Letter from the Dean

We are privileged to attract wicked smart students with enviable work ethics and warm personalities who, not surprisingly, become leaders at some of the world’s most important companies.

In this year’s magazine, you’ll read about the Spotlight Awards, which was started by the Dean’s Advisory Council in 2017 to recognize these outstanding alumni. Orfalea graduates have a strong affiliation for the college, reflected by the increasing amount who give their time and treasure to provide future students with an unparalleled education and experience. Like Meredith Schmidt, featured in this issue, who is an exemplary alumna in terms of career success and support of our programs.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive learning environment for students and faculty remains one of our most salient initiatives. Under the leadership of Justin Gomez, the Multicultural Business Program (MBP) has been critical in providing our students with the support and community they need for success. Recognizing the importance of this program, the Dean’s Advisory Council designated all proceeds from the 2019 Spotlight Awards to support MBP services and initiatives. In order to develop comprehensive strategies for collegewide inclusivity, we have also formed a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council that includes students, staff, faculty and industry representatives.

Nearly 40 percent of Orfalea graduates have studied abroad, and increasing the number of our students who graduate with international experience has been one of our most important goals. Employers value the cultural agility these graduates develop during their experiences. This year we formed a new exchange partnership with the Stockholm School of Economics, one of Europe’s leading business schools, and more partnerships are in progress. Funds from the Orfalea Endowment and donations from numerous alumni have been instrumental in enabling more students to study abroad, complete international internships and participate in short international field studies.

Thank you for all of the important roles you play in providing students with an exceptional educational experience. I hope you enjoy the magazine!

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