Tech Savvy

With Hobart’s mascot, “Bart the Statesman,” etched into his office glass, Dan
Rosensweig ’83, president and CEO of never fails to show off his Hobart
pride. Connecting his office and a conference room is a working garage door that can
open and close for meetings, which symbolizes the Silicon Valley startup ethos and
serves as a constant reminder to be “nimble, smart, innovative and frugal.”

by Andrew Wickenden ’09

How do young people develop confidence, recognize opportunity and lead a meaningful life of consequence?

For Dan Rosensweig ’83, president and CEO of, traditional classroom education is “a critical part of it, but it’s only a part. If you’re smart and well educated but can’t convert that, you’ll never realize your potential.”

As an accomplished Internet, media and communications entrepreneur, Rosensweig has sought to bring to new users the benefits of contemporary technology—in entertainment, in the marketplace and in education.

When Rosensweig began to reconnect with the Colleges in the early 2000s— through President Mark D. Gearan; Bob Murphy, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions; and Kathy Killius Regan ’82, P’13, assistant vice president for advancement, alumnae relations and national regional network—their conversations inevitably returned to the fact that “the world is evolving, and technology is much more important in people’s lives,” says Rosensweig. “The next generation of students will be tech savvy. So we asked: how can we work to help students leverage technology in their lives and careers?”

This question led Rosensweig, who was then COO of Yahoo!, to work directly with HWS interns, several of whom were subsequently hired, ultimately leading “to the changing of Yahoo!’s employment policies about hiring undergraduates because they’d performed so well,” he explains.

Since leaving Yahoo!, Rosensweig has continued to mentor HWS interns—formerly as president and CEO of Activision Blizzard’s Guitar Hero franchise and now as president and CEO of Chegg.

“Chegg started as a company that wanted to rent textbooks, but now 75 percent of our revenue will come from online resources that help match students to colleges, to careers, to internships,” he says. “The company has evolved with the needs of our customers.”

Under Rosensweig’s direction, Chegg is the Student Hub, the leading student-first connected learning platform that brings together people who want to learn with the tools and resources that accelerate achievement of their educational goals.

As new technologies emerge, Rosensweig predicts that educational institutions will undergo a similar kind of evolution, seeking “to adapt and integrate those advances into the curriculum,” he says. “I see progressive colleges and universities trying to leverage technology to become more expansive, more accessible and less expensive. Why can’t we expand the curriculum? Why shouldn’t every student be able to audit a class to learn for learning’s sake? Technology has lowered cost, increased accessibility and scaled faster. How do we leverage that in education on behalf of the student?”

Part of that leveraging, he suggests, will take the form of infrastructure investments on campus, like the Rosensweig Learning Commons, which fosters “an environment of collaboration and teamwork similar to the way many companies are built in the fast paced world of Silicon Valley,” Rosensweig says.

However, a liberal arts education, he adds, bolstered by internships and experiential learning programs, helps complete the portrait of a college graduate ready to lead and succeed in the 21st century. Through his work with students and his discussions with HWS leadership about “the liberal arts and its place in the world,” Rosensweig sees an “ideal scenario” when a liberal arts background in critical thinking meets workplace skills and experience.

Raised by a single mother who was a public school teacher, Rosensweig grew up immersed in “the importance of learning and mentorship,” he says. “My wife, Linda, and I have been surrounded by the power of education our whole lives. It’s the nexus of learning, thought, and connecting that to the practical day-to-day experience that becomes the opportunity for what my wife and I have experienced, which is the American Dream.”

With the goal of “taking extraordinarily bright students and marrying a liberal arts education with practical skills-based learning,” Rosensweig and his wife Linda are supporting an internship funding opportunity that runs parallel to the Colleges’ recently announced Guaranteed Internship Program.

“Under President Gearan’s leadership, the school has invested a lot of time and energy to give every student at least one internship,” says Rosensweig, who has in turn become increasingly determined to assist in that endeavor. “If an internship doesn’t pay enough, we want to help finance and fund students to get internships of their dreams and advance in a competitive market.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.