Tag: volunteers

The Friends of Olin reception is one of the highlights of the year. It allows Olin to thank the many volunteers who help shape our students’ development. The event took place on May 12, a week before Commencement.

Dean Mark Taylor kicked off the event by thanking our guests for being judges, mentors, speakers, volunteers, advisory board members, and employers.

Over the course of the school year, nearly 2,000 individual volunteers provided insights and guidance to help students develop to their maximum potential.

More than 300 guest speakers shared their expertise in and out of the classroom, and over 125 companies networked with our students at our Meet the Firms events throughout the academic year.

Poets & Quants celebrated two of our BSBA students, Colton Calandrella and  Jessica Landzberg, and two of our MBA students, Markey Culver and Conn Davis, this year.

Todd Milbourn introduced our three featured speakers: Lillie Ross, BSBA’17, Professor Dan Elfenbein, and IBM’s Jerry Lis. Each speaker shared their perspective on the role and impact of Olin’s many friends.

Speakers: Dan Elfenbein and Lillie Ross.

Lillie spoke of mentorship and the meaningful relationship with a Friend of Olin that she developed her sophomore year and will last beyond her graduation.
Professor Elfenbein waxed poetic on the value of having classroom speakers who help illustrate the key learnings from his class.

Jerry Lis shares from the heart how IBM is a Friend of Olin.

Finally, Jerry Lis spoke of how important it has become for IBM to have a strong relationship with Olin and how both his company and the University have benefited from the partnership. It was a beautiful afternoon and a great way to celebrate our corporate partners and their help in creating the Olin experience.

Friends of Olin take home gift

Special thank you cookies for Friends of Olin.

©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Try to imagine NINE TONS of homemade cookies, brownies, popcorn, DVDs, and other all-American treats. That’s the total weight of care packages sent to U.S. soldiers serving in war zones since 2004 by members of the WashU community. Faculty, staff, and students have collected, packed and shipped the much-appreciated goodies and supplies on a regular basis for more than a decade.

Jill Edwards, Senior Project Manager in the Office of the Vice Provost has organized the campus-wide effort and sent this message to volunteers:

“YOU ARE AMAZING!!  On February 26th the Washington University Care Package group sent 20 boxes weighing 450 pounds at a cost of $829.25 to our U.S. Troops. This mailing brings the total weight of snacks, toiletries, baked-goods, etc., to 18,219 pounds.  YES!  You read that right! Since 2004 you have sent over NINE TONS of supplies to our troops!
Thank you to everyone who donated items, baked goods, postage funds and their time (and muscles!) to pack the heavy boxes.  I have heard from all but one solider confirming that they have received the packages.  Their emails are copied below. – Jill”

Claire Patterson in the Graduate Programs Office has organized the Military Care Package efforts at Olin.

From Miguel De Jesus:
I personally wanted to thank you and all the other bakers (Larisa, Debbie, Lilia, and Judy) and all the personnel & friends from the Washington University of St. Louis for the baked goods and other items in the boxes sent to the Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, they really appreciate everything.  Most importantly, I wanted to thank all of you for using some of your personal time to bake those goodies for the Soldiers.  It is people like your group who make being away from home worth doing.  There is no way for me explain how important and appreciated this is, you would understand if your saw the smile on the Soldiers faces.  It is not just because of the baked goods and other items, but because they know there are still people back home who appreciate and care about them. Thank you for your support.

From Juan Banales:
I’m so sorry I’m just getting back to you.  We’ve been having connectivity issues at our outstation.

Thank you so much for the packages!  The brownies didn’t last two days– my boys were eating them by the handful.  We’re all so grateful for the rest of the items sent as well.  Believe me, we’re putting everything to good use.

I hope this message finds you in good health.  For our part, we’ve been busy.  We’ve conducted different types of operations with great success but, unfortunately, at some cost to our partners.  Thankfully, all of my men are alive and well; only a few scrapes and wounds.  Again, thank you for taking the time to send us everything.  It truly means a lot.

