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$2.1M Gift to Goizueta Promotes Study of Business and Government

business and government

The best business schools continually seek to improve what they can offer their students, whether that be by adding courses, hiring new professors or providing new opportunities. For the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, the latest improvement came in the form of a $2.1 million pledge from the Robson Foundation, set up by former Dean John E. Robson to establish the “John Robson Endowment for the Study of Business, Public Policy and Government.” The gift will allow the school to develop a program focused on the growing complexities of business and civics.

To get a better idea of exactly what the endowment will mean for Goizueta students, we spoke to Jeff Rosensweig, an international business and finance professor and the director of the John Robson Program for the Study of Business, Public Policy and Government.

“The John Robson Program differs from most endowed programs or institutes at top business schools in that we are student-centric,” explains Rosensweig. “Almost all of what we do will have students involved. The Robson Program will feature an annual conference, but unlike some, which involve only faculty, ours will feature business leaders, government and policy leaders and students.”

According to Rosensweig, the John Robson Program will also open new doors and offer new perspectives for students. “We will be able to provide numerous opportunities for students, to gain experience and mentors both within the university and in influential outside communities,” he says. “Students are increasingly interested in the interplay between government and business, especially with the President-elect and so much of his cabinet coming from business.”

As part of this learning, the John Robson Program also welcomes distinguished lecturers. In fact, top leaders in business, public policy, charitable or community organizations and government have come to the school to give a variety of lectures. And the lectures aren’t just open to a few. They’re either open to all students or, at least, to students within multiple courses. As an example, Rosensweig notes that Steven Eisman, the real-life hero of The Big Short (played by Steve Carell) will speak at the school this spring.

But the John Robson Program and the endowment won’t just promote learning; it will also help students by providing funds through the Robson Student Research Fellowships as well as the Robson Scholarship.

“Funds will be provided for students to perform research with faculty, whereby the students will learn from a faculty mentor and earn a stipend,” says Rosensweig. “Stipends will be available for students to take internships in a public policy organization.”

As for the Robson Scholarship, it’s been offered to incoming two-year MBA students for the past decade or more. “In making this selection, the MBA Admissions Committee’s goal is to select an individual who embodies John Robson’s outstanding personal qualities,” Goizueta Associate Dean of MBA Admissions Julie Barefoot said. “I had the privilege of knowing John quite well, and so I take a personal interest in selecting the individual that is the best ‘match’ for this scholarship award.”

“Therefore, each year we select a student who has demonstrated leadership at the collegiate level as well as in their career and who has exhibited exceptional interpersonal skills,” Barefoot continues. “And, through our interview process, we look for candidates who are interested in serving ‘the greater good,’ which is something John’s life reflected as well.”

And there’s no doubt that John Robson was an extraordinary individual. He was the dean of the then-Emory Business School from 1986 to 1989. He was also a recognized public servant who worked with four U.S. presidents and even served as the Deputy Treasury Secretary under George H. W. Bush. In addition, Robson was a high-profile member of the corporate community and served on the Dean’s Advisory Board. He was also responsible for recruiting key members of the school’s senior staff, including the senior associate dean and the BBA Program Director Andrea Hershatter.

“John was an outstanding leader—bright, engaging and someone with a remarkable ability to work with and through others,” says Barefoot. “He had the unusual trait of being able to work with others who did not necessarily share his viewpoint. For example, John was a staunch Republican, but he worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to move governmental issues forward in a positive way. And, I knew first hand what an amazing ability John had to maintain friendships over many years, be those individuals from his time in government, business or higher education.”

That’s why, in the end, the Robson Program will act as an umbrella for business school activities in the areas of business and government. The program will ensure that the school remains present at the intersections of policy and industry. To learn more about the program and the endowment, read the full news article from Emory University.

This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,

Posted in: MBA News, News

Schools: Emory / Goizueta

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