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Rachel Tydlacka
Kelley Association of Women MBAs

Lura Forcum
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Friday, November 7, 2008

Kelley School graduate students raise record $25,000 at 10th annual charity auction

Nov. 7, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- When the Kelley Association of Women MBAs this year started to plan the group's 10th annual faculty auction, recent economic news was a major concern. Last year, the auction raised $22,000 for local charities, but the organizers thought it was unlikely to raise that amount of money in a time when many U.S. companies are announcing layoffs and dismal earnings reports.

KAWMBA Auction

"We wanted to be realistic, and thought that $15,000 was a reasonable goal," said Rachel Tydlacka, the event's chair. But Kelley's graduate students surpassed that goal and demonstrated their continued commitment to charitable giving by raising an all-time record of $25,000 at the auction on Oct. 30.

The proceeds will be divided between the Monroe County Red Cross and the Walt Blacconiere College Fund, which honors the memory of a beloved Kelley School of Business accounting professor who died of pancreatic cancer in 2007. A portion of the proceeds were also donated to the Gordon E. Tabor Memorial Scholarship Fund at Butler University and Potters for Peace in memory of the late fathers of their Kelley classmates.

The annual event is held at the Bluebird, in downtown Bloomington, and features both silent and live auctions for items donated by Kelley School faculty, staff and local businesses. Perennial favorites included breakfast at Professor Chris Albright's Lake Monroe cabin and a wine and cheese tasting hosted by Dean Daniel Smith and his wife, Professor Jonlee Andrews.

This year, Professor Wayne Winston offered a new item in addition to his ever-popular Super Bowl Blowout. He premiered the "Trash TV Night and Dinner," which raised $1,400 as students vied to spend the evening watching "The Hills" and "Gossip Girl" with the statistics and spreadsheet expert.

Professor James Wahlen, chair of the MBA program, observed, "The Faculty Auction is a fantastic example of the Kelley spirit, and embodies a win-win-win: students can participate in fun activities with their favorite professors, faculty can share their favorite activities with students, and the community gets the proceeds for worthy charitable causes."

KAWMBA president Kate Lehman estimates that more than $100,000 has been collected for local charities during the 10 years of auctions. "This annual event embodies what is so special about the Kelley School," Lehman said. "We're fortunate to have such committed and generous faculty, staff and students to carry on this tradition year after year."

Jamie Billow, a first-year MBA student, was part of a group bidding on a barbecue for 24 students hosted by Wahlen. The students had originally bid up to $2,400 for the barbecue when the professor offered to host two barbecues for $2,000 each. The students accepted his offer.

Billow said, "It was pretty exciting because we were able to participate with our friends, bid on items at a live auction that would go to worthy causes and also enjoy the fun and excitement of seeing our professors outside of the classroom."