February 9, 2001

Grant Awarded To Boost Minority Enrollment

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Citibank/Solomon Smith Barney has proffered a $160,000 two-year commitment to help fund a minority recruitment program in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. The three-pronged initiative, dubbed “Pipeline to the 21st Century,” is aimed at strengthening “the pool of minority executive talent available to corporate America,” according to the Cornell News Service.

The funds will support three programs overseen by the Office of Women and Minorities in Business at the Johnson School. The first program, Johnson Means Business, will allow prospective minority MBA students to spend time at Cornell and learn more about the MBA program from current MBA students.

The second program, Destination Johnson Reception, allows minority students to familiarize themselves with the Johnson School and learn about finance careers from minority Citigroup executives.

The third component is the Citigroup Alumni Speaker Series held in New York City this spring, where “minority executives from Citigroup will address building wealth in minority communities,” according to the Cornell News Service.

“We have never had sponsorship this large in scale, although we have had several companies sponsor programs here. This initiative definitely sets a good tone for relations in the future,” said Angela Noble, director of the office for women and minorities in business at the Johnson School.

This grant from Citigroup is emblematic of corporate sponsorship of business schools throughout the nation.

“The partnership of Citigroup is an extremely valuable asset. They are consistently one of the top, if not the top, in any given year, hirers of Johnson School students. This gift is reflective of their strong and generous support,” said John Nozell, Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations at the Johnson School.

According to Nozell, Citigroup will continue its partnernip with the Johnson School for a number of years, in addition to its other sponsorships.

The grant made in support of minority applicants and students is in

consonance with the Office for Women and Minorities in Business’ mission to “increase the availability and visibility of women and minority executive talent around the world,” according to Johnson School literature.

“When it comes to being a certain race, it’s definitely not an issue here. This is an extremely diverse environment, especially compared to other places I’ve lived. Being a minority student, this is definitely a welcoming place,” said Sujith Joy Abraham, a graduate student in the University’s MBA class of 2001. “This is a very diverse place in terms of the types of people, thoughts, and the variety of backgrounds you encounter.”

The Johnson School has recently had the honor of landing an eighth place ranking in Business Week magazine’s latest release of the top 30 U.S. business school rankings. The Johnson School is praised for its responsiveness to the corporate world and it’s diverse atmosphere.

“The Citibank/Solomon Smith Barney grant provides a major boost to the Office for Women and Minorities in Business ‘Pipeline to the 21st Century’ initiative. The Citigroup Women and Minorities Alumni Speaker Series will reinforce ties with alumni around the country and attract prospective students where they live,” stated Robert Swieringa, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Johnson School, as published in Cornell Business last fall.

The Citigroup grant aids underrepresented minority MBA students and “is not limited to just students,” said Noble. The program affects alumni and prospective students as well.

“We are very impressed with their commitment and their understanding that to truly get more minorities to apply and attend business school, you need to reach out long before these students are ready to enter the business school environment,” said Noble, according to the Cornell News Service.

Mir Zulfekar Ali, a graduate student in the MBA class of 2002 was impressed at the capacity of the initiative. “It sounds like a great program. We should definitely build it on. It’ll be great for the future of the School.”

Archived article by Sai Pidatala