Haas School of Business
Class Acts


Record-setting MBA class campaigns leave legacies of giving

Graduating MBA students were determined to leave a lasting impact on Berkeley Haas—and they did so in unprecedented ways.

The full-time Berkeley MBA Class of 2018 brought in the highest number of leadership-level gifts ($500 or above)—a 169 percent increase over the previous record. Student donations funded three additional scholarships for second-year students committed to diversity and leadership. The class wanted to honor Haas’ student-driven culture and classmates’ initiatives, especially those advancing efforts related to diversity and inclusion, says Chen Song, MBA 18, FTMBA philanthropy committee lead. “We wanted to keep those options open for future students.”

Evening and weekend MBA students in the Class of 2018 reached 80 percent participation—a 43 percent increase over the previous high—and increased leadership-level donors by 267 percent. “The campaign’s secret sauce was our cohort competition,” says Rachel Giustina, MBA 18, EWMBA VP of philanthropy. But face-to-face interactions were also important. “There were so many aha moments with people who didn’t realize the impact of the Haas Fund,” she says.

One classmate’s tragedy (see story at right) helped spur students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program to attain 100 percent participation for the first time. The $146,000 raised was a 111 percent increase over the previous year. Unsettled that little venture capital goes to women and underrepresented minorities, the class gift supports underrepresented entrepreneurs and social impact startups. “My class is diverse and many have entrepreneurial ambitions,” says Tina Summers, EMBA 17, VP of philanthropy. “We wanted to help make a difference.”

Photo above: Members of the EMBA Class of 2017, which raised $146K in memory of a classmate’s daughter. A class Diwali celebration (shown on poster) helped raise some of the money. All three Berkeley MBA programs: full-time, evening and weekend, and executive MBA posted record years for their class campaigns, showcasing their network and philanthropic strength.