In recognition of its legacy and the commitment of Vanderbilt MBA students to volunteer service, the Owen School has been named one of two winners of the 2008 TeamMBA Award for Outstanding Community Service. This prestigious annual honor from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) pays tribute to schools that exemplify the highest ideals of “giving back” and a commitment to community service and cause-related activities.
GMAC President and CEO Dave Wilson presented the award to Owen representatives—along with fellow recipient Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University—at the organization’s Annual Industry Conference in Chicago on June 20.
“Owen has long championed volunteerism, charitable donations and social entrepreneurship as a fundamental and critical element of business education,” says Dean Jim Bradford. “We are honored to be recognized with this important award and proud of our students, faculty and staff for their continued dedication to giving back to the community.”
Owen was recognized for several initiatives:
• More than 20 community service and cause-related activities, involving nearly all of Owen’s 433 students (along with faculty and staff) through the volunteer organization 100% Owen;
• More than 10,000 volunteer hours and $15,000 in funds raised to benefit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Nashville, Toys for Tots, Pencil Partners, Boys and Girls Club of America, Second Harvest Food Bank, Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee, and the American Cancer Society;
• Participation by every incoming first-year student in building a house for Habitat for Humanity during orientation;
• Hosting the 2007 Net Impact Conference, which brought more than 1,800 graduate business students and professionals to the Vanderbilt campus and involved 266 volunteers and 6,600 volunteer hours;
• Courses and activities focused on poverty alleviation as part of the student-founded Project Pyramid, which included consulting activities and student trips to Bangladesh and Tupelo, Miss.
This year’s pool of applicants for the award comprised 26 schools, including fellow finalists Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University. Entries were evaluated by a committee of business school professionals based on such criteria as participation level, effort, reach and impact. The TeamMBA initiative was started by GMAC in 2005 to celebrate and promote business schools’ outstanding community-focused work, and the TeamMBA Award was first given last year to Georgetown University.