You can’t tell the story of BGI without mentioning 9/11.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Gifford Pinchot III was in Hartford, Conn. participating in a clean energy brainstorming session with influential leaders and educators. He was scheduled to attend a meeting at the World Trade Center the following day.
One hour in to the session, the towers fell. Gifford never made it to that meeting and as a result BGI was born.
The brainstorming group — which included Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry; Joel Makower, founder of GreenBiz.com; Anita Burke, then sustainability executive at Shell International; and Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute — was suddenly stranded in a hotel for five days.
They stayed up talking late into the night and the conversation kept coming back to Gifford and his wife Libba’s dream of creating a school of sustainable business. In those five days, they laid the bricks that would become the founding mission of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute: to create a world of harmony where our planet and its people are no longer at odds.
In early 2002, Libba, Gifford, and Sherman Severin founded BGI, the first business school to offer an MBA in Sustainable Business. Jill Bamburg joined them in the summer of 2002 as the Founding Dean and fourth founder.
For more than a decade, BGI has been a leader in the movement against the old world model of business education. By integrating social justice and environmental sustainability into their curriculum, BGI is reforming the values of our future.
On May 9, we will host an Un-Gala to celebrate Gifford and Libba Pinchot and their commitment to creating a school, a community, and an inspiring group of change agents to lead the future of sustainability. Their warmth, genuine concern, and humor permeate the culture of the school. When you become a member of the BGI community, you also become an extended member of the Pinchot Family.
In true BGI fashion, we’re giving thanks in the form of an appreciation. Please share your appreciations in any or all of the following ways:
- Post to the Commons if you are a BGI student or alumni
- Tweet with the hashtag #bgiungala
- Comment on the Facebook post
- Comment on this blog post
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us at the Un-Gala or share an appreciation to show the love and admiration we all have for Gifford and Libba, and the amazing community they’ve fostered.
about the author
Drew Jones is a second year MBA candidate at Bainbridge Graduate Institute and serves as an intern for BGI’s Advancement Team. He also serves as Co-Chair of BGI’s Diversity and Social Justice Committee, and as Co-Mascot. He currently lives in Everett, WA and is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and creating strong, adaptive, and resilient organizations. He is very excited to graduate in June!