work of Kellogg School alumni runs the gamut from church service
to the arts. But perhaps the most common focus among alums
who serve on nonprofit boards is education and youth.
doing something," says Ted Martin '83, CEO of Chicago-based
retained search firm Martin Partners, who serves St. Gregory
School for Boys in Chicago, the Chicago Architectural Foundation
and the U.S. Tennis Association Charities Classic. "I think
it's an important aspect of being part of the business community."
Searle '78, who devotes herself almost full time to board
service with the John G. Shedd Aquarium, Leaders for Literacy
and New Schools for Chicago, among other groups, says she
feels fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute.
what I do. I think I'm lucky because I have a variety of things
on my plate," she says. "I'm always happy to do them --- sometimes
a little frantic --- but I always get it done. I can't imagine
not doing it."
Fuller '83, a principal with Chicago-based investment firm
William Blair & Co., sees his job, family and board service
--- to his church as well as the Golden Apple Foundation and
Springboard Foundation --- as the three legs of "life's stool."
"I try hard to keep those legs in balance," he says. "It is
an aspect of life that I consider to be very relevant to what
I do. It is an opportunity to share some of the wonderful
blessings and advantages that I have had in my life."
largest nonprofit focus has been St. Gregory School, a privately
funded institution for boys that admits 25 per class, K-12,
whose parents are willing to transport them to school and
pay "a token amount per year --- a couple-hundred dollars,"
he says. "The strategy behind that is, 'one kid at a time.'"
most noteworthy contribution may be co-founding the St. Gregory's
Council, an initiative that seeks to engage donors annually,
encouraging them to continue their financial support for the
school while feeling more connected to it, he explains.
Martin had served on the board of a similar but multi-school
system called Marcy Newberry, where he created an auxiliary
board to attract new funding.
taken a couple different shots at this to try to make a dent"
in education, Martin says. "I've always had an interest in
figuring out how to improve the 'doom loop' --- the drugs,
crime, poverty, lack-of-education circle." Once someone enters
any part of that cycle, they quickly tend to be victimized
by the other components, he says.
work with the Chicago Architectural Foundation began when
he noticed "busload after busload" of school-aged children
lining up to tour the Santa Fe Building, where his company
is located. He inquired and found out the CAF privately funds
more than 300,000 children to receive walking tours of the
city and its architecture.
is to give students a sense of appreciation for the city they
live in," he says. "We're taking these kids through the city
and saying, 'You're a part of this.' We hope this makes a
difference. Our real goal is to help some kids consider becoming
an architect or get involved in real estate when they grow
through Searle's variegated work is also youth education.
As a trustee at the Shedd, for example, she chairs the animal
collections committee and once co-chaired the gala. "I love
seeing the excitement on children's faces when they come in
and say, 'Lady, where's the shark?'" Searle says. "I love
the fact that it's an educational experience for folks who
might never see the ocean."
serves on the boards of two nonprofits devoted to greater
choice and accountability in education: Leadership for Quality
Education, historically focused on charter schools, but now
looking at accountability issues; and New Schools for Chicago,
which has raised $23 million for the 66 new contract and charter
schools expected to be founded in Chicago in the next decade.
interested in charter schools and providing some choice for
families," Searle says, adding that the New Schools project
made its first round of grants in February. "This is going
to be an incredibly important project. It's going to change
outlooks for families. Contract and charter schools have to
be accountable, and they have to demonstrate performance ---
and that means outcomes for families."
Searle's most personally ambitious endeavor has been founding
the organization Leaders for Literacy, which focuses on adult
learners. A decade since its inception, the organization is
approaching Searle's initial goal to find 100 people to donate
$500 per year, which is the cost of tutoring one student.
Luncheon speakers have included Caroline Kennedy, Julie Andrews,
Barbara Bush and the adult learners themselves.
is a core skill, one of those things that makes a difference
in a life," Searle says. "It's really amazing, when you listen
to [our clients'] stories, how much learning to read has changed
their lives. It's so rewarding for me."
says her Kellogg School marketing degree has also proved rewarding.
"It's been extraordinarily helpful in all my charitable endeavors,"
she says. "Kellogg gave me the ability, or enhanced my ability,
to come up with creative solutions."
giving back has meant service as trustee and executive committee
member at the non-denominational Kenilworth Union Church,
as well as to the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board, where he
has served for several years, participating in fund-raising
campaigns and mentoring current students and recent graduates.
nonprofit service goes beyond organizations to which he's
had personal ties, most notably the Golden Apple Foundation,
which recognizes and supports the work of schoolteachers,
and the Springboard Foundation, which provides "venture philanthropy"
for new organizations dedicated to after-school programs.
Apple, where Fuller has served on the board for more than
a decade and the executive committee for several years, presents
awards to excellent teachers and provides financial support
and mentoring training for college students who want to become
are generally expected to perform miracles under difficult
circumstances," he says. "The Golden Apple Foundation is something
that really resonated with me: I had young children, and I
recognized how important the opportunity to get great teaching
is, as a springboard to have a successful adult life."
and a founding member of the Springboard Foundation, Fuller
develops leadership and sets strategy for a group of about
40 members who fund "emerging" not-for-profit agencies that
want to launch after-school programs.
is that of a venture capital fund, which doesn't invest in
big, liquid public entities but startups," he says. "We want
to identify agencies that are early in life, often founder-based,
and don't have a lot of resources."
says his Kellogg School education has been invaluable in doing
this work. "If you think about the Kellogg model of working
with others to solve problems, to create feedback mechanisms,
to use interplay between people to do better things, all that
plays into [what I've been trying to do with my board service],"
experience is one that helps all of us think as leaders, to
have confidence, to set direction."