Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"The long bus rides were never boring"

Last year, I had the privilege of sitting down with a gentleman whose generosity has enabled many students at Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business to enhance their education by going abroad.

IU alumnus Ed Hutton, a prominent philanthropist and businessman from Cincinnati, in 2003 gave $9 million to establish an endowment for a university-wide International Experiences Program. Last year, he added $400,000 for the Kelley School's efforts.

"It's one thing to read names in a geography book and it's another thing to be there," the Bedford, Ind., native told me, adding that it's especially important that today's young people, including many from small towns, understand the world around them.

Alexa Adler, who is the third person from the left in this photo at the Taj Mahal, now has the same world view as Mr. Hutton.

"I thought the trip did a great job of showing us both the growing business world in India as well as its social and welfare issues," Adler said. "Being able to visit places like Maruti-Suzuki and Infosys helped (me) to better understand what we have been learning in class about India as an emerging market and how it connects with and works with business in the U.S.

"However, the experience we had at Hand in Hand, and all of the interactions we had with the people of India were most significant to me," she added. "India was completely different from anywhere else I have traveled. The culture was colorful and exciting, the people were extremely friendly and it was eye opening to see a world very different from my own.

"The long bus rides were never boring because there was so much to see and observe just staring out of the bus windows. We really learned a lot on this trip but experiencing the people and culture, and observing everyday life was what I found to be most meaningful."

Thanks again, Mr. Hutton.

No comments: