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The EMP-75 Executive MBA class, which graduated in December, attained 100 percent participation in its class-gift drive. The class has pledged $223,450 to Kellogg — the most pledged to date by an Executive MBA class.

EMP 75

Class gift efforts break records

Executive MBA students ‘give back to an institution that helps make you who you are as a person’

By Amy Trang

1/15/2010 - When Brian Otte’s Executive MBA classmates asked him to lead their class gift fund-raising efforts, Otte had one stipulation: The class had to give its full support.

The class took Otte’s condition seriously. Not only did every single member of EMP-75 make a class-gift pledge, but the class, based on the Kellogg School’s Miami campus, broke two Executive MBA class gift records.

Brian Otte
“Kellogg is the type of school that certainly takes care of its students and alumni, and it’s important that the students and alumni take care of the institution itself,” EMP-75 class gift chair Brian Otte said.
Photo courtesy of Brian Otte
The class total of $223,450 is the most pledged to date by an Executive MBA class, and is the highest average amount pledged per Executive MBA student.

The EMP-76 class, based in Evanston, also was in the spirit of giving, and pledged $162,850, with an impressive majority — 95 percent — participating in the class gift effort. Co-chairs Charlie Zasso and Lori Manning challenged the 66-member class to maintain the strong legacy of excellence at Kellogg.

The class directed that its funds be allocated toward case studies, with the goal of building the Kellogg brand in academic circles, developing the curriculum for future Executive MBA students and enhancing the school’s intellectual property, Zasso said.

EMP-76 class members “perceive themselves as caretakers of the Kellogg brand and representatives of the great Kellogg tradition,” Zasso said. Both the EMP-75 and EMP-76 classes graduated in December.

Otte kicked off the Miami class gift campaign with an inspirational speech to his classmates that focused on the importance of giving back to Kellogg. He also recruited four classmates to the class gift committee; each reached out to study groups and individuals in the 35-member class.

“We reminded people about the importance of giving back to an institution that helps make you who you are as a person,” Otte said. “Kellogg is the type of school that certainly takes care of its students and alumni, and it’s important that the students and alumni take care of the institution itself.”

EMP-75’s class gift will be allocated to three different funds. About $50,000 each will go toward case studies and the Miami Alumni Fund. The remaining $123,450 will go toward the scholarship fund endowed in the name of Clinical Professor of Management and Strategy Harry Kraemer ’79. Kraemer donated $1,000 to the class gift total as a result of EMP-75’s 100 percent participation.

“It was important for them to live up to the [ideal of] global leaders having a significant impact on the world,” said Carolina Piña, associate director of executive education at the Miami campus. “They wanted other people to benefit from what they’re benefiting from. This is a way for them to say, ‘We are a part of Kellogg, and we care about giving back to the school.’”