The Power of Community: Foster C4C Pulls a Golden Briefcase Three-peat!

foster c4c participants hold the golden briefcase in front of the foster school's paccar hall

Members of Foster C4C stand triumphant!

For the third time in three years, Foster Challenge for Charity (C4C) is bringing home the Golden Briefcase. Foster Full-Time MBAs averaged 8.19 volunteering hours and $242 per capita, more than three times that of the runner up to raise more than $54,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of King County, the University District Food Bank, and the Special Olympics of Washington.

In a weary year of global challenges and public health obstacles, the dauntless Foster community continued to find ways to show up. Clocking in over 1,500 volunteer hours in the greater Seattle community, the students and alumni of the Full-Time and Evening Foster MBA programs have once again demonstrated a boundless commitment to progress and purpose.

In its 37th year, the annual MBA Challenge for Charity pits the top west coast MBA programs against each other in kindly competition, calling Foster MBAs to fundraise, volunteer, and compete in athletic events in pursuit of that ultimate prize — the vaunted, esteemed, irreplaceable Golden Briefcase! Drawing on the talents, energy, and resources of MBA students, the organization’s purpose is to develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and involvement in their communities.

This year’s fundraising success stands as a testament to resilience and dedication of Foster MBAs, demonstrating a shared sense of commitment and social responsibility in a time it could well be understandable to recuse oneself from the call of community, or to shift the focus to “next year.”

foster c4c members pose in front of the late before taking the polar plunge into lake washington

Foster C4C members getting ready to take the Polar Plunge into chilly Lake Washington.

foster c4c members getting ready for a polar plunge into lake washington

Okay, are you ready?

foster c4c members take the polar plunge into lake washington

On the count of three: 1…2…3…

mba students jumping off of a dock into lake washington


But a time of crisis is no time to step off the gas.

“The goal of C4C is not to win the Golden Briefcase,” explains Alicia Howard, Foster ’22 & C4C ’22 President.

“It’s to cement habits, to develop servant leaders who will bring their energy for their communities into whatever workplace or city they pursue. I’ve been blown away by our classmates’ efforts, raising the most amount of money and volunteer hours per capita as the smallest school in the competition. I’ve begun to build relationships with community leaders whose impact on Seattle is not counted by just hours, but days. I hope that my own small part in this impact will continue beyond my time at Foster. And it’s been the most fun way to get to know other students!”

The proof is in the pudding, and there’s nothing sweeter than teamwork: Foster contributed 8.19 volunteering hours and $242 per capita — more than three times that of the runner up! Even in a friendly competition, it’s nice getting the gold.

foster c4c members take the polar plunge into lake washington

Soaking wet and pretty darn cold, but still Better Together!

While this year there was no official sports weekend hosted at Stanford, the collective efforts across the West Coast b-school community proved nothing short of remarkable. UCLA placed in second with $48,412 raised and 1,104 volunteer hours, Stanford in third with $27,750 raised and 2,430 volunteer hours, USC in fourth with $17,157 raised and 329 volunteer hours, with UC Berkeley and UC Irvine tying for fifth place. Collectively, we raised over $167,000 and volunteered over 5,400 hours across the eight participating programs.

Giving back to our Washington community is integral to the Foster mission of “Better Together, Better Tomorrow.” It’s about building something beyond our two years at school. We’re reaching beyond the walls of PACCAR to really get to know the organizations who champion the most vulnerable among us. To me, C4C is the heart of Foster. Alicia Howard, C4C President, 2022

We don’t just Foster Leaders. We Foster Legends.

The entire Foster community extends its boundless thanks to everyone for staying engaged this past year, and rallying to the cause, bringing new meaning to “showing up” in the era of social distance.

Whether it was attending our virtual Magic Show with Nash Fung, entering furry friends in the Pet Royalty Competition, decorating Gingerbread Houses, or stepping it up with the Foster 5K and the Foster Frolic Step Competition, we are so grateful for your support, and for the memories together.

“What a wonderful contribution from the Foster community, and importantly, what a clear statement about the character of this team, of our students & alumni. This has been a very challenging year, and you all focused on how to be helpful to others, and how to get through this — together.”  Wendy Guild, Assistant Dean of MBA Programs

Suzanna Parikh and Theresa Maloney served as the Co-VPs of the UW Evening Program Challenge for Charity. And a special thanks to the fantastic team of C4C Evening MBA Representatives for the 2020-2021 school year: Ashley Wain, Binu Mathew, Che Shyong, Eleni Englert, Lauren Brasseur, Madisen Kovell, Meghan Hoppins, Melissa Young, Rupali Katole, and Yuki Chen.

Go Dawgs!

Brian Wright, C4C President, 2021
Alicia Howard, C4C President, 2022

a golden briefcase with an illegible engraving

We’re pretty much the ’93 Chicago Bulls of the ’21 MBA Challenge for Charity.

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