Beyond the MBA Classroom: Stanford GSB’s Challenge for Charity

When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Founded by a Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) student in 1984,Challenge for Charity (C4C) is a well-attended annual fundraiser that brings students from nine business schools from across the West Coast to the Stanford campus to compete in events such as billiards, bowling and basketball to raise money for the Special Olympics and one local nonprofit organization (each participating school selects a local nonprofit organization to which to donate). Students earn points by winning the competitions in which their team competes, and also for each hour of volunteer work they completed during the year. Students who have committed a minimum of five hours of C4C service in one year are eligible to participate in the sports competitions and trivia quizzes that take place during this two-day event, held each spring, for the chance to win bragging rights and the coveted Golden Briefcase award.

One first-year student told mbaMission about the “White Party,” also a C4C fundraiser, which takes place in early March: “Everyone wears white and raises a bunch of money for charities, this year [spring 2011] over $250,000. Students offer whatever they can, and others bid, so it’s another good way for folks to interact more. Some examples that I can remember were cooking classes, a class on how to make sushi, other learning-type experiences and tickets to a baseball game. Everyone tries to participate. I’d guess that over 80% of the students here give back.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at the Stanford GSB and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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