Expanding Opportunities for Women
In the 1970s, women MBAs were a rarity. It was still sometimes assumed that the “MRS degree” was the only one to which university women aspired. Yet as the women’s movement gained ground, Pace saw opportunity in diversifying its student population. “At that time, women made up only 5 percent of the MBA program at Pace,” says Sandra Ekberg ’58, ’71, “it wasn’t unusual for me to be the only woman in class.”
Pace secured an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant to support female liberal arts graduates earning MBAs. The alumnae of Pace’s Graduate Management Program for Women (GMPW), founded by Ekberg, went on to take corporate America by storm.
At their reunion in 2006, the alumnae swapped business cards and forged new friendships. They also launched the GMPW Alumnae Endowed Scholarship for the next generation.
“We share the view that if you were given something and you are capable of passing it on, then that’s what you should do,” says Nancy Goodman ’77. Indeed, a large majority of the 158 original GMPW graduates has contributed to the new scholarship.
Paula Cangialosi, owner of Luna Communications, Inc., says that the GMPW Alumnae Endowed Scholarship offers students an “opportunity to find a direction— entrepreneurial, global, non-profit—the world is much wider than a traditional marketing or finance job.”
Five years after its inception, the initial goal for the scholarship endowment has surpassed its original fundraising goal of $100,000—no small achievement in a down economy.
A retired vice president of Citibank, Goodman has met two of the four recent scholarship recipients, and has been duly impressed. “These women will be, and already are, successful,” she says. “They are going to make Pace look good!”