Alumni to Reflect on Haas Defining Principles

About 100 Haas Alumni Network (HAN) ambassadors from around the country and as far away as China will participate in a unique brainstorming session this weekend on the behaviors that exemplify the school’s defining principles.

The HAN Ambassadors Leadership Summit on Saturday, Sept. 25, will begin with a report from Dean Rich Lyons on the school’s strategic plan and four defining principles: beyond yourself, question the status quo, student always, and confidence without attitude.

After a Q&A session, Lyons will turn the podium over to Haas Professor Jenny Chatman, PhD 88, who will talk about why clarifying the school’s alumni culture is strategic, important, and powerful.

That will segue into a group exercise to elicit feedback from the ambassadors — alumni volunteers and leaders — on the ideal behaviors that exemplify the school’s defining principles and values.

“The school’s defining principles put into words what makes the Haas culture so unique,” says Alumni Relations Director Leslie Kanberg. “Now we are asking alumni to describe the ideal behaviors for each defining principle they would hope to observe in fellow alumni and that they aspire to internalize.”

Later in the day, alumni will share their own stories about how they have experienced these powerful defining principles. The stories could be about anything from a fellow alum who crafted an innovative solution to a tricky business problem to their own work that has made a difference in society.

The activities on Saturday are part of a two-day annual leadership retreat, which begins Friday, Sept. 24. The retreat unites volunteers from eleven different alumni chapters as well as volunteers serving on the Haas Alumni Relations Council and Development Council. The theme of the retreat this year is “Celebrating Our Distinctive Alumni Culture.” Activities on Friday will focus on best practices for alumni chapters, such as using social media, enhancing the school’s brand, and providing career services to local alumni.

Can’t attend the retreat, but what to share your own examples of the Haas School’s defining principles in action? Visit