PepsiCo Foundation Awards $350,000 to UTK College of Business Administration
to Fund Diversity Efforts
The College of Business Administration recently received a $350,000 grant from the PepsiCo Foundation to support the college’s diversity efforts of student recruitment, retention, and professional development. The grant, which will be paid over five years, was announced by 1983 college alumnus John Compton, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods.
“We are delighted to help UT’s College of Business Administration broaden its reach in developing the next generation of business leaders,” said Compton. “We need to help all of our young people develop to their full potential to drive economic growth in Tennessee and across the country.”
Among the goals of the college’s diversity initiatives is to increase the number of minority students who graduate with a business major. The current minority population of the business school is around 10 percent; however over the next four years, the school’s strategic plan calls for an increase to 14 percent so that the school mirrors the diversity of the entire Knoxville campus.
“Having a diverse and inclusive student body is a significant goal of both the college and the university,” said Jan Williams, dean of UT’s College of Business Administration. “Our college must reflect the intercultural and international environment for which we are preparing our students. We are deeply grateful for the support that John and the PepsiCo Foundation have provided.”
Diversity recruitment includes three areas of support: scholarships; career fairs; and the Business Education for Talented Students (BETS) summer program, designed to introduce high school students from diverse backgrounds to the various fields of business. Diversity retention includes scholarship and academic support, such as tutoring, peer mentoring, and leadership development. Diversity professional development assists with the recruitment and retention of under-represented students, primarily in the full-time MBA program. Students will be able to attend their affinity conferences and secure internships as well as gain important professional and personal development skills. Tyvi Small, coordinator of diversity initiatives for the college, plays a crucial, hands-on role in these areas of support. Small is especially thankful for PepsiCo Foundation’s support. “This grant will go a long way in helping us realize our diversity goals for the college,” said Small. “As we continue to make the College of Business Administration a place where all students feel welcomed and supported we, now have the funds to enhance our programs for these top-notch students. We want to build a holistic academic support system in the college and this grant puts us well on our way. “
The PepsiCo Foundation, responsible for providing charitable contributions to elegible non-profit organizations, is the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo. The foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in underserved communities that provide opportunities for improved health, environment, and inclusion.
For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
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