The 2015 MBA graduates achieved new heights for a single graduating class gift to the Tepper School of Business. The students surpassed their original goal of $30,000, raising more than $37,700 — the highest dollar amount in the history of the Graduating Class Gift Program.
At the start of their second year, the full-time MBA students of the Class of 2015 began raising funds earmarked toward a $50,000 endowed student award fund, the disbursements from which will be awarded annually in the form of a tuition credit to a rising second-year, full-time MBA student. The award will be given to a student who displays exceptional effort toward building a strong, inclusive and united community among the graduate students at the Tepper School.
The class realized a 97 percent participation rate, and 23 of the donations qualified for the W.L. Mellon Society (WLMS), another record and a more than 50 percent increase over the Class of 2014’s WLMS membership during their class gift campaign. The WLMS recognizes student and one-year out alumni donations of $500 or more ($1,000 or more for all others). Affiliation in this society includes recognition on the donor boards displayed in the Tepper School lobby, invitations to exclusive events around the country, priority communications with high-level staff and faculty such as Dean Robert Dammon, and more. Student members were also invited to a VIP reception with members of the Tepper School Alumni Board and an appreciation luncheon with the deans. During the last complete fiscal year, there were 786 total WLMS members.
“Our success is largely owed to the Class of 2015’s strong sense of pride in ourselves and our contributions to the Tepper School. We know the school is always advancing, and our work in the school community could continue to push Tepper forward: in rankings, in job placements and in academic competitions with other schools,” explained Steve Feyer, co-chair of the 2015 Class Gift Committee.
“We relied heavily on the Tepper School’s tight-knit community to encourage classmates to be a part of the campaign. Even students who were not on the committee were eager to help and offer resources so that we could be successful,” added co-chair LaShaina Shakes, praising her classmates for their dedication.
Along with individual gifts from students, a number of campaign challenges helped the class to exceed their goal. Challenges funded by students, staff and alumni totaled $4,750 in matching gift dollars.
“We were fortunate enough to have individuals who provided matching funds to encourage giving from the 2015 class. The matching gifts helped drive our participation rate up over 95 percent,” said Jared Worful, Class Gift Committee member.
Gift challenges and matching gift donors included two alumnae from the MBA Class of 2007, a student from the graduating class and several Tepper School faculty members.
“Our success is also a reflection of the dedication of the Tepper School’s Advancement team, the direction of the committee chair persons and encouragement from the deans. I feel fortunate to have found myself surrounded by a supportive community like that of the Tepper School,” said Worful.