MBA Class of 2009 Gives Back to the
College of Business Administration

On December 11, the College of Business Administration graduated 89 students from its 17-month Full Time MBA program, hosted in the Alumni Memorial Building on the UT Knoxville campus. Despite the tough economic environment, over half of the graduates have already accepted job offers; the majority of the other graduates has offers in hand or are currently in the interview process with top companies. Perhaps this fact alone could explain the unique way the class of 2009 chose to make their mark on the program.

Though the college’s faculty are accustomed to giving their all to their students, what they weren’t expecting was to receive a generous gift in return. During the graduation ceremony, class representative Greg Separk presented program director Amy Cathey with a check for $33,500. The gift, according to Separk, is just a small token of appreciation.

“The MBA program provided us with the skills and tools required to be a leader in today’s global business environment,” says Separk. “In addition to the new business skills that I acquired during my time at UT, I was also able to build strong and lasting relationships with fellow students, alumni, faculty, and staff. I will forever be indebted to UT and the Full Time MBA program for the lessons in business and life that I learned while here.”

For Separk, being a part of the class gift campaign was his way to show his gratitude. “I chose to get involved with the class gift campaign because I wanted to give something back to the university and the MBA program, which gave so much to me,” says Separk. “I cannot say enough about the ‘Volunteer’ spirit that (our class) exhibited by collecting gifts and pledges in our class gift campaign,” he continues. “I am honored and humbled to have been a part of such an amazing group of people during the past 17 months, and I know that the members of the class of 2009 will have tremendous success in the future--and that we will continue to support the University of Tennessee as alumni.”

The faculty and staff of the program were incredibly surprised and appreciative of the students’ generosity. Amy Cathey, director of the program, feels the gift is about more than just dollars.

“The MBA class gift is important for reasons beyond the money raised,” says Cathey. “These pledges and gifts underscore the commitment of our MBA students to giving back and serving as good stewards of our community and world.” 

“The class of 2009 includes many outstanding individuals, and the success of the class gift campaign is just one example of the character of this group and the accomplishments that are yet to come,” continues Cathey. “The MBA program is deeply appreciative of these generous gifts. We will work to continue developing leaders with the capabilities and standards of excellence of this class.”

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