Students, faculty, administrators and alumni gathered on campus March 23 to celebrate the official naming of the university’s undergraduate business minor in recognition of Vanderbilt alumni Susan and Keith Hoogland, who made a $5 million commitment on behalf of their family in support of the program. The trans-institutional Hoogland Undergraduate Business Program allows undergraduates from across the university to select business as a minor to uniquely support their major curriculum.
“The Hoogland family’s support has long been instrumental to our undergraduate business offerings, and we are so appreciative of everything they have made possible,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver said. “This program gives our students one more pathway to pursue their interests and make discoveries that will stay with them for life. It’s a thriving example of how we are preparing tomorrow’s leaders in business and beyond.”
The program consists of undergraduate-only classes taught by faculty from the Owen Graduate School of Management that introduce students to five fundamental business disciplines: financial reporting, finance, marketing, operations, and human and organizational behavior. Students may choose electives from Vanderbilt’s four undergraduate schools to build “business pathways” according to their specific areas of interest. The courses are designed to actively engage students in solving business problems, whether those occur at a startup business, a local nonprofit or on campus.
In its first four years, the program has already had a measurable impact and is one of the most popular on campus. More than 1,000 students have completed the minor in the last four years; enrollment in the five required fundamental courses averages almost 900 students per semester, with 9,400 students having taken those courses since the program’s launch; and there are currently 800 declared minors in the program, 300 of them graduating in the Class of 2023.
The Hooglands’ 2017 gift is part of a robust tradition of Vanderbilt philanthropy for the couple, both 1982 graduates of the College of Arts and Science. They have supported the university’s Managerial Studies program and served as Reunion chairs for their 25th Reunion in 2007 and as class fundraising chairs for their 30th Reunion in 2012. In addition, three of their six children are Vanderbilt graduates.