Olin School at Washington University in St. Louis Sweeps TeamMBA Awards
MBA student Michael McLaughlin, who trekked 2,500 miles to raise money and awareness for abused and neglected children, and his school, the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, were named winners of the 2013 TeamMBA Awards.
McLaughlin took a semester off from his studies to embark on Hike4Kids, becoming the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and the Ozark Trail back-to-back. Chronicling his journey on Hike4Kids.com, he raised awareness and more than $15,000 for the Family Resource Center in St. Louis and a school for blind and neglected children in Cameroon, founded by one of McLaughlin's MBA classmates.
"It is a tremendous honor to receive international recognition from the GMAC," said McLaughlin. "As MBA students who are in the process of transitioning into such leadership roles, we should be cognizant of social issues and our part to play in finding solutions. This is what makes the TeamMBA program so necessary; it inspires MBA students to look toward and embrace a pivotal role not just as leaders in the business community, but as leaders in the world."
A scholarship student who is pursuing an MBA at the Olin Business School, McLaughlin inspired his fellow students to follow his example of excellence. Olin was named the TeamMBA institutional award winner for hosting numerous events to support Hike4Kids, including concerts, dinners, entrepreneurship panels, mentorship programs, teaching financial literacy to underprivileged youth, and clothing drives.
Photo: Greg Hutchings, Olin's assistant dean and director of the specialized masters program, accepted the awards on behalf of McLaughlin and the Olin School at the opening session of Annual Conference in Vancouver.
"Had I known Michael in 2004, when we first dreamed of what TeamMBA might become, he would have been our role model," said GMAC president and CEO Dave Wilson, who founded TeamMBA and presented the award, along with Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC's new president and CEO in 2014. "Michael is dedicated to improving the lives of others. He and the Olin School have demonstrated the values we nurture with TeamMBA."
The first individual to win the TeamMBA Award for best project, McLaughlin receives $500 for his charity. TeamMBA, which encourages and promotes social responsibility among graduate business and management students around the world, is administered through the GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow Fund, which formalizes GMAC's commitment to giving back to move management education forward. TeamMBA Awards have been awarded annually since 2008 to recognize graduate business students and schools that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility. This is the first year that the individual project and institutional awards have come from the same school.