From David Butler:
I received those boxes while I was of town last week and my soldiers loved the food! Thank you all!!!!!!

Bradley Schamel:
I just wanted to write a quick email and express the gratitude of my team for the care packages you all sent, it truly builds moral and means the world when we are able to receive a small “slice of America” out here. The guys (and myself) really enjoyed all the home baked/cooked goodies.

Again, thank you so so much, I am actually enjoying one of the brownies right now 🙂

From Ryan Jones:
Just got the package a few days ago… and I would say most all the snacks are gone already 😉 I did save a few bags in my fridge so I could space it out over a few weeks. But everyone here that I gave the stuff out to really enjoyed the snacks and other gifts.

Thanks again for thinking of us and the support… everyone really does appreciate the thoughts and generosity.

From Alexander Larson:
I received both of your boxes today. Thank you very much! You made a lot of Soldiers happy with the gifts. We really appreciate all that you guys do back in the States to support us while we are over here.

From Jeremiah Seitz:
Wow! Thank you very much for the great care packages. We received one the 10th and the other on the 11th. Both were emptied within a few hours of opening by the Soldiers. I had no idea the Salt & Vinegar chips would be such a hit. My personal weakness were the brownies!

Everyone here is very grateful for your continued support.

From Travis Buehner: (email #1)
I got your package in the mail yesterday.  We really appreciate all the support from the Wash U team.  Thank you for organizing this and please thank all the faculty, staff and students [and friends] who contributed.  I have passed out many of the items to our Soldiers who were extremely appreciative. Jan – The chocolate chocolate chunk cookies were delicious.

From Travis Buehner: (email #2)
Got the second box today.  Mail system is weird over here.  Thanks so much.

Judy – Your brownies were great, I just ate one.  We were just talking about brownies the other day while at dinner…something they don’t have over here, so the timing was impeccable.  I’ll be sure to share with everyone!

From Tod Pham Vo:
The other 2 boxes arrived today.   Thank you so much.  Please tell anyone else involved that myself and the others are very appreciative.  Will be dishing some of this out to my roommate and some others I know could use some extra goodies.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech in St. Louis on October 12, 1964 in the former West Pine Gym on the SLU campus (pictured above). This weekend, as part of nation-wide commemorations in honor of Dr. King, the same site –  known today as the Center for Global Citizenship – will host a public forum co-hosted by WUSTL’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service.

“Creating a Beloved Community – A Public Forum to Present the Findings of the Missouri Civic Health Index” takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Center for Global Citizenship, 3672 West Pine Blvd. St. Louis community members can attend the forum to learn how our voting, volunteerism and other civic engagement stacks up against the rest of the state and nation.  To learn more or to register, visit stlvolunteer.org/MLK.

Campus Events

The 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at Washington University in St. Louis will include a number of free events, from lectures to performances. Michel Martin, host of Tell Me More, National Public Radio’s one-hour daily news and talk show, will deliver the School of Medicine’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Lecture. The event, which is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Programs, will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the Eric P. Newman Education Center. The title of her lecture is “Living Dr. King’s Dream: Addressing America’s Hard Truths.”

Martin has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. Before joining NPR in 2006, she worked as a correspondent for ABC’s Nightline and also covered politics for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, she has been a regular panelist on the PBS series Washington Week.

For more information, call (314) 362-6854 or email Michelle Patterson at mpatterson@wustl.edu.

Mandela’s legacy, Parks Award

On the Danforth Campus, faculty, students and staff will celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela at the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in Graham Chapel.

Ron Himes, founder of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company and the Henry E. Hampton Jr. Artist-in-Residence in WUSTL’s Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, will provide a dramatic reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “Give Us the Ballot.” Student Eddie Mungai of the African Students Association will read an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s “I Am Prepared to Die” speech. Student speaker Ola Abiose will read her award-winning essay, which addresses the program’s theme.

