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Posted - 04/23/2013
Presidio Graduate School of Sustainability Luncheon - Honoring Maggie Kaplan's Invoking the Pause Scholarship Fund
PGS_ITP.jpgBy Maggie Kaplan -

What a delightful afternoon I spent at Presidio Graduate School (PGS) the other day -- being honored for supporting graduate student scholarships at a heartwarming luncheon at the PGS Headquarters in San Francisco's Presidio.  Knowing of the high level of student debt these days and wanting to help entice students to select PGS' innovative MBA/MPA and Dual Degree programs bridging the gap between commerce and the common good, I agreed to fund student scholarships over a 3 year period.

I was a bit "wowed" to find myself at lunch with such an interesting, dynamic and diverse group of 11 people -- including among others:  William Shutkin, President and CEO; Eva Auchincloss, the Vice Chair of PGS' Board of Directors; Jennifer Taylor, COO; Dwight Collins, MBA Program Chair Professor; Bethany Baugh, Director of Admissions; Sonya Kendall, Associate Director of Engagement; Dr. Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development... AND the 3 stellar graduate students who are of the 1st recipients of the Invoking the Pause Scholarships:  Cheryl Dorsey, Hilary Abell, and Arif Haysim of Indonesia.  Image.jpgThey have spent years working across profit and nonprofit sectors, but wanted to further their visions by marrying operational excellence, business skillsets and acumen, with social responsibility.  So, mid-career, they chose PGS, in part because of the scholarship opportunities as well as its  innovative programming -- which includes an understanding of the daily realities of juggling full-time employment, work-related travel, and raising families among other life challenges.  Classes are held only one weekend/month.  With over 600 alumni, Presidio is proud to share that 56% of their graduates are women.

One of my personal core values is supporting educational opportunities at various stages of the learning curve -- from a "gap year" program called Global Citizen Year for high school graduates before starting college, to various college scholarship opportunities for students with a dedicated track record of giving back to their communities and aspirations to do some aspect of community work post degree. 

Now with PGS, I am continuing that trajectory forward for graduate school students and getting a "two-fer" -- by combining it with my strong commitment and engagement with environmental sustainability opportunities.

On another but related front, I am also pleased to be facilitating with PGS a new experiential learning opportunity.  I am helping initiate a unique summer internship program with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).   E2 is a national community of business people who believe in protecting the environment while building economic prosperity.  They provide independent, nonpartisan resources for understanding the business perspective on environmental issues -- which dovetails nicely with PGS' programming and vision.   E2 helps shape state and national policy on initiatives that are good for both the economy and the environment.  One of the interns will be working as a Policy Fellow on California's AB32.

I am galvanized by the willingness of President William Shutkin and his staff to expand their educational initiatives, and provide graduate students with unique opportunities in furtherance of the PGS vision to educate and ignite a new generation of skilled and enterprising leaders -- who will be the change agents transforming business and public policy to create a more just and sustainable world.

I feel honored to be part of this collaborative journey with PGS and its inspiring students and leadership!!