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Head of the Class

5/21/2012 --

Ross student campaign wins Make-A-Wish Foundation's 2012 Strength Award.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Ross School's MBA Class of 2013 knew it had made an impact for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. Recently, they found out the extent.

The first-year students' efforts, in which they raised some $70,000 in their initial days on campus last fall, were recognized with the Make-A-Wish Strength Award, given to the year's top group or external fundraising initiative. Ross was chosen over nearly 200 external third-party events or fundraisers that are held each year to benefit Make-A-Wish, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions.

Through the Ross Impact Challenge, part of the school's Ross Leadership Initiative during student orientation, teams were charged with raising dollars and awareness for Make-A-Wish in the span of 48 hours. The students beat the deadline and surpassed the initial goal.

"We're so proud and impressed that the students rose to the occasion and exceeded our expectations," says Scott DeRue, co-director of the Ross Leadership Initiative and Bank One Corporation Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations. "It set the tone for the action-based MBA experience at Ross and defines the school's ethos of leadership, collaboration, and social responsibility."

At its core, the Ross Impact Challenge is a creative leadership task that draws on students' skills in finance, accounting, marketing, and general management before classes even begin. The challenge aims to demonstrate to students that they can lead to make a positive difference in the world.

Incoming MBA students first learned of the Ross Impact Challenge at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29. Six sections of 85 students (ostensibly strangers) were charged with raising $7,500 per section, for a total goal of $45,000, by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31. As of Wednesday morning, each section had surpassed its goal to raise more than $53,000. The total amount raised topped $70,000.

"We were delighted to be partnered with the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business for the 2011 Ross Impact Challenge," says Make-A-Wish President/CEO Karen Davis. "The MBA students' enthusiasm and creativity was exciting, and we are so grateful that their efforts will help make wishes come true for our Michigan wish kids."

Professors DeRue and Gretchen Spreitzer are the co-directors of the Ross Leadership Initiative. Davis and Jen Connery, VP of philanthropy, are the executives for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan.

This year, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan will grant more than 400 wishes to Michigan children.

Amy Spooner



For more information, contact:
Amy Spooner, (734) 615-5068, aschulz@umich.edu