Mark Williams E '92, MBA '96, a double-Dukie who bleeds Duke blue, credits the value of his interactions with alumni and a desire to give back with his decision to join the Minority Alumni Advisory Board
at its creation in 2008. "Through their time and advice, they had the most profound impact on my life as an MBA student and my career path," he explained.
The board's mission is to provide Fuqua a formal structure for nurturing, growing, and capitalizing on the resources of the underrepresented minority community.
"Mark is a strong leader," said Katie Thomasson, Associate Director of Alumni Relations. "He stepped up to the plate from the beginning and was willing to take on something that was new and unknown, and created something great as a result."
As chair of the board's Careers Task Force, Williams and his team established a mentorship program. This program connects underrepresented minority students with alumni who provide career development guidance and who help with the transition "from backpack to briefcase."
In addition to Careers, the board consists of two additional task forces: Admissions and Development and Alumni Relations.
This year, the board's Admissions Task Force worked in conjunction with Fuqua's Admissions office to develop the Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES). This initiative connects 60 alumni ambassadors with newly-admitted minority MBA candidates. Alumni contact the prospective students to share their experiences and to encourage them to accept their admissions offers from Fuqua.
The task force's goal is to increase the diversity of Team Fuqua and yield a stronger group of incoming students. Overall, these admissions ambassadors aim to increase the number of underrepresented minorities applying to Fuqua, guiding them through the application process, and then encouraging them to attend Fuqua once admitted.
The Development and Alumni Relations task force was created to increase underrepresented minority alumni involvement and philanthropic investment in the school.
"When alumni think back to what it was like being a student at Fuqua," Williams said, "we remember how much we loved it. What the school did for us is something we can't really measure. But what we can do is give back to the school. We can give our time or give money, or ideally both."
The task force's efforts over the past few years have been successful, increasing the number of minority alumni donors to the Fuqua Annual Fund. The board is striving for 25 percent participation from the community.
"Get involved," Williams recommended. "You'll be so pleased that you did. We've done some great things, but I think we're going to do a lot more, and that's what I'm most excited about."
To learn more about how to get involved with the board's initiatives in career mentorship, admissions, and development and alumni relations, please email Katie Thomasson
, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, or call +1-919-660-7695.