During a recent Class Legacy campaign gathering, current students asked the Mendoza College staff about the purpose and benefit of the John Cardinal O’Hara Society.
The O’Hara Society, launched in 1999, promotes the ongoing success of the Notre Dame MBA and Executive MBA programs in a number of key ways, including providing fellowships, supporting Interterm Intensive courses, helping to recruit top faculty, and funding cutting-edge curriculum and facility enhancements such as the newly renovated MBA team rooms.
The students were surprised to hear of all the activities the Society engaged in; they also appreciated its mission and were enthusiastic about getting involved. But they were also hesitant. The donation required for membership – $1,500 – seemed beyond their budget. One student commented, “I want to help … but talk to me in a few years.”
Above these justifiable concerns, one thing was very obvious to the Mendoza team: These future alums were passionate about having a continuing role in building the Mendoza College’s legacy for values-based excellence. It would be a pity to put off this level of engagement and interest for “a few years.”
From these realizations, a new membership program was created that makes the O’Hara Society more accessible to recent graduates by lowering the threshold for membership. For Notre Dame MBA and EMBA alumni who graduated within the past five years, O’Hara memberships now start at $500 for the new Associate Member level.
“We see how much our students appreciate the Notre Dame experience and the support of the Notre Dame family. We also recognize that they may not be able to invest as much as they would like back into the program immediately after graduation,” said Nicholas Farmer, executive director of the O’Hara Society, adding that recent graduates are crucial to the future success of both programs. “It’s important that we are responsive to their desire to stay involved, and that we provide those graduates closest to the experience with the opportunity be engaged at a financial level that is more comfortable.”
All Notre Dame MBA and EMBA graduates from the classes of 2008-2012 are eligible for Associate Membership. Associate Membership offers many of the same opportunities provided to traditional and Dean’s Circle members:
- Members-only football weekend events and special members’ access to Mendoza events
- Priority access to purchase four football tickets to a designated Associate member home football game and access to a parking pass lottery for that game. (Members are included in the alumni lottery for the remaining home games.)
- An O’Hara membership gift, on-campus discounts, online member communications and the opportunity to network with some of Mendoza’s most well-connected alumni.