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Investing in the next generation

Students holding

Scholarship and fellowship donors met the students who benefit from their philanthropy at the thirteenth annual Donors & Scholars Celebration hosted by UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Office of Advancement.

“This is a very special event for our community,” says Interim Dean Jennifer Conrad. “Our students have the opportunity to thank the people who have made a profound difference in their studies and experiences, and learn the importance of giving. Our donors see how amazing our students are and experience optimism and excitement about the next generation of business professionals.”

Robert "Bob" JonesRobert “Bob” Jones (BA ’77, MBA ’80), managing director at Captrust Financial Advisors gave the keynote remarks. He and his wife, Mindy, established the Bob and Mindy Jones Family Assured Admit Scholarship to support Tar Heel students preparing to enter the business world.

Students shared how donors’ generosity has shaped their educational and professional pursuits.

  • Susan Miller (BSBA ’24) received support from the Charles Glenwood Hawley Scholarship Fund, which was created in 2017 by Meredith Garwood (BSBA ’87, MAC ’89) to honor her father.
  • Jasmine Harley (MBA ’23) benefited from the Maverick Capital Premier MBA Fellowship Fund created in 2011 by Lee Ainslie (MBA ’90) of Maverick Capital to provide a premier or “full ride” fellowship to a student with strong academic achievement and leadership potential.
  • Zack Mock (MAC ’23) received support from the R. Leslie Johnson Accounting Fund, created in 1990 by R. Leslie Johnson to help support a graduate accounting student from western North Carolina.

Susan Miller, Jasmin Harley and Zack Mock

Harley dreams of pivoting into an impactful career in brand management. “The Maverick Fellowship is allowing me to live this dream and make the most of my MBA experience,” she says.

She challenged herself academically and professionally, focusing on marketing and operations. She studied abroad and gave back to the community, serving as co-president of the Black Business Student Association and as a career mentor to classmates. She was also a teaching assistant and a communication consultant for MBA and Undergraduate Business students.

Harley put into one sentence what the Maverick Fellowship has done for her: “It has changed my life.”

Tomer Crawford (BSBA ’23), who is completing his real estate and finance studies to pursue a career in commercial real estate, received the James Wilford Clark Jr. Undergraduate Scholarship. A first-generation college student, he began his studies during COVID at a New Jersey community college and transferred to UNC Kenan-Flagler as a junior. Without scholarship funding, he would have been “constantly worrying about how I am going to fund my education” but instead maximized his experience at Carolina by networking, participating in extracurricular programs and studying in a Global Immersion Elective in Hungary.

Sophie Lindner (MAC ’23) is a student-athlete on the swim team in her fifth year of eligibility and received support from the Freddy & Susan Robinson Scholarship in Accounting Fund. That support enabled her to be successful in and outside of the classroom. “My team finished in the top 10 in the NCAA for the first time in 22 years! Without the Robinson Fellowship, I would not have been able to be a part of that special milestone,” she says. “I also got a job and made numerous new lifelong friends. So – thank you to the Robinsons for making all of this possible with your funding and support of me and my fellow MAC professionals. It truly means so much to me and my family.”

Coleman Ross (BSBA ’65) with Malarie Alexis (MAC ’23) and guest Nancy Jo Smith.

Coleman Ross (BSBA ’65) with Malarie Alexis (MAC ’23) and guest Nancy Jo Smith. Ross funded the Coleman D. Ross Master of Accounting Fellowship Fund and the Lewis M. Burton Master of Accounting Fund.

UNC Kenan-Flagler has 245 scholarships and fellowships that support students in the Undergraduate Business Program, Master of Accounting Program, MBA programs and PhD Program.

Donors are motivated to give for many reasons, says Conrad, and the “result is that their support enables us to provide the best possible education for tomorrow’s business leaders. These scholarships help us to compete for top students, provide unique study abroad opportunities, and better prepare our graduates for career success.”

And as Harley told donors at the celebration, they make it “possible for students like me to chase their dreams and make big professional pivots. Your financial support makes these somewhat risky goals more achievable. I am so excited to continue paying it forward and one day help another ambitious student who wants to make the most of their MBA experience and have a big, impactful career.”

See the festivities here.