Tag: scholarship



“When I found out that our offices were literally across the street from each other,” Amanda Signorelli, BSBA’13, said, “we had to meet.” The newly named CEO of Chicago-based TechWeek, a conference and media company focused on building startup communities, couldn’t wait to meet Rick Weisberg, BSBA’81. After all, he had made it possible for her to graduate from Washington University.

Signorelli had just been named one of the Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by CIO.com and was preparing to share her success story at the Scholars in Business dinner last fall. Meeting Weisberg would provide an important piece of the story from her undergrad days.

During her sophomore year, Signorelli learned that her family was in financial straits and could not afford to pay for college; she would have to drop out of WashU. “It was terrifying,” Signorelli recalls. The prospect of leaving the school she had worked so hard to attend, and where she was happily pursuing interests in languages and entrepreneurship, was devastating.

Signorelli was unaware of the Scholars in Business Program and the generations of students, like her, that it has helped since 1979. She was overwhelmed when she learned that she qualified for a scholarship and would be able to stay in college and earn her degree at WashU. “It was amazing to see how connected the Olin network was, to sense I needed help, and they were there,” she said.

Signorelli was a recipient of the Lawrence Krulik Memorial Scholarship created in 1991 by Rick and Sheryl (BA’81) Weisberg in honor of her father. More than 25 students have benefited from the fund. Each year, the Weisbergs have received notes of appreciation and thanks from grateful Olin students, but until this past year, the Weisbergs had never actually met one of their scholarship students in person.

At their first meeting in a Chicago coffee shop, Signorelli told Rick Weisberg, “I don’t think you have a sense of just how important this scholarship was for me.” Amanda remembers the meeting as, “Very surreal. It was a really special moment for me.”

Amanda Signorelli and Rick Weisberg chat during video shoot for Scholars in Business Dinner.

The feeling was mutual for Weisberg. “Frankly it really hit me in a very, very positive way. I was very touched that she reached out to me. I never really fully understood the impact that the scholarship had made on her and others who received it because I never saw the outcome.”

Weisberg is quick to add that he takes no credit for Amanda’s success. “If I helped her on her path that’s one thing, but you know it’s up to the individual to find their path and be successful at it.” Weisberg found his path and passion in finance while at Olin. He says he will never forget the support and encouragement he received from Dean Bob Virgil when applying to graduate school at New York University. “Dean Virgil set up an interview for me with the dean of NYU’s business school. Thanks to that conversation, I was accepted into the MBA program right out of WashU and it changed my life.”

On Giving

“I’ve been involved in a lot of organizations, whether it’s been in in the theater, religious, or otherwise, but I have not found a better organization than Washington University both in terms of the purpose of donations and in terms of the operational side of the equation. The attention to detail in terms of the care that you feel from the university prior to the contribution, during the contribution, and after, it seems seamless and effortless and actually makes it a very pleasurable experience, and it’s just a great place to be a part of.”   – Rick Weisberg

After 26 successful years with Goldman Sachs, Weisberg continues to work as a private investor. He has remained connected to WashU through the Eliot Society and the regional cabinet in Chicago where the Weisbergs have lived since 1988. Meeting Amanda, Weisberg admits was a learning experience. “It has re-motivated me in a very positive way to re-think my philanthropic process. When you give to a large organization you know you’re doing something good, but you never directly see the outcome. In the case of the scholarship program, you know there is a proportionate and direct impact from what you provide.”

Amanda Signorelli will never forget the impact that the Weisberg’s generous gift had on her life. And now that she has connected with the fellow alumnus and donor who made it possible, she realizes she is a part of the Olin network that will be there to support the next generation of students with time, money, mentoring, and friendship.

Link to Entrepreneur’s Business Rockstars video with Amanda Signorelli.

Link to 2016 Scholars in Business Dinner video featuring Bob Virgil and Amanda Signorelli.

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life



Four students in the Olin Business School Class of 2020 have been selected for the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, Illinois has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948.

Tiffany Chiang, Maria de Figuerdo, Angelica Harris, and Charlyn Moss were selected from a group of national finalists as four of the 16 members of this year’s incoming class of Kemper Scholars.

The Kemper Scholars Program mission is to develop the next generation of business leaders, with a special focus on the insurance industry. By identifying high-potential undergraduate students and supporting them with a comprehensive program of scholarships, mentorship and internships, the Kemper Scholars Program helps students develop both practical and professional skills to become the next generation of effective business leaders.

“Kemper Scholars are a select group of undergraduate students from top colleges and universities around the country,” explains Jerry Fuller, Executive Director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. “They are selected because they are committed to their studies, serve their communities, and because they have exhibited leadership and well-rounded, ethical character. Throughout the over six decades of the program, scholars have gone on to make outstanding contributions as leaders in organizations around the world.”

Recent research reports that employers rank real world experience in internships and work while in college as a primary criterion in hiring recent graduates. The Kemper Scholars Program helps students apply their academic education to the world of professional careers, making connections between the classroom and the workplace.

Kemper Scholars receive scholarships during their sophomore, junior, and senior years of college. During the summer following their sophomore year, Scholars live in Chicago, where they intern at Chicago’s top nonprofits and participate in weekly educational seminars. Following junior year, scholars secure paid business internships at for-profit businesses across the country. Every summer, all current Kemper Scholars attend the Kemper Career Institute in Chicago, where they discuss their summer work and experience, meet with former Kemper Scholars, and consider topics in management, leadership and business.

