After seeing how much their daughter Grace learned in a new “Strategic Philanthropy” course at Mays Business School, Wil and Jennifer VanLoh donated money to fund the next two courses. A portion of their $140,000 gift to Mays through the Texas A&M Foundation will provide grants for students to distribute to local nonprofits through the course, while remaining funds will help cover operating costs.


Philanthropy is a way of life for the VanLoh family – from left, Grace, Mary, Wil, Jennifer and Sarah.

The course that debuted last spring gives undergraduate students at Mays first-hand experience in the world of nonprofit work. In the first program of its kind to be offered at an SEC school and the first at a business school, students get the chance to learn about various facets of philanthropy, hear from philanthropic leaders and experience the grant-making process from a foundation’s perspective.

Wil VanLoh, founder and CEO of Quantum Energy Partners, said his family routinely holds meetings to make philanthropic decisions for their family foundation. “My wife and I are intentional about including our kids in our decisions,” he said. “We think being good stewards of the resources we are given is a big responsibility, and something we don’t think a lot of people take seriously enough.

“We believe modeling generosity for our kids is one of the greatest gifts we can give them as it helps them understand that one is more blessed to give than to receive. We get tremendous joy out of giving and we want them to experience that at a young age to set the tone for the rest of their life.”

VanLoh said he was impressed with the course, which he said should be offered across the university – and not just at the business school. “This is an all-around great set of skills for these students, and it benefits the community they live in while they’re attending college, so it has a significant ripple effect,” he said. …Read more

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Next semester, Mays Business School will continue its successful initiative called Strategic Philanthropy. Thanks to generous gifts from a private donor and a philanthropic organization, this course is available to Mays Business School students. Texas A&M joins the ranks of other schools from across the nation as they engage local communities with targeted philanthropic efforts.

The Strategic Philanthropy course will examine historical philanthropic developments, philanthropic leadership, grant making and experiential giving. The hallmark of this class is that students will determine how to distribute $100,000 to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Through this exciting and intensive process, students will examine their personal philanthropic motivations, learn how foundations make decisions and apply this learning to real-world scenarios. Please apply if you’d like to take part in this unique opportunity to make a difference and be a part of social change!

We are currently accepting applications to enroll in this course. Additional details can be found on the link below. The class size will be limited to 25 students this year to make sure we are effective and efficient in making our giving decisions.

The application is due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14th.

Application Link: Spring 2017 – Strategic Philanthropy Application

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about this special opportunity!

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