Deans Literally Make a Splash in This Year’s Polar Plunge

From left to right are Deans Avijit Ghosh and Mary Miller, MBA Service Club president and event organizer Mark Lewis, assistant director of MBA admissions Ben Moreland, and MBA students Varun Aggarwal and Chris Mulh.

The MBA Service Club raised more than $4,500 for the annual March Special Olympics Polar Plunge in Mahomet Lake. The student club exceeded their fundraising goal of $2,000, with the incentive that if the monetary goal was reached, College of Business Dean Avijit Ghosh and MBA Dean Mary Miller would join the hearty MBAs and plunge.  

“While I did not relish the thought of plunging into icy water, Dean Ghosh and I were willing to do so if it would make a difference to our Community, said MBA Dean Mary Miller. “I always tell my students that it’s important to be a participant rather than a spectator, and so I joined the MBA students in this fund-raising effort.  I’m very proud of them and what they accomplished,” she added.

With 60 student members, the MBA Service Club is the largest of the dozen MBA clubs on campus, and certainly the only club to get two College Deans to willingly plunge into wintry waters. The club regularly volunteers with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and helps with highway clean up, food drives and other local groups and causes.  Originally a military service association club on campus, the Service Club became part of the MBA program twelve years ago.

Club president and MBA candidate Mark Lewis is the mastermind behind this year’s Special Olympics campaign to raise funds and involve the Deans. The club’s outreach activities and philanthropic spirit echoes classroom lessons about the value of involvement with community.

“We hear over and over from College professors about the importance of giving back and helping to support our local business community,” said Lewis. “The MBA Service Club is all about that.  We try to assimilate ourselves with groups in the community that need a hand, and in the process form a tight bond amongst ourselves as MBA candidates all working toward a common goal.”