Four Golden Briefcases in a row for Foster MBA Challenge for Charity

Foster MBA Challenge for Charity (C4C) has outdone itself yet again. Following last year’s third consecutive Golden Briefcase win, Foster has won the Golden Briefcase again this year! In addition, all the Challenge for Charity chapters raised $133,694 this year and volunteered countless hours to support local organizations.

“It might seem easy to take this four-peat for granted; however, for background, Foster only began to break a 13-year streak of California schools winning around 2017,” says C4C President Alicia Howard. “We could not have done this without the outstanding leadership of our students, both on and off the board, and the ongoing support of our faculty and alumni.”

Foster MBAs Pitching In

The C4C auction is just one of the many contributions to the community led by Foster C4C student club. C4C catalyzes student volunteering at the University District food bank, gardening help at the Black Farmer’s Collective, e-gaming coaching & basketball tournament support for kids, and a C4C bake sale to name a few. Particularly impactful is an initiative this spring to help the Refugee Artisan Initiative settle into its new home. Perhaps the most beloved tradition at Foster is the Annual Polar Plunge benefitting the Special Olympics of Washington, supported by more than 30 volunteers as plungers brave the 46° F water of the Puget Sound. Our students reached 93% of that goal with 2579 weighted hours. That’s 11.11 hours per student, compared to just one hour per capita on average across other competing schools — a huge increase from last year and a testament to the strong servant leadership culture at Foster.

C4C Virtual Auction – A Roaring Success

In the fall of 2021, students brought tremendous energy to our community engagement with the full return to campus after an extended period of remote learning. The short return to remote instruction during the January during the Omicron wave did not diminish the Foster C4C effort. The C4C leadership and volunteers were able to pull off a virtual auction and everything was so meticulously planned to the last detail that it never felt like that there was anything missing.

“Our Challenge 4 Charity auction was another rousing success this year, thanks in part to our auction and procurement teams who worked tirelessly to make sure the event went off without a hitch,” says C4C VP of Volunteering Drew Blundell. “Even with the continued virtual presence for our event, we still beat our fundraising goals by a considerable margin, funds that will have an incredible impact in our Seattle-area and beyond.”

Through an extensive and well organized procurement effort multiple corporations provided valuable items to support the cause. Students from all 5 classes of the Full-time and Evening MBA programs pitched in and students, alumni, faculty, and staff showed up with a record level of donations. This truly was the Foster community coming together and showing strength in unity.

“Working on behalf of our partner organizations and with the C4C team we’ve put together makes it all seem easy because it’s simply a joy to be a part of it all. Our job at the auction was to translate that joy to generosity and our community of donors heard the call and answered with gusto!” according to C4C Special Olympics of Washington Chair Stuart Castillo.

Sports Weekend – So Cal Style

With the withdrawal of Stanford from the organization of the C4C, our Southern California partner schools stepped up to host a modified sports weekend at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades in early April. Those attending this fun event enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other MBA students to celebrate their community contributions over the year.

“It was so great to re-vamp Sports Weekend as we had almost 150 students from five different business schools on the West Coast compete in multiple sports on the Beach and then celebrated with a social,” explains C4C Sports Chair Liz Daly “Our Foster crew did an amazing job, winning football and connecting with students from other business schools. We cannot wait to continue the tradition next year!”

Better Together

The entire Foster community extends its thanks to everyone for rallying to the cause and encourages everyone to stay committed. This helps bring in a new meaning to the value a business education brings to the community and reinforces the positive impact of showing up and making a contribution.

Assistant Dean of MBA Programs Wendy Guild sums it up. “The C4C tradition at Foster is a storied, culture-carrying, shining example of how we come together as a community, dedicating our time, talent, and treasure, to make a positive impact in the community. We are incredibly grateful for our student leaders Alicia Howard, Drew Blundell, Kira Neuman, Stuart Castillo, and Liz Daly as well as the full study body for your critical leadership and participation in C4C efforts.”

Read more coverage of the Golden Briefcase honor.