Skip to content Skip to Programs Navigation

News & Stories

Dean’s Circle spotlight

Dean's Circle“My heart is in Chapel Hill,” says John Chapman (BSBA ’00, MBA ’08), who served as president of the MBA Student Association when he was a student.

Chapman has definitely not slowed his involvement with UNC Kenan-Flagler since turning his tassel on graduation day. He serves on the Alumni Council and as an executive board member for the UNC Kenan-Flagler Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

“I find giving my time personally rewarding, and I enjoy the networking aspect of UNC Kenan-Flagler events,” says Chapman. “I love getting to know people who are as passionate about Carolina as I am.”

Chapman’s passion for the School also shows in his philanthropic giving. He is a member of the Dean’s Circle, which recognizes annual donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 and above, and directs his gifts to the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler – the unrestricted annual fund supporting students, faculty and programs. By giving, he knows his contributions help provide an even better education than he had and increase the value of his degree.

“I give largely because I’ve realized that universities and graduate schools are more and more dependent on outside sources of funding to be successful – or even to exist,” he says. “I really care about future students and the continuing value of my degree, and it’s important for me to invest in both.”

Chapman hopes that students will go outside their comfort zones to figure out what it is that they want to do with their lives.

His advice? “Get involved and take risks. Your few years in the MBA Program are a great opportunity to lead an organization or start a club. The downside to doing this is pretty minimal.”

John ChapmanChapman has taken this approach in his career. He searched for an organization that would be a good cultural fit and eventually landed as director of onboarding at athenahealth, Inc. During this search, he leveraged his network from the MBA Class of 2008.

Most recently, Chapman volunteered to serve as a Class Connector to encourage his MBA classmates to come back to Chapel Hill for their 10th reunion and give back to the School. They will celebrate the milestone during Alumni Weekend on April 13-15, 2018.

“Being with the people in the place where we shared these wonderful years together will be so energizing, fun and meaningful,” says Chapman. “The opportunity to do that with my UNC Kenan-Flagler friends and colleagues will be incredible.”

More than anything, he wants the MBA Class of 2008 to remember two of their best years spent together in a town and community they love.

“Think about how wonderful it was to be in Chapel Hill as a student,” he says. And while that feeling might have faded since graduation, coming back helps to invigorate that feeling. Put Alumni Weekend on your calendar, don’t second guess yourself and you’ll be very glad you made the effort.”

Chapman plans to travel back to Chapel Hill even before Alumni Weekend to attend a football game with his wife, Kerry (MBA ’09), and son, John.

“My 4-year-old is a huge Tar Heel fan. My 1-year-old doesn’t know it yet, but she is too. The opportunity to bring back my family to reunion and to see other classmates’ families is another big reason to come back.”

Chapman met his wife at UNC Kenan-Flagler and they married at the Carolina Inn. They live in Atlanta.

To learn more about the Dean’s Circle, Class Connector Program or Alumni Weekend, contact Carrie Dobbins, assistant director of development for reunions, at or 919.962.7428.