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An Update from Fuqua’s Minority Alumni Advisory Board
January 11, 2012
by Eva De La Rosa '05, Board Communication Chair
The Fuqua Minority Alumni Advisory Board was founded in 2008 to provide Fuqua with a formal structure to nurture, grow, and capitalize on the resources of the underrepresented minority community. To this end, the board has been actively planning and leading key initiatives that support students and alumni in three areas: career development, admissions, and development and alumni relations. In November 2011, board members convened for their bi-annual meeting at Fuqua during the weekend of the Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants. There was a rich dialogue evaluating recent achievements as well as goals for 2012.
The career development task force, led by Tyrone Thomas '04 (Daytime MBA), provides tools and support for career mentorship for minority students, including preparation for minority career conferences and transitioning from the classroom to the workplace. To date, 28 second-year Daytime MBA students have been matched with board members or Fuqua alumni based on areas of career interest across nine industries. These efforts have been positively received by both students and alumni. For 2012, in addition to the mentorship program, efforts are underway for board members to host professional networking receptions in five markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
The admissions task force, led by Brian Bell '06 (Daytime MBA), assists the Fuqua Admissions team to identify, recruit, and yield the best underrepresented minority students. In support of this, activities were successfully executed in 2011 that included diversity panels in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Atlanta. The panel discussions focused on student life at Fuqua, the admissions process, and career planning. Minority alumni were instrumental in providing donated space in each city to host these events. We are grateful to our alumni for their leadership and generosity with these efforts. A big thank you to Heidi Pellerano '04, Tyrone Thomas '04, Stanley Porter '91, and TJ Abrams '09. As well, local coffee chats were coordinated by the admissions task force with Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellows. The coffee chats were hosted in New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Houston, Northern and Southern California, and Chicago. MLT Fellows form a significant portion of underrepresented minority applicants to Fuqua each year. For 2012, these efforts will continue, in addition to executing an alumni ambassador initiative for diversity recruitment.
Development and Alumni Relations
The development and alumni relations task force, led by Kevin Thibodeaux '05 (Global Executive MBA), is dedicated to enhancing philanthropy and involvement by Fuqua minority alumni. Historically, efforts have focused on expanding the participation of minority alumni in giving campaigns for Fuqua with a focus on the Fuqua Annual Fund and the Minority Scholarship. In 2011, the board developed a goal to increase participation in the Fuqua Annual Fund within the minority alumni community to exceed general alumni giving participation (approximately 23 percent). The development and alumni relations task force created the "Strive for 25" initiative with the goal to achieve 25 percent participation from our community by June 30, 2011. The initiative aligns the school's philanthropic priorities with that of the board's interest in increasing scholarship money. Efforts are underway for 2012 to expand these efforts via a multi-contact outreach strategy.
Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants
Board members have also actively participated in the annual Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants, and last November we celebrated the 29th annual Duke MBA Workshop with a focus on the theme of "Partnering for Results: Leveraging Your Intercultural Network." A total of 82 prospective students attended along with 64 minority alumni attendees, with the highest number of alumni attendees from classes of the 1980s and the classes of 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011. In addition to a diverse set of career and admissions panels, we enjoyed an engaging conversation at dinner with keynote speaker Stanley Porter '91, Principal at Deloitte Consulting. During the dinner, we also celebrated the contributions and achievements of Tyrone Thomas '04, who was honored with the May-Penn Award of Excellence. The May-Penn Award was established in 2006 in honor of Owen May '83 and Derek Penn '84 for their longstanding commitment, leadership, and exemplary service to Fuqua. Tyrone Thomas has a history of giving his time and talent to the Fuqua community through his service to Admissions, the Career Management Center, and Development and Alumni Relations, and we are grateful for his contributions and leadership. Congratulations, Tyrone!
Lastly, efforts are underway to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants in November 2012. The weekend of November 16 will be unprecedented with social and educational events and activities to celebrate three decades of the workshop, which has historically provided a dynamic forum for the minority community. The events planned for the 30th Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants are intended to encourage more alumni to attend and participate. Additional details will be communicated in the coming months, and we hope to see you at this momentous event!