Columbia Business School (CBS) has a trio of alumni to thank for filling the coffers of its loan assistance fund, a program that helps alleviate the financial burden of repaying education loans for MBA graduates who pursue work in the public and nonprofit sectors. Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 have made a generous gift to establish a new fund named in honor of Ms. Strickler’s mother, Ellen B. Strickler ’78, the school announced earlier this month.
The Ellen B. Strickler ’78 Loan Assistance Fund is designed to encourage MBA graduates to seek out work in public and nonprofit sectors, as well as with microfinance organizations, low-profit limited liability companies (L3C) and social ventures that focus on low income communities or create significant public good. Each are areas with many unmet needs that CBS grads can address, but they pay much lower salaries than private industry. The fund will be run by the CBS Social Enterprise Program (SEP).
Ellen Strickler, the daughter of Danish immigrants, studied accounting, marketing and finance at CBS, going on to work in a range of marketing positions with Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank. Recognizing an underserved niche in the area of financial planning for individuals during that time, she became a licensed Certified Financial Planner serving a client base made up primarily of women with limited experience in asset allocation and long-term financial planning.
Now, the fund established in her name will help build on a loan assistance program first made possible by gifts from the Guenther Family in 1998 and the Class of 2005. Thanks to the additional endowment support, loan assistance will not be limited simply to MBAs entering the public and nonprofit sectors, but will now also extend to those choosing to work for the growing number of low-profit organizations also focused on social enterprise.
“As a first-generation American, my mom has always been appreciative of the great opportunities available in this country,” Elizabeth Strickler said in a statement. “An entrepreneur herself, she values the American entrepreneurial spirit and has a deep respect for those with the drive to give back through public service. The loan assistance fund makes this possible for Columbia Business School graduates who otherwise might not be able to consider taking on such roles.”
The younger Ms. Strickler and Mark Gallogly have long supported CBS. Gallogy, who co-founded private New York-based investment firm Centerbridge Partners, has been a member of the CBS Board of Overseers since 2007 and also sits on the Campaign Executive Committee. Elizabeth Strickler, who retired from a distinguished corporate career to devote her time to the public interest, is a longtime member of the SEP Advisory Board and serves as a mentor with its Nonprofit Board Leadership Program. The fund’s namesake, Ellen Strickler, retired from her independent practice in 2008 and has since remained actively involved in public interest work and philanthropy through a range of roles with many organizations.