Alumni Help Sellinger Grad Students Offset Education Costs

By Courtney Jolley

Most people don’t envision graduate business students wrestling with financial need. But in a time of continued economic constraint, with raises few and far between, promotion opportunities harder and harder to come by, and more and more employers cutting back on tuition benefits, a growing number of MBA and MSF students are struggling to foot the bills for their advanced degrees.

At Loyola, as at most colleges and universities, most of its financial aid resources are reserved for undergraduate students. But thanks to the initiative and generosity of a dedicated group of
alumni, the University has created the Sellinger Graduate Business Fellowship, which will help one promising student offset the costs of pursuing a graduate business degree at Loyola. This
award is the first fellowship open to all students in a Sellinger School graduate program.

The fellowship initiative got its start two years ago during a Sellinger Graduate Association Board of Directors retreat.

“We collectively felt we had a responsibility to give back, especially with so many companies reducing their support for employees who are pursuing additional education,” says Jamie
Campbell, EMBA ’02, a member of the leasing team at Merritt Properties, a real estate developer in Baltimore. “We all went through the program, we believe in it, and we feel we have a connection that has lasted well beyond our graduations. We believe in building a stronger community, because with that come opportunities to bring in new people and strengthen that community throughout Baltimore and beyond.”

Campbell and his colleagues on the Sellinger Graduate Alumni Board worked with Loyola’s annual giving and alumni relations offices to raise $50,000 to create an endowed fellowship. The group reached its goal on Dec. 31.

Their campaign specifically targeted graduate business alumni, and benefited from the strong relationships Sellinger School graduate alumni share, both from their experiences in the program and their connections in Baltimore’s close-knit business community.

“I had a wonderful experience at Loyola, both undergraduate and graduate,” said Craig Johnson, ’90, MBA ’96, now president and CEO of FCCI Insurance Group in Sarasota, Fla., and one of many Sellinger School alumni to support the fellowship. “I have a real sense of pride and accomplishment in my degrees. They really started me off with the right foundation and they’ve been an integral part of my success. I believe in Loyola’s values and culture, and in giving back.

“I first learned about this fellowship from my good friend Jill Kingery, MBA ’09, who’s on the Graduate Alumni Board,” said Johnson. “There was a need to be filled here. The fact that she was so passionate about it made me want to support it, too.”

While Campbell and other members of the Sellinger Graduate Alumni Board are thrilled to have met their original goal, additional contributions to the fund will allow the award to grow in subsequent years.

“We’d like to see the fundraising and exposure for this fund increase,” said Campbell. “This is a meaningful opportunity for others, and it helps the Sellinger School distinguish itself, which is important as the competition in business education becomes more intense. This fellowship is evidence of Loyola graduates living the school’s motto of ‘Strong Truths, Well Lived.’ We are people working in the business community every day, and we believe in the value of this program.”

For more information about the Sellinger Graduate Business Fellowship or to contribute, contact Brian Oakes, ’99, MBA Fellows ’10, director of alumni relations, at 410-617-2475 or boakes@loyola.edu.

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