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Minority program initiated

STANFORD -- Three top students, who overcame stiff competition for Stanford Business School's MBA Class of 1997, put off enrollment for a year in order to become the first Corporate Associates in the School's Partnership for Diversity program.

Each is spending what would have been the first year of the two-year MBA program working for one of three charter corporate sponsors of the program - J. P. Morgan, General Mills and Apple Computer. Each is personally guided by a mentor assigned by the company. The Corporate Associates will begin their Stanford studies next fall and graduate with the Class of 1998. The year's wages and two years of Business School tuition will be paid in full by their corporate sponsors.

The goal of the Partnership for Diversity is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in professional management. Two of the first Corporate Associates are African American; the third is Puerto Rican. Once they were accepted to Stanford's highly competitive graduate program (6,080 applied for 363 places in the class), African Americans, Chicanas/os, Native Americans and students of Puerto Rican descent were invited to compete for the fellowships. The first Corporate Associates are:

  • Robyn B. Reed, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rice University and an All-American athlete in both indoor and outdoor track and field. Reed is sponsored by J. P. Morgan.
  • David L. Williams, a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, and an aerospace engineering graduate of Boston University. Williams is sponsored by Apple Computer.
  • Mary Jo Torres, a cum laude graduate of Duke University, who has an interest in public policy and a professional background as a financial analyst. Torres is sponsored by General Mills.

The Partnership for Diversity program is what business people like to call a "win-win" situation all around. Student participants receive invaluable professional guidance as well as a loan-free start on their careers. Sponsoring companies with a commitment to diversity gain a tangible means of encouraging it. And, for the Business School, says Dean A. Michael Spence, "The Graduate School of Business Partnership for Diversity benefits the educational experience of our minority and non-minority students alike." It encourages more minority students to consider careers in business; it enriches the diverse culture of the GSB; and, ultimately, it will provide excellent role models for an increasingly diverse corporate community."

The GSB intends to make this an ongoing effort. The school hopes to have three to five companies involved in next year's program.



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