The gift was given through the Applebaum Foundation by the Weiss family in memory of the competition's namesake, a 1985 graduate of the joint Master of Business Administration-Master of Social Work program.
Interest from the endowment will provide a cash prize for the competition's winning team and support a scholarship in the joint degree program. It also will provide funds for a permanent plaque recording the names of the winning team members and a memorial brochure.
Established in 1980, the two-day competition highlights the presentation skills of first-year MBA students, and is the culmination of semester-long consulting projects that MBA teams undertake at area businesses and nonprofit organizations. It has become a signature event for the MBA program, which combines classroom learning with extensive opportunities to gain real-world management experience.
In 1987, the competition was named in honor of Weiss, who led 1984's winning team while struggling with cancer. Weiss earned the highest grade point average in her graduating class and worked as a human services manager before her death in 1986 at age 27.
"The Diane Weiss Competition has become an integral part of the MBA program and is a tribute to the inspirational example Diane set for accomplishment and determination," said CGSOM Dean Hassell McClellan. " This gift will enable CGSOM to continue to expand the competition and other programs, and we hope it will be a catalyst for further tributes to Diane."
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