Innovator Article

School Nears $25 Million Campaign Goal
Alumna Morlee Griswold Establishes Student Fellowship

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By Tim Akin

At the time alumna Morlee Griswold MA 85 earned her degree at the then Graduate School of Administration, the School was still in its infancy, only four years old, and did not yet offer an MBA. It would be more than a decade before it reached prominence among the nation’s top ranked business schools.

Although much has changed over the past 30 years, there’s a continuous thread woven into the very fabric of the School’s culture: a commitment to social responsibility and using the power of business to make a positive difference.

That made a lasting impression on Griswold, who went on to head direct marketing for a decade at Patagonia, the eco-minded outdoor-clothing maker. Today, she is a catalog development consultant continuing to work with companies that embrace social and environmental responsibility.

Griswold has returned to the School many times, sharing her time and expertise as a guest speaker and career development mentor. She stepped for-ward in December to pledge a $25,000 gift to establish the Morlee Griswold Fellowship. She designated the annual $5,000 fellowship for a full-time MBA student who plans to pursue a career in social justice, social responsibility or environmental management.

“We need to have future business leadership be exposed to a broader diversity of goals, and understand the economic times we have gone through and the role business plays,” she says.

Her motivation for the fellowship came after she realized how important scholarships were while she financially supported her niece through college.

“I have the mindset to be the change that you want to see in the world,” Griswold says. “So to help recruit a UC Davis MBA student each year who wants to be a leader in these areas I care about is very exciting to me. I’m also inspired by the chance to bring greater diversity to the student body. The richness of life experiences and beliefs in the School’s close-knit community is valuable for everyone.”

Griswold’s gift comes on the heels of one of the School’s most successful alumni giving campaigns, and will help propel this year’s campaign forward to meet a goal of 20 percent participation. In 2011–2012, alumni giving reached $167,191, the second-highest amount in the School’s 30-year history.

Alumni and friends play an important role as UC Davis expands its capacity to meet the world’s challenges and educate future leaders. These gifts contribute to The Campaign for UC Davis—a university-wide initiative to inspire 100,000 donors to contribute $1 billion in philanthropic support.

The Graduate School of Management has joined this campus effort with an ambitious goal of $25 million in three key areas: faculty and student support, programs and emerging opportunities.

As of early February, the School has raised nearly $24 million, or 95 percent of the goal.

“We have bold aspirations for the School, and ask you to be equally bold as you think about your personal support and how you can make a difference,” says Judy Nagai, assistant dean of development and external relations. “With your investment, you can help us meet the School’s top priorities. We invite you to join us.”

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