Lifelong commitment to diversity and inclusion work; stewardship of The Consortium; and intense focus and commitment to the cause of The Consortium at the university and corporate level—these traits mark the recipients of the organization’s 2016 service awards, granted at the 50th annual Orientation Program & Career Forum last week in St. Louis.
The Consortium awarded the Sterling H. Schoen Achievement Award to Dr. Mahendra Gupta, dean of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, who is stepping down from the post at the end of June to return to teaching.
In announcing the honor on June 7, Phil Miller, assistant dean for research programs at the Wisconsin School of Business of the University of Wisconsin, noted that “his students must love him in the classroom; they have awarded him the business school’s highest honor eight times since 2001. He has long been a friend of The Consortium as a faculty member and as dean and we are sorry to see him stepping down from that role.”
The Schoen award is named in honor of The Consortium’s founder and granted “to individuals in recognition of their courageous leadership and commitment in advancing the goal of equal opportunity for underrepresented minorities in American business.”
The Consortium awarded its Peter C. Thorp Leadership Award to Natalie Brown, senior vice president, enterprise campus diversity manager at Bank of America. She has been a steadfast supporter from her position at Bank of America and in her introduction, it was noted that she “actively promotes the company’s commitment to diversity, serving as a member of employee resource groups such as Charlotte LEAD for Women, Black Professionals Group and the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement.”
The Thorp award is named for the longest-serving member of The Consortium’s corporate advisory board and is awarded to individuals who, among other things, “shows evidence of generous financial support of MBA fellowships and evidence of leadership as a corporate champion of ethnic diversity.”
Finally, The Consortium awarded the Wallace L. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award to its executive director & CEO, Peter J. Aranda III, who has been associated with The Consortium for 31 years, since he was granted a fellowship to attend Washington University in St. Louis. He served as a volunteer alumnus frequently after receiving his MBA in 1987, and returned as its leader in 2003.
“I was fortunate to have served on the search committee that named him to his present position 13 years ago,” Miller said in his introduction. “When you read the criteria for this award, we quite honestly could not have chosen a more perfectly qualified recipient.”
The Jones award is given “to recognize an alumnus who has excelled or demonstrated commitment in: professional achievement; community involvement; mentoring; advancement of The Consortium’s mission; giving back of time, effort, and/or capital; and encouraging and inspiring future leaders.”
Pictured above: Aranda, Brown and Gupta receiving their awards at the Schoen Dinner on June 7, 2016.