


We nailed the rankings again.

US News ranked all three MBA programs in the Top 10.

The Haas Undergraduate Program was ranked #3.

The Master of Financial Engineering Program was again ranked #1 by TFE—and jumped to #2 in Quantnet's ranking.

We put our heart into sustainability.

By the end of 2023, our goal is to retool all core MBA courses with cases and assignments that will empower students to address climate change and other sustainability challenges through business.

In 2021, more than 100 students signed up for the new Michaels’ Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business.

About 68% of the members of the Class of 2021 took a sustainability elective.

Our real estate program also shifted its focus to sustainable development and finance.

The generosity of alumni funded new spaces for students to gather.

In September, Dean Ann Harrison kicked off the grand opening of the Shneyder & Kirk MBA Commons, a space for MBA students to study and collaborate. The space is named for Mikhail Shneyder, EWMBA 08, (standing) and his husband, Jim Kirk, in recognition of their generous $1 million gift to the school. Undergraduates have a newly remodeled lounge as well.

Our entrepreneurs innovated, disrupted, and landed major investments.

We're so proud that PitchBook’s 2021 university rankings placed UC Berkeley as the top public university for startup founders and second among both private and public universities.

This year, five Haas startups made the Poets & Quants top MBA startups list, raising a record total of $125 million. They included Oishii, founded by Hiroki Koga, MBA 17 (right), which raised $50 million, and Oxygen, founded by Hussein Ahmed, EMBA 18 (left), which raised $33 million. The list also included Kyte, a car-sharing startup co-founded by Ludwig Schoenack, MBA 19; Time by Ping, a timekeeping automation company co-founded by Kourosh Zamanizadeh, EWMBA 18; and healthcare startup Twentyeight Health, cofounded by Amy Fan, MBA/MPH 19 (center).

We cheered on four Haas athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

Haas Olympians, clockwise from top left: Champion backstroker Ryan Murphy, BS 17, (left) and his teammates captured gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay, breaking the 12-year-old world record for the event by half a second. It was the 4th gold medal for Murphy. He also won silver in the men’s 200m backstroke, and bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke; Golfer Collin Morikawa, BS 19, narrowly missed the bronze medal (by one stroke) and came in 4th in the men’s golf tournament; Johnny Hooper, BS 19, competed in the men’s water polo quarterfinals; Alicia Wilson, BS 22, came in 8th in the women’s 200m individual medley, swimming for Great Britain.

A big thank you to the entire Haas community for all your support, flexibility, and perseverance this year. Wishing you a happy New Year!