Part of what’s interesting at a college reunion is seeing who left with an education and returned with wisdom. Sharing personal wisdom was the focus of the 2024 reunion hosted Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 by and for graduates of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Former business school classmates returned to Evanston, IL from near and far to catch up with friends, regroup with former faculty, and tour campus. They also participated in--as audience or speakers--27 thought leader sessions guided by fellow alumni. The topics ranged from corporate governance to entrepreneurship to generative AI, and included six panel discussions.

One of the panel discussions was led by Ann M. Drake, ’84 MBA. Ann hosted a conversation on “Lessons in Philanthropy: How to Think About Giving Back.” Joining her on the panel were three accomplished alums in the philanthropy world--Lydia Addy ’89 MBA, president and co-founder of the Addy Foundation; Christopher Kennedy ’94 MBA, founder of Top Box Foods, a Chicago-based anti-hunger not-for-profit; and Jill Garling ’84 MBA, ’04 MS, Board Chair of the organization Facing History and Ourselves, a non-profit that uses the lessons of history in the classroom to counter bias and bigotry. 

The lively conversation included questions about the role of a Kellogg education in becoming an effective philanthropist, how childhood experiences shaped the path each panelist is on today, and the future of funding in an uncertain economy.