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Vetter Dean’s Fellows program develops MBA leaders at UNC Kenan-Flagler

Student around table

The premier leadership-scholar program for MBA students at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has a new name and enhanced opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills, careers and networks.

To support and enhance the highly selective Dean’s Fellows Program, Steve Vetter (BSBA ’78) and Debbie Vetter (ABED ’78) of Greensboro, North Carolina, made an endowed gift of $10 million.

To honor the Vetters’ commitment to developing future business leaders, UNC Kenan-Flagler renamed the program in their honor: The Steve and Debbie Vetter Dean’s Fellows Program.

“With the Vetter’s transformational gift, we are increasing the program’s impact on our students lives through fellowships and exceptional extracurricular enrichment experiences,” said Doug Shackelford (BSBA ’80), dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation. “The combination of their programmatic and fellowship support gives us a competitive edge to continue to attract the best of the best to UNC Kenan-Flagler.”

The Vetter Dean’s Fellows Program offers about 30 full-time MBA students a year with unique opportunities and a focus on growing professionally and personally while deeply engaging with and contributing to the UNC Kenan-Flagler community, Shackelford said.

Steve and Debbie Vetter“A Carolina education changes lives as it did for Debbie and me, contributing to our career success,” said Vetter, former CEO and chairman of the board of Ennis-Flint Inc. “To play a role in developing the next generation of business leaders is profoundly meaningful to us. My hope is Vetter Fellows remember the role the program and UNC Kenan-Flagler played in their success, and they give back in ways that enable others to follow in their footsteps.”

Key benefits of the Vetter Dean’s Fellows Program are:

  • Developing as a leader: Specially designed experiences guide student’s personal and professional development. Among the new features is a global learning experience designed for Vetter Fellows. Even though students can’t travel in 2021, their global education continues with a specially designed virtual program on Rwanda. Future plans include a specially designed capstone course designed to maximize the learnings of the entire Vetter Fellows experience.
  • Recruiting: Early career coaching opportunities prepare students for the recruiting season. Vetter Fellows attend special events and small group or individual meetings with employers. These events continue during COVID with virtual coffee chats and small-group sessions.
  • Networking: Vetter Fellows build lasting relationships by connecting with numerous stakeholders who are committed to their education and growth. During a variety of special events, they network with other classmates, School leaders, faculty, staff, campus partners and business leaders.
  • Giving back: Vetter Fellows support the UNC Kenan-Flagler community in ways that make a lasting impact. They collaborate with faculty and staff on projects that address topics of high importance to the dean; engage in community service projects with other Vetter Fellows and in partnership with classmates; and lead small-group discussions on important business trends.