“In our time of rapid change and globalization and the need for complex problem-solving and innovation skills, we at the James S. Kemper Foundation are proud of our role in helping shape the next generation of leaders,” said Joe Lacher, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Kemper Scholars’ strong academic background and real-world experience will help successfully launch them into the business world.”

 




BSBA alum and entrepreneur David Dresner

Founder and CEO of Sleeve a Message and Coast a Message, David Dresner (BSBA ’10), has created a $20,000 scholarship specifically to aid students attending Washington University’s Olin Business School.

Dresner announced the scholarship with the goal to make a quality education affordable for qualified business students from the St. Louis metropolitan area with significant financial need.

“You shouldn’t have to suffer loads of debt just because you are pursuing a quality education,” said Dresner. “Helping the next generation helps all of us in St. Louis. Giving back to the community is one part of our sustainable business model.”

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Examples of custom, sustainable coffee cup sleeves from Dresner’s company.

St. Louis-based Sleeve a Message and Coast a Message develop custom coffee attire and coasters for many well-known companies across North America including Bon Appetit, Dark Matter, Whole Foods, Restoration Hardware, Hulu, Target, Dogwood Coffee Company, Progressive Insurance, Au Bon Pain, Lavazza, and Volkswagen USA. Sleeve a Message and Coast a Message’s unique commitment to sustainable social practices has earned them a reputation for continued service to the community.

“David is passionate about his commitment to the St. Louis community and supporting efforts that strengthen the region. Working with David to create this scholarship has been an absolute pleasure. We are grateful for his work, and we’re proud to count him among our alumni,” stated K.C. Cortinovis Friedrich, Senior Associate Director of Development at Washington University’s Olin Business School.

For more information about the Washington University Scholarship, contact Liz Sharpe-Taylor at 315-542-0400 or at lsharpetaylor@mswmarketing.com. For more information about David Dresner and Sleeve a Message or Coast a Message, please visit www.sleeveamessage.com or www.coastamessage.com.

Photos: Olin Business Magazine, 2012.

CATEGORY: News, Student Life

On this Memorial Day weekend, we remember two veterans separated by generations and wars who were united by a generous scholarship at Olin Business School. It’s a moving story about the meeting between Army Major Rodney Lynch, MBA’15, and Col. John H. Von Der Bruegge, a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Rodney Linch visited the Von Der Bruegge family at their home in San Antonio, Texas. From left to right: Helen and Karen Von Der Bruegge, Rodney Linch, and Col. Von Der Bruegge. Thanks go to the MBA Graduate Program and Alumni & Development for making the meeting possible.

From left to right: Karen Von Der Bruegge, Rodney Linch, and Col. Von Der Bruegge.

Thank you to Karen Von Der Bruegge, MBA ’77, for making this scholarship possible and to her father for sharing his story of service with us.

Read the complete story in Olin Business magazine. “A Tale of Two Soldiers” by Kurt Greenbaum.

 

Photos by Leland A. Outz. Videography by Tucker Pierce, BFA’15, Ross Arkin and Ricardo Solis, BSBA’17

CATEGORY: Career, News



It’s a cornerstone of the American dream: starting a business, growing it, then passing it down to new generations.  Now, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis will have a new tool to help family business leaders learn how best to build and preserve their legacies into the future.

Mahendra R. Gupta, dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management at Olin, announced a four-year, $1.09-million gift from Roger and Fran Koch and Paul and Elke Koch that will launch the Olin Family Business Program. The program will position Olin as a leader in the field as it helps prepare its students to enter and lead their family businesses. Gupta’s announcement came during a half-day Family Business Symposium held April 22 at Olin.

“Olin Business School has long been a leader in preparing our students to enter and lead their businesses,” Gupta said. “This generous gift from the Koch Family will allow us to build on the resources and courses Olin already has in place to further strengthen the skill set of these students, and also address specific needs of family businesses. We are indebted to the Kochs — Roger and Fran, and Paul and Elke — for funding this very important initiative.”

In addition to attracting the next generation of family business leaders and connecting them to programs and resources needed to succeed, the Olin Family Business Program will also include an internship program for students seeking careers with family businesses, and Family Business Practicums, in collaboration with Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning.

These projects will pair faculty-led student teams with family businesses who seek effective solutions for the unique challenges they face. At the end of the practicum, the teams will deliver a report to the client company outlining their recommendations.

With their gift, the Kochs are also establishing the Koch Family Business Scholarship Fund, which will offer financial support to attract candidates with connections to family business to Olin’s full-time MBA program.

About the Kochs

Paul A. Koch (BSBA ’61, JD ’64 and MBA ’68) and Roger L. Koch (BSBA ’64 and MBA ’66) are co-chairman of the board at Koch Development Co. They are third generation family business owners in the real estate investment and development business. Both Roger and Paul have been recognized as Distinguished Alumni of the Olin Business School, and have been advisers to, and generous benefactors of, the university for many years.

The program will launch in Fall 2016.

Image: (From left:) Mahendra Gupta; Christopher Hoffmann, MBA ’16, vice president of Olin Family Business Club; Roger Koch; Elke Koch; Paul Koch; Emmy Caton, MBA ’17, incoming club president; and Ryan Plotkin, MBA ’16, president. Not pictured: Fran Koch. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

News release originally published on WashU’s The Source, by Erika Ebsworth-Goold