"If I hadn't received some very generous scholarships, I would not be where I am today," says Jorge Haddock, dean of George Mason's School of Business. "I am forever grateful to those who donated the funds that provided me the opportunity to realize my dreams."
The pursuit of a college education was once just a dream for most but is now a reality for many. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as many as 21.6 million students attended American universities in fall 2012—an increase of more than 6 million students since 2000.
But this reality comes with a price tag. The 2011 average annual price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board was $13,564 at public institutions and $32,026 at private, not-for-profit and for-profit institutions. Financing a college degree comes from a variety of sources including students working full- and part-time jobs, family support, and often sizable student loans.
Knowing first-hand both the financial challenges students face and the impact a scholarship can have on propelling students on their paths to earning their degrees, Dean Haddock was the driving force behind a new undergraduate scholarship program, Gunston Business Scholars, at the School of Business.
The Gunston Business Scholars program was created in equal parts vision by Dean Haddock and financial support by School of Business alumnus David Roe, BS Accounting '89 and MBA '96. Roe is a longtime George Mason supporter in both his personal and professional life. He has served as the president of the George Mason University Foundation since 2008 but joined the foundation staff in 1990 and has periodically taught as an adjunct professor.
Roe has a history of supporting student scholarships at George Mason, but his pledge of $112,000 formalized the Gunston Business Scholars initiative. The School of Business has committed an additional $112,000 of donations to the scholarship fund.
Students chosen as Gunston Business Scholars receive more than financial support. In addition to a $5,000 annual scholarship, each student will be paired with a mentor selected from the Dean's Advisory Council who can advise students on how best to achieve their professional goals.
Meet the Gunston Business Scholars
Five School of Business undergraduate students were selected as Gunston Business Scholars. These students are intellectually curious leaders who have the academic initiative, professional ambition, and an aptitude for leadership to make a significant contribution to the classroom learning experience and in their future careers in global business.
2013, BS in Accounting and Finance
Barnhart is a part of the Accounting Honors Program and George Mason's Honors College. He is actively involved on campus as a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Fraternity, School of Business Committee for Student Philanthropy, SOI 21, and Patriot Platoon. Barnhart has previously been honored with the Provost Achievement Award and as a finalist for the school's Emerging Business Leader Award. He recently worked as an audit intern for Deloitte & Touche.
2014, BS in Management with English and Theatre minors
Landsberger is part of the Management Honors Program and George Mason's Honors College, where she has served as a peer research mentor and living learning community peer mentor. She currently works as a music director for WGMU, George Mason's radio station, where she previously served as coordinator for external affairs. Landsberger has the distinction of being named one of twenty-five students for the class of 2014 selected as a University Scholar.
2013, BS in Accounting and Finance
Maier is part of the Accounting Honors Program and George Mason's Honors College. In addition to his business experience as the owner of a local lawn service company, he has interned for Automated Based Systems Inc. and Delegate Tom Rust and served as an executive board member for Honors College Connects. Maier is also an active member of the George Mason Investment Club and George Mason Peer Learning Partnership.
2013, BS Management and Accounting
Mansdoerfer is a member of the Management Honors Program and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Since April 2010, he has been a George Mason student ambassador giving campus tours and planning on-campus events. He has interned with Sports Management Worldwide, Inc. in pursuit of this goal of becoming a sport agent. After earning his bachelor's degree, Mansdoerfer intends to pursue a joint JD/MBA degree with a focus on sports and entertainment law.
2013, BS in Management
Tope is part of the Management Honors Program. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Mason student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, of which she was president in Fall 2012. Tope transferred to Mason after earning her associate's degree in business administration from Northern Virginia Community College. She currently works as a licensed practicing nurse with Sunrise Assisted Living while pursuing her degree.