Tables topped with barbecue and picnic fare. Wine glasses raised for both tasting and good cheer. Generations brought together at homes across the country: students currents, recent and past.
For many Tepper School of Business alumni, serving as a host to, or a participant in, a Summer Welcome Reception seems like a natural way to stay engaged with their school’s community and give back to a Carnegie Mellon that was a turning point in their lives. These receptions are a key backyard building block to the construction of the community.
“I credit much of my success to the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now the Tepper School),” said Bart O’Brien, MSIA ’81. “The analytical approach to business education, the teams, and the workload taught me to work hard to find the solution to problems … I want to give back to the school by being a loyal alumnus.”
O’Brien has displayed his commitment by hosting current students, recent alumni and fellow graduates at his Napa Valley Winery each summer as part of the Tepper School’s Summer Welcome series.
The receptions began approximately 15 years ago when Jeffrey Meckler, MSIA ’90, BSBA ’89, hosted the inaugural event in New York City. In the years since, the trend has spread across the country and grown in popularity and proximity as an annual, multi-city series hosted by Tepper School alumni.
“It is always great to meet the younger students and serve as a bit of a living testament to the value of a Tepper education, combined with the ability to take risks and the ever-present work ethic,” O’Brien said.
“The reception provided me with an opportunity to reconnect with students that I had recruited to the Dallas area – as well as for them to connect with each other – and for all of us to meet new Tepper students and grads,” added Candice Irvin, MBA ’02, who hosted a reception at her home in Dallas, Texas.
Irvin’s reception brought together a diverse group from the Tepper School community, ranging from current MBA students to alumni from as far back as the 1970s.
Though the format of the receptions varies slightly from city to city, these informal “backyard barbeque-style” meet-ups give students and alumni the opportunity to network and mingle with other members of the Tepper School community.
“Holding the receptions at alumni homes illustrates that at the Tepper School you are not just a number or a member of an organization, you are part of a family,” explained John Sengenberger, executive director of Alumni Relations. “Our alumni hosts and chapter volunteers are amazing role models who encourage our students to become actively engaged with our alumni community as soon as they graduate.”
From staying up-to-date on business issues, to reconnecting with friends, to networking with other business professionals, the Summer Welcome Receptions offer many benefits to Tepper School students and alumni. Many also use the receptions as an opportunity to stay connected to the Tepper School’s small, tight-knit community.
“Tepper is such a great school, and it is a small school. Because of our size it is important we all support each other in any way we can,” Irvin said.