As we near the end of our recruiting season for the Class of ’11, prospective students and parents often ask me how we are different from other business schools. After all, we offer similar majors and our students get similar jobs. And, on paper, it looks like our students have similar experiences. But, if you step outside the classrooms in the Wehner Building and Cox Hall, you’ll see the difference…and it is striking.

Our students have embraced the notion of using their business skills to improve our community. Here are just a few examples of some of the ways our young people are giving back to the community:

  • More than a dozen teams of students in our freshman leadership course have created and formed service teams to conduct community service projects. One notable student team, working with the Down Syndrome Support Group, is teaching basic handwriting skills to local youth with Down syndrome. Our Fellows students are similarly engaged in projects whose goal is to generate $5,000 of value for a worthy cause.
  • A week before finals, 20 MBA students gathered to discuss business plans and life skills with inmates set to be released on parole from the Hamilton Unit in Bryan, Texas. I joined the MBAs as part of the pioneering Prison Entrepreneurship Program at the end of April, sitting in on one-on-one advising sessions that centered around how to get business and life up and running after prison.
  • Our Business Student Council developed Project Mays, a full-scale effort to beautify a local park and recreational area. Their goal is to provide 1,000 hours of volunteer efforts during this spring.

As dean, I take great pride in our students’ abilities and work ethic. However, as I review the significant effort our students exert to make their community a better place, I admire them more for their hearts.


Jerry Strawser ’83