The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has received the largest gift in its history—$25-million in support of TuckGo, the school’s global learning program. The commitment comes from the Bakala Foundation USA. This is the American family foundation of Michaela and Zdenek Bakala T’89, a Czech-born investor, philanthropist, and member of Tuck’s Board of Advisors.
The gift consists of a foundational investment to endow TuckGO—the portfolio of for-credit immersive educational experiences that comprise Tuck’s global learning requirement. Established in 2015, TuckGO—short for “Tuck Global Opportunities”—has become a distinctive part of the Tuck curriculum. It’s also a critical differentiator for Tuck among MBA programs.
Tuck MBA students must take one of three immersive experiential courses in a country that is new to them. These options include a qualifying First-Year Project; an OnSite Global Consulting assignment; or a Global Insight Expedition. All of these experiences are designed, taught, and assessed by a Tuck faculty member or faculty adviser. Alternatively, students may participate as an international exchange student with a partner institution.
Part of the gift will go to strengthening existing TuckGO offerings and funding new and varied educational experiences abroad. It will also help cover operational costs for the program. This includes funding related to logistics, travel, and preparatory expenses. In addition, it will further the personal scale that is the hallmark of learning at Tuck by allowing for continued small cohort size.
The gift also creates the Bakala Global Suite. This will become the future home to the TuckGO offices and a hub of student, faculty, and staff collaboration.
Cultivating Critical Cross-Cultural Competencies
The Bakalas have a long history of support for Tuck and its students. In 2009, they endowed the Bakala Professor of Strategy, held by current incumbent Richard D’Aveni. Notably, the Bakalas have contributed significantly to Tuck’s global offerings in the past. In fact, Bakala affiliated organizations have sponsored more OnSite Global Consulting projects than any other organization.
“This is an incredible moment for Tuck and for the generations of students who will benefit from the Bakalas’ extraordinary generosity,” said Matthew Slaughter, Tuck’s dean. “Their gift ensures that TuckGO, already a vibrant and innovative part of learning at Tuck, will connect students even more to the world’s diversity, dynamism and innovation.”