USC Marshall alumna endows scholarship fund for women MBAs 30 and over

A woman today might talk about the importance of having “a seat at the table” in terms of building her career. When Marilyn Beaudry Corbett was in business school, she considered herself fortunate they let her in the door.

“I was often the only woman in the room,” said Beaudry-Corbett ’53 MS ’61. “But I persevered.”

After a long and successful career in marketing and a second career as an archeology professor, Beaudry-Corbett decided to give back: She has made a $4 million gift to the USC Marshall School of Business to enable other women to pursue a graduate level business education. The gift will fund scholarships for women MBA students 30 and over.

“Marilyn Beaudry-Corbett’s extremely generous donation is visionary and courageous,” said James G. Ellis, dean of USC Marshall. “She understands first-hand the challenges women still face in advancing their business careers, and her investment helps level the playing field by offering them access to a critical educational opportunity.”

WOMEN AND BUSINESS SCHOOLS

Beaudry Corbett’s gift is well-timed. Studies show that full-time MBA programs still struggle to attract women, in part because of the age students typically pursue the degree—their late 20s or early 30s.

“Women at that age know they will have to sacrifice something, either their career standing or their families, in order to pursue a higher education in business,” said Laju Obasaju MBA ’17. “Knowing that there is financial support available definitely makes it a more viable option and will certainly help attract more women.” Obasaju is an entertainment attorney who attended USC Marshall on a Consortium scholarship and is now starting a leadership rotation at AT&T in Dallas. “I could not have done it without that critical support,” she said.

As all business schools work to recruit and retain more women students, USC Marshall has made robust strides, with the percentage of female students up over a five-year period across programs, including undergraduate and specialized master’s degree programs.

“Creating an inclusive culture in all aspects of USC Marshall’s MBA programs is of the highest importance to our mission,” said Debra L. Langford, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. “We are building upon several initiatives to increase the visibility of both our current MBA female students, as well as our alumni.”

Emma Sugarman MBA ’14, former president of the Marshall Graduate Student Association (MGSA), recalls the empowering climate at USC Marshall.

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