In the spring of 2012, keeping with his history of supporting student scholarships at George Mason University, School of Management alumnus David Roe, BS Accounting ’89 and MBA ’96, pledged $112,000 in conjunction with a matching gift provided by the School of Management to solidify the Gunston Business Scholars program. Roe advocates, “We are all here for the students. We need to do everything we can to make sure that they leave here with the skills that employers want and need. The more we can have students interface with professional business leaders, the better.”
In an effort to bring Roe’s vision to life, the program aims to support and nurture five students each year through mentoring relationships with members of the Dean’s Advisory Council and special invitations to School of Management events where the scholars have the ability to exercise their networking skills with professional men and women.
In the summer of 2012, the inaugural class of Gunston Business Scholars was chosen. Made up of seniors Matthew Barnhart, David Maier, Mark Mansdoerfer, and Leslie Tope and junior Hannah Landsberger, the group was given the opportunity to meet the Dean’s Advisory Council. Of that experience, Barnhart said, “It was encouraging to see the genuine interest the Council took in hearing about our individual journeys and how Mason played a role in our lives.”
Over the course of the past year, Leslie Tope was sponsored by her mentor Lillian Heizer, President of LCH Consulting Services and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, to attend The Women’s Center 27th Annual Leadership Conference. Participation in the event gave Tope the opportunity to spend meaningful time with Heizer and other senior-level women representing several well-known companies including Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Northrup Grumman. The Scholars also had the opportunity to meet David Roe and personally thank him for his involvement in the establishment of the Gunston Business Scholars program. The Scholars remarked that Roe offered them life and professional advice in addition to making a sincere effort toward bettering their academic experience at Mason.
Today, Barnhart, Mansdoerfer, and Tope have all graduated at the top of their class from the School of Management. Barnhart currently works as an auditor for Deloitte out of their McLean office, an offer he received following a summer audit internship in 2012, which he obtained through an on-campus interview made possible by the School of Management’s Career Services team. Barnhart attributes his success on the CPA exam and his role at Deloitte to the attention and detail his accounting and finance professors put into their curriculum and course offerings. Mansdoerfer is enrolled at Michigan State’s College of Law working on a dual degree program focused on earning his MBA and JD simultaneously. “I am excited to continue my studies in the legal field and build on the strong foundation of business law knowledge that has resulted from my Mason education,” Mansdoerfer stated. Tope is currently working in Human Resources at American International Contractors, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia. Maier will graduate in the fall of 2013, while Landsberger will graduate in the spring of 2014.
Roe is confident that the Gunston Business Scholars program creates a more stimulating environment that promotes personal and professional growth amongst students at the School of Management which will ultimately benefit the school, the university, and the companies that hire Mason graduates for years to come.