Students at all levels of higher education find themselves confronting a difficult paradox. On the one hand, they know that a first-rate education will open career opportunities that will increase their chances for financial security and job satisfaction. On the other hand, with economic woes to face and priorities to set, paying for that education is increasingly difficult.
To address this problem, several years ago, as dean of the Chapman Graduate School, Jose de la Torre, now clinical professor and J.K. Batten Eminent Scholar Chair in Strategy, Department of Management and International Business, began a drive to establish scholarships for graduate programs.
At the outset, he explained that “donations will help the graduate school attract bright, top-level students who might otherwise select business schools with large endowments offering more financial help.”
Three donors quickly respond with generosity.
De la Torre can now look with satisfaction at the early successes of his commitment. Three corporations have come forward with funds that will yield a number of annual scholarships. Mercantil Commercebank pledged $150,000 over five years, Espirito Santo Bank pledged $75,000 over five years, and Jackson Health System pledged $75,000 over five years. The Chapman School will match every dollar donated from its internal funds, thus doubling the amount of the scholarships. The contributions are part of the college’s Growth and Excellence Fund.
“We are extremely grateful to these pioneering companies that have allowed us to get the effort off the ground,” de la Torre said. “The scholarships have made a tremendous impact, bringing in students to our graduate programs who wouldn’t have been able to come otherwise. But this is just a beginning. We want to increase the fund dramatically in the future.”
The first group of students awarded Mercantil Commercebank scholarships included students in both the International MBA (IMBA) and the Master of International Business (MIB) programs: Tomas Garcia (IMBA), Guillermo Hernandez (MIB), IMBA student Emmanuel Roman (BBA ’08), and Eduardo Velasquez (MIB).
Funded students will give back in kind.
“The support from these institutions enables us to provide opportunities to students who have demonstrated their ability to accomplish great things,” said Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87), assistant dean, Department of Advancement, Alumni, and Corporate Relations. “Once they graduate with a degree from one of our outstanding graduate programs and enter the job market, we know they will continue to make positive contributions to the business community, which benefits all of us.”
The Chapman Graduate School also awards National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and Chapman Merit scholarships. The number of currently enrolled scholarship recipients in the graduate school is fifteen.
To learn more about the Growth and Excellence Fund, visit http://business.fiu.edu/Spotlights/growth_and_excellence_fund_info.cfm. For information about other funding opportunities, visit http://business.fiu.edu/Spotlights/support_our_school.cfm or contact Rojas at 305.348.3339 or Annabelle.Rojas@fiu.edu.