Community organizer and newspaper columnist Jamala Rogers will be presented with the Rosa L. Parks Award for Meritorious Service to the Community. This award honors persons or organizations exhibiting the character, conscience and courage of King and Parks. Those who are honored have given a lifetime of service to the community and their efforts have had impact far beyond immediate circumstances without seeking personal gain.

Rogers has been a local and national leader in the struggle for justice, equality and peace, promoting alliance-building across issues and social movements. Some of the issues she works on include gender equality, health, violence, reproductive rights, police violence, prison reform, wrongful convictions and the death penalty. Rogers contributes to websites and blogs and is a featured columnist for the St. Louis American.

Scheduled performers include the a cappella group the Stereotypes, student group Black Anthology, a student gospel choir and Orchestrating Diversity, an urban youth orchestra. A reception in the Danforth University Center will follow the program. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rudolph Clay Jr., committee chair, at (314) 935-5059 or visit here.




Hiking the Appalachain and Ozark Trails back-to-back last year was just the beginning for MBA student Michael McLaughlin. This summer, Mike is carrying the Hike4Kids flag (and others), to the top of all 48 four thousand-foot peaks in New Hampshire to bring attention to the needs of abused and abandoned children around the world.

Here’s Mike’s first blog post from New Hampshire:

Upon reaching the summit of Katahdin after a 4,200 foot climb last September, I retrieved a flag from my tattered pack and proudly displayed it as the wind whipped furiously.

I soon found that the photo of this Hike4Kids flag was an inspiration to many, not just because I brought it to a unique place but rather because it symbolized the tremendous communal effort that took place to change children’s lives.

Some people would have never thought that such an initiative might be born out of a business school, or that it would extend its influence as far as it did, but this was the magic of Hike4Kids… and all of that magic and inspiration was somehow encapsulated in the photo of the Hike4Kids banner flying high on the final mountain of the Appalachian Trail.

Ryan and Kimbrell Rakestraw brought that same flag halfway around the globe and carried it to the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro where some of that  same magic was recaptured again.

The inspiration surrounding Hike4Kids extended not only to the community at large, but also to the Olin MBA applicant pool, and thankfully resulted in Abhishek Chakravarty coming to Olin this past fall.  Abhi hails from a poor, rural section of India in which many children do not even learn to read, and his goal in life is to one day return home and give those children the opportunities they so desperately need.

He said his dream is to one day bring the Hike4Kids banner to the summit of Mt. Everest, but we decided to start small and bring it to the top of every peak in New England that is at least 4,000 feet tall.

But this time, I’m bringing multiple flags, each one representing an amazing organization that has partnered with Hike4Kids along the way and has helped serve the needs of underprivileged children.

Flags for Foster Care India, Marygrove, the Family Resource Center, TeamMBA, and Unite4Kids are bundled in my pack as I climb toward each summit.  Rain or shine, each flag will be displayed on each summit, and at the end of the journey I plan to make a video montage for each organization that shows photos of their flag on each summit along with a brief explanation of what their organization does and why I chose to carry their flag.

But the best part is, I will not be alone on those summits.  My wife will be joining me, as well as Abhi and another dedicated, compassionate student named Saurabh Singh.

And on each summit, I will never lose sight of the fact that many of you are with us in spirit, as your contributions, kindness, and encouragement have made all this possible and in so doing changed the lives of countless children.

We can, and will, change the world.


Olin has been nominated for a TeamMBA Award which honors business school students who are “in the business of giving back”.  Anyone can vote online and as often as they like. The Hike4Kids organization created by MBA students last year and its evolution into Unite4Kids – a school wide movement to encourage community service through mentoring at-risk and abused children were nominated as Olin’s flagship programs for the the award.

The winners will be named at the GMAC Annual Conference in Vancouver June 20.

Sponsored by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the annual TeamMBA Award program recognizes schools that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility through the actions of their students and the school’s demonstrated support of these efforts. Entries are reviewed by a committee composed of business school professionals.