This article has been updated to reflect the version that ran in print on Jan. 19.
The Yale School of Management announced last week a donation from Indra Nooyi SOM ’80, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc. The gift makes Nooyi the most generous alumni donor in the school’s history.
The gift is being used to endow the deanship of the SOM, making the school the first Ivy League business school whose deanship is named for a woman. Combined with her past gifts to name the Nooyi Classroom and the Isaacson Classroom — named for professor Larry Isaacson, who taught in the school from 1976 to 1981 — at the SOM’s new campus, the donation makes Nooyi the most generous graduate of the SOM in terms of lifetime giving to the school. The size of this most recent gift has not been disclosed.
“My gift to this wonderful institution pales in comparison with the gift that Yale gave me — the fundamental understanding that leadership requires an expansive worldview and a deep appreciation of the many points of intersection between business and society,” Nooyi said in a press release. Nooyi declined to provide further comment to the News.
The announcement comes on the heels of SOM Dean Edward Snyder’s reappointment to a second five-year term. Following the donation, Snyder — who was recently named “Dean of the Year” by the business school news website Poets and Quants — has been named the inaugural Indra K. Nooyi dean.
Snyder said in the news release that having the deanship named after Nooyi reflects the SOM’s model of “purposeful and broadminded” leadership. He told the News that he has received hundreds of emails and communications expressing excitement over Nooyi’s donation.
SOM faculty members interviewed praised the gift as well. SOM professor Jim Baron said he is happy with the generosity of the donation and its acknowledgement of Snyder’s contributions to the school.
The donation will also establish the SOM’s Fifth Decade Innovation Fund as the school enters its 50th year.
The SOM began with the aim of challenging the traditional business school model by bridging the private and public sectors, founding dean of the SOM William Donaldson told the News in 2012. To emphasize this distinction, the school offers a Master of Public and Private Management degree instead of the standard Master of Business Administration. Over the past few years, the SOM has reviewed its core curriculum and launched the Global Network, an international partnership of 28 business schools around the world.
Snyder said the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund will fuel the SOM’s future programs. But Nathan Williams, SOM director of marketing and public relations, said the school is unable to release specific plans for the fund’s use at this time. In the press release, Nooyi said she hopes the donation will teach future business leaders to “do more than make money” and make positive impacts in society.
In the statement, the India-born Nooyi added that her experience at the SOM “forever altered” the course of her life. Before joining Yale as a student in the SOM’s third cohort, she received all her education in India. Nooyi came to the United States with little money and had to work as a receptionist from midnight to 5 a.m. while at Yale.
Now, Nooyi -— a former member of the Yale Corporation — has been consistently recognized as one of the world’s most influential women. She was ranked second on Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2015, and clinched the 15th spot on Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women the same year.
Nooyi also serves as a board member of several organizations including the U.S.-China Business Council, U.S.-India Business Council and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Since Nooyi stepped into her role as CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, the company has reduced its water use in operation by 23 percent and its energy efficiency increased by 16 percent.
Nooyi is PepsiCo’s first female CEO, as well as its first CEO born outside of the U.S.
Correction, Jan. 20: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the SOM offers a Master of Public and Private Management Degree. In fact, it has discontinued the MPPM degree and switched to the MBA degree.