Scholars in Business program helps Olin students succeed

More than 45 percent of undergraduate business students, and a larger fraction of MBA students, need financial assistance to attend Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Thanks to the Scholars in Business program, they can.

Established in 1979, this named scholarship program is supported by hundreds of individuals and companies who provide more than 350 partial- and full-tuition named scholarships to Olin students.

A celebratory dinner was held Nov. 17 at the Plaza Frontenac Hilton to honor scholars and donors.

“I am motivated by my scholarship to improve myself and excel beyond course requirements,” says Jöelle DeVigne, an Olin undergraduate student who spoke at the event.

“Since I had such a positive first visit to Washington University in St. Louis as a high school senior, I have become heavily involved in welcoming prospective and incoming students by serving as the director of Olin Peer Ambassadors,” says DeVigne, recipient of the Enterprise Holdings Scholarship and the James H. Howe III Scholarship.

“I aim to make new students feel as enthusiastic and comfortable about our community as I do,” she says. “I am especially thrilled to gain global perspective by studying and working abroad next semester in Sydney, Australia also due to the generosity of my donors.”

The Scholars in Business program allows donors to sponsor either undergraduate or MBA students with a scholarship named by the donor.

Sponsors may participate in at least three ways: with an annual gift of $5,000 or more; a term-endowed gift of $17,000 or more; or a permanently endowed gift of $50,000 or more.

Most of the awards are partial scholarships, with the balance of financial aid provided by loans, work-study income and the school’s other unrestricted gifts. More than 45 percent of Olin undergraduates and more than 65 percent of MBA students receive some financial assistance.

“Attracting and getting high quality students to attend Olin is dependent in large part on the availability of scholarships,” says second-year MBA student Steven Fiamingo, who also spoke at the event.

In talking with fellow scholarship recipients, Fiamingo, who receives the William H. Armstrong Scholarship, says a common theme was opportunity.

“Besides the fact that all of them mentioned fewer student loans to worry about paying off over the next 20 years, the biggest theme was opportunity,” he says. “Opportunity to attend a premier business school, opportunity to build and grow their knowledge base and opportunity to network with people from around the world.

“At the end of the day, you all have provided us with the opportunity to become great business leaders,” Fiamingo said that night. “I can almost guarantee you that everyone in this room tonight will be successful on their chosen career path because of their experience at Olin.”