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College of Business Alumnus Challenges Class of 2013

Don Rainey congratulates a student at the 2013 COB commencement

Allison von Hausen (’13) spent hours on end in James Madison University’s Gaglioti Capital Markets Lab.  As a double major in finance and management, the Fairfax, Va. native became certified on the lab’s Bloomberg terminals, the industry elite of financial databases.  von Hausen knows that, without the generosity of Enrico Gaglioti (’94), she would have never had that experience as an undergraduate.

“I was in the capital markets laboratory every week.  It helped me to gain actual market knowledge and makes you more marketable when it comes time to find a job,” she said.

After graduation, von Hausen will spend some time traveling and then report for her new position at Apple in California.  As a scholarship recipient, she knows that her success is a measure of those who went before her.

So when the College of Business’ commencement speaker, entrepreneur Don Rainey (’82), challenged the CoB class of 2013 to give back, von Hausen knew exactly why.

Drawing on his personal experience, Rainey encouraged graduates to, “Be brave,” explaining that luck flows to those who act bravely and take chances.

Beginning a tradition of giving back to the university, Rainey suggested, is a way to provide for those brave students who follow by ensuring the quality of the College of Business.

“Giving back is a way to thank the professors who have invested in you.  Even if you don’t do it the next 2 weeks, it is never too early or too late to thank a teacher,” Rainey said.

Rainey offered to match the graduates’ collective gifts to the university up to $10,000.

Accounting major Andrew Frank (’13) has already given to the university several times.

“I’ve only ever given $5 at time while I was a student,” Frank said.  “But it is so important to create the habit of giving even if it is a small amount.”

Frank said he gives because of the CoB faculty.

“The accounting faculty that I’ve had over the years are people I consider not just professors but friends and mentors,” he said.  “Their dedication to building relationships and connections beyond the classroom is unbelievable.  We need to make sure they are here for future CoB graduates.”

When asked about Rainey’s challenge, Frank said, “Being asked for a financial donation on graduation day is really tough to hear but it is of the utmost importance.  Our gift helps to make the College of Business as good as or better than when we left it.” 

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Don Rainey is a venture capitalist, a 1982 graduate of James Madison University and currently a member of the university’s Board of Visitors.  After judging the College of Business’ business plan competition for eleven years, Rainey stepped up with his friend and fellow judge Wayne Jackson (‘85) to endow the student awards for the capstone experience of the COB 300 course.  This generous gift to the Jackson-Rainey Business Plan Competition ensures that the outstanding individual and team efforts of students working to produce integrated business plans will continue to be celebrated and rewarded.  For over a decade students have reflected positively on the practical impact of the immersive, collaborative and team-based learning experienced in creating a business plan, and have reported it as a significant factor preparing them for success after graduation.

To donate to the class of 2013 College of Business matching gift challenge, visit jmu.edu/cob13.