Donations Enrich and Fund ExcellenceDonations Enrich and Fund Excellence
How alumni gifts support the School of Business

Special initiatives help define excellence at the School of Business.

Generous gifts from alumni support these initiatives – which allow students to participate in national and international competitions, bring distinguished speakers to campus, and pay for student travel to business centers such as New York City.

“The discretionary dollars that alumni donate add a critical component to our budget, allowing us to fund these extra activities for students,” said Dean Mary Ellen Zuckerman.

“Student scholarships and our BusinessLink Professions Program are two big initiatives, funded by alumni, that make a huge difference to our students and their success here at IC,” she said.

Involved in both those efforts is Thad Fortin ’81, chair of the School’s Business Advisory Council and chief executive officer for Haas Group International Inc., the world’s largest chemical management services company.

Fortin wants to promote excellence for the School of Business, which he defines as “a well-rounded experience for the students, in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and in the community – the ability to give back, both now and as alumni.”

For his 30th reunion, in 2011, Fortin challenged his Business School classmates with an offer to match gifts for a scholarship fund. The response pleased him.

“Almost 100 percent of my class had an incredibly positive experience at Ithaca College. I asked them to remember that and enable someone else to have those experiences today,” said Fortin, who joined Haas Group ( on graduation from Ithaca.

“At our position and our age, to be able to give back is a double win, for the students and for the alumni to be able to make a difference, with gifts or by providing internships or job opportunities.”
For six years, IC students have interned at Haas. “The caliber of the student population today is very, very high,” Fortin said.

“Alumni gifts make a critical difference in providing support for enriching activities for students,” said Zuckerman, explaining how they help students move from campus into the business world.

“Many of these activities provide exciting opportunities for students to actually apply the concepts that they've learned about in the classroom, giving them real-world experience, which better prepares them for the world after college.”

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