The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the William E. Simon Foundation to be used toward merit-based fellowships for Masters of Business Administration students.

“We are very grateful and very optimistic about what this is going to bring to the school,” Dean of the Simon School and professor of economics and public policy Mark Zupan said.

The purpose of this fellowship is to draw talented and outstanding MBA students whose exceptional credentials would get them acceptance to other select business schools in the nation.

“[These fellowships] will allow us to attract the best possible graduate students to Simon,” Zupan said.

Moreover, it would also help improve the school’s overall ranking. The U.S. News and World Report currently ranks Simon among the leading graduate business schools in the world. “It would also serve as one of the measures of Simon’s educational and teaching excellence,” Zupan said.

In addition to appealing to talented students, the grant will also attract employers. “The fellowship will bring talented students that might not otherwise come to Simon,” Zupan said. “More recruiters will also come to Simon in hopes of hiring these talented students.”

This pilot program will be extended over a period of three years – $500,000 each year – starting in the fall of 2005. The grant will fund up to 20 full merit-based fellowships for M.B.S students.

“We are still working on how to allocate the funds among students, but 20 students or so per year will be awarded the fellowship,” Zupan said.

Students who qualify for the fellowship will be known as the William E. Simon Leadership Fellows.

The precise eligibility criteria have not yet been finalized, but factors such as character, accomplishment to date, work experience quality, GPAs and Graduate Management Assessment Test scores will be taken into consideration.

The William E. Simon Foundation has been providing long and continued support to the Simon School and has been one of the most charitable benefactors of the school.

The foundation, named after its primary benefactor, William E. Simon, encourages programs that support the free enterprise system and fundamental spiritual values like individual freedom, initiative, thrift, self-discipline and faith in God.

The purpose of the Foundation reflects the endeavors of late William E. Simon and the principles of a free society.

Sridharan can be reached at

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