Young Alumni Provide Major Gifts to College of Business
Written by Bailey Smith, Communications Intern, College of Business
Christian Piazza ’15, '16, Jianing “Jenny” Min ‘14, and Matt Maurer ‘06 all feel that BGSU’s College of Business has catapulted their careers and are paying it forward to help future students by making three major gifts.
Piazza, a former BGSU’s football player, states that he was fortunate enough to receive a full athletic scholarship as a student. During his time spent on campus, he realized the funding for his education and experience “didn’t fall out of the sky”. Piazza understood that someone else, long before him, had a great experience and connection to BGSU and chose to pay it forward.
He decided that is was his turn to do the same for the next generation of future Falcons. That is where Piazza’s “Legacy Gift” comes into play. He has donated a $100,000 life insurance policy to endow a future scholarship for a football player who is a student in the College.
Min, who is from Beijing, China, hopes the culture and impact of the College will continue because it gave her such an inclusive experience. Min wants more international students to join, learn, grow and give back to the College of Business. “Education can change lives,” says Min. Her gift is to name a space in the new state-of-the-art Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, the new home for the College in fall of 2020.
One of the most important things to Maurer since his graduation has been to ensure he is consistent in contributing and investing in the College as a volunteer and donor. He has endowed a scholarship to support the College’s students with an emphasis on leadership and campus involvement. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the storied success that Dean Ray Braun and his team are building at BGSU,” states Maurer.
BGSU and the College have given these alumni an education like no other. “The experience that I received at the College of Business was far more than educational; it was holistic in every single way,” explains Maurer. The College ensures student success by providing the path and preparing students for their futures.
A business degree from the College sets graduates apart from the pack because of all of the non-traditional experiences it provides for students, such as the Dean’s Workshops and the countless networking opportunities offered weekly during Employer Spotlights. Maurer adds that after receiving an education from the College, graduates feel more prepared and confident than ever to work in teams, excel as a leader, think like an innovator and adapt to an ever-changing environment.
Countless professors and administrators of the College have had their impact on students and alumni. “Every professor was nice, patient and knowledgeable in my time here,” says Min. Both Min and Piazza mention Dean Braun as having an impact on them as well as the College. They both remark how it is obvious that Dean Braun cares about the students, is dedicated to his work, and sincere to all. Piazza also identifies Professor Kirk Kern as a memorable professor. “Kirk cares so much about his students and setting them up for success after graduation. He was always creating such a fun and engaging environment to bring out the best of everyone!”
Maurer mentions that Dr. Greg Rich continues to go out of his way to make sure Maurer is connected with the College. That connection led him to Steve Zirkel, former chair of the College’s Leadership Council, who has provided him with an incredibly impactful mentorship as he navigates the early stages of his career and development as a leader.
Maurer, Min and Piazza would like to encourage other recent graduates to give back. Everyone is at different stages in their personal and professional careers, so what some are able to give back is different from others. Piazza explains three ways to give back, “Time, talent and treasure.” He says the College’s graduates would not be where they are today without their experience and connections made at BSGU. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. Piazza concludes that your gift will help others achieve their dreams.