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HBS Dean Robert S. Kaplan Takes Ice Bucket Challenge

In Memory of Jenifer Estess, Co-founder of Project A.L.S.

BOSTON, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In memory of Jenifer Estess, who, with her sisters Valerie and Meredith, founded Project ALS 15 years ago, Harvard Business School Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Management Practice, Robert Steven Kaplan, took the ALS "ice bucket challenge" yesterday at 4pm on Baker Beach.

"Hi, I'm Rob Kaplan," he said, "and I'm taking the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Research."

"I'm accepting the challenge on behalf of Project A.L.S. and my friend, Jenifer Estess, who passed away from the disease in December 2003. I've been associated with Project A.L.S. for several years and I encourage you to support our leading research on ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases."

Looking into the camera with a smile, Professor Kaplan then dumped a bucket of ice water on his head. Chilled but undaunted, he continued:

"I want to challenge all of my former students at Harvard Business School to take the ice bucket challenge—or—donate as you can to"

Kaplan is the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations at Harvard Business School. He's also Chairman of the Board for Project A.L.S., the leading non-profit organization for ALS research.

According to Kaplan, $60 million has been raised in donations for Project A.L.S. from friends and well-wishers over the years. "Much more is needed," he emphasized. "Experts say that an understanding of ALS will strengthen our fight against the related Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's diseases. In fact, by the year 2025, as our population ages, 1 in 25 American adults will be diagnosed with one of these neurodegenerative diseases. The solution is aggressive and collaborative research, and that's the singular commitment of Project A.L.S." 

In addition to Rob Kaplan taking the ice bucket challenge, celebrity supporters of Project A.L.S. doused themselves within the past few days, including Katie Couric, Ben Stiller & Christine Taylor, Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Kimmel, Matt Bomer and the New York Mets.

See the August 20 USA Today Opinion piece by Valerie Estess, Project A.L.S. Director of Research:

Meredith Estess wrote an OpEd for Fox News Opinion on August 21

To donate to ALS research, visit

Video -

SOURCE Project A.L.S.

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