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Shirley Stonecipher believes in what the Business Scholar Leader Program is all about at East Central University.

Her commitment and beliefs led to a recent donation of $10,000 to the program, the cost to support each student for a two-year period.  The Business Scholar Leader program, which has grown to 21 students, is focused on leadership development at the junior and senior level.

The students participate in advanced trips and events that focus on business excellence. This includes scholarships, travel to a different city each year and other locations of interest to reward the highest level of business education.  
To date, the program has included trips to New York City, Chicago, Seattle and Uganda, Africa.  The program started out in 2013 due to the vision and support of Jane Kellogg and Debi Sovereign of the local firm Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC.

The Business Scholars Program has grown to almost 100 students, the fifth incoming freshmen class this August.  The Business Scholars are set to travel to Uganda August 1-12, to deliver Africa Business Week (ABW), this summer camp is focused on leadership and entrepreneurship skills for 100 Africa high school students. 

Twelve of the Business Scholar Leader students are forming the core team for ABW.

“Most of our students are from the local area, so an opportunity to travel internationally is a lifetime and life changing experience,” said ECU student Sean Godwin. “This program is just another example of what we already know about ECU, ‘You can get there from here!” 

The graduates from this program are already making a difference in the state’s business community.  The major requirement of the students in the program is to be active in the Business Leaders Association, (BLA) a student group with over 110 members.  The BLA is involved with the ECU community in general, including hosting business speakers, conducting on-campus events and holding competitions which help students become more active and involved on campus.

During the recent Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business Scholarship and Awards Banquet, Shirley Stonecipher, wife of the late Harland Stonecipher, was on hand to share her excitement and continued support of the program. She helped present the Essie Roark Centennial Endowed Scholarship to this year’s winner Shelby Baker, of Bristow. The endowment is awarded to students who serves in the BLA as an officer. The scholarship winner volunteer’s time and works in the BLA office while also supporting the Stonecipher School of Business student organizations in a leadership role.


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