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James R. Swartz Leadership Scholarship


The James R. Swartz Leadership Scholarship is a full-tuition award supported through the generosity of Tepper School of Business alumnus James R. Swartz (MSIA 1966). Awardees are individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential. The scholarship is designed to attract outstanding individuals to the Tepper School of Business to provide a superior foundation for leaders addressing complexity and analytical decision-making within global markets. Our graduates are renowned for making an impact in organizations, and the Swartz Leadership Scholarship provides the financial support to students we believe will be outstanding ambassadors for our standard of leadership alongside strategic analytics.

The Swartz Leadership Scholarship is awarded to a first-year MBA student who exhibits an outstanding record of personal and professional achievement. The scholarship criteria evaluate candidates’ abilities to demonstrate the potential for exceptional leadership skills. We view the range of leadership skills as encompassing ethics, purpose, creativity, openness, team-orientation, optimism, strategic and analytical decision-making, and effective communication abilities. Swartz Scholars will possess a high degree of self-awareness of their strengths and areas of development, enabling their personal leadership and management style to be further developed during the Tepper School’s MBA program.

Leadership & The Tepper School Of Business At Carnegie Mellon University

Within a dynamic, global marketplace, today’s business executives need to excel within an environment of high expectations and low margin for error. We encourage potential MBAs to expand their views of “leadership” to include both thinking and performance. Leadership is earned, and leaders today understand that an integral aspect of assuming leadership roles is exceptional performance that is repeated via successively challenging assignments. There are no short-cuts or magic bullets on the path toward attaining leadership assignments and roles.

This reality – the necessity of working for your reputation – is why Tepper MBAs are great leaders. Swartz Scholars are also expected to be great leaders (and great problem solvers) who understand how to leverage teams, resources, information and insight to advance organizations.

At the Tepper School of Business, leadership development begins during the four-week “BaseCamp” orientation program, which includes team-building activities, seminars on specific leadership-related topics, a group community service activity, and more. MBA students further develop their leadership and communications skills through the new Accelerate Leadership Center, which features one-to-one leadership coaching and customized workshops and immersion training. In addition to their coursework, Tepper MBAs leverage their access to the worldwide Carnegie Mellon alumni network, frontline and C-Level business leaders via alumni networking events, corporate presentations, Global Treks, and the W.L. Mellon CEO Speaker Series.

About James R. Swartz

James R. Swartz, founding partner of Accel Partners, is widely recognized as one of the most successful and influential venture capitalists in the world. Interdisciplinary learning is a hallmark of a Carnegie Mellon education and Mr. Swartz exemplifies this. He is unique among venture capitalists because he has successfully invested across multiple industries, from energy to healthcare to telecommunications and software. He has served as a director for over fifty successful companies and was lead investor with the emergence of numerous industry-pioneering firms, including: Avici Systems, BroadBand Technologies, Daisy Systems, FastForward/Inktomi,, Illustra/Informix, Medical Care America, Netopia/Motorola, PictureTel, Polycom, Remedy Corporation/BMC Software, Riverbed Technology, and Ungermann-Bass/Tandem.

In addition to his illustrious career, Mr. Swartz has given back to the community by donating not only his financial resources, but also his time and leadership to numerous civic and professional organizations. He's a member of the Tepper School's Business Board of Advisors and serves on the Advisory Council of the school's Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship. He is also Director Emeritus of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation, and a Trustee of the Sundance Institute and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Swartz served on the Management Committee of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics of 2002. He is also former chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Swartz earned a B.S. degree in Applied Physics and Engineering from Harvard University and an M.S. degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, where he received an Alumni Achievement Award. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from the Western Governors University.


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