Trustee Donates $5 Million to GW to Enhance Career Services

Mark Shenkman’s Commitment to His Alma Mater Will Expand Student and Alumni Career Opportunities

Released: 16-May-2014 10:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: George Washington University
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Newswise — WASHINGTON— Career services at the George Washington University are getting a major boost thanks to Board of Trustees member Mark R. Shenkman, M.B.A. ’67, and his wife, Rosalind.

The couple is donating $5 million to support the GW Career Services Enhancement Initiative and the F. David Fowler Career Center at the university’s School of Business. In recognition of these gifts, GW's Board of Trustees voted earlier today to permanently name the Ivory Tower residence hall (616 23rd St., NW) Shenkman Hall.

“Many of our students already seek knowledge through internships and experiential education,” Mr. Shenkman said. “By providing more resources to redefine and expand career development, we are providing additional opportunities for students and alumni as they pursue their career aspirations.”

The university created the Career Services Enhancement Initiative in 2012 as an effort to strengthen the overall career culture at GW for students, alumni and employers. The initiative aims to empower students and alumni to translate their world-class academic and co-curricular experiences at the university into a lifetime of productive and engaged citizenship.

A key element to career success is to prepare students and alumni by providing them with career counseling, coaching, mentoring, advising and resume preparation from the beginning of their time at GW. Students then learn to leverage this insight and knowledge into a structured and intentional path to potential job and career opportunities.

“This magnificent gift from Mark and Rosalind Shenkman is one more sign of Mark’s unwavering commitment to his alma mater,” George Washington President Steven Knapp said.  “Whether through his wise and dedicated service on the Board of Trustees, his role in the creation of our new Veterans Memorial Park or his generous support for the aspirations of our students, Mark is playing a key role in leading this university into its third century.”

Additional funding will enable the Fowler Career Center at the School of Business to provide services and resources to students, alumni, faculty and staff for strategic career planning and lifelong experiential learning.

“Trustee Shenkman has led many innovations in the financial services industry and we are proud that his business career began at GWSB. His support of the Fowler Career Center is an investment in future generations of business leaders,” School of Business Interim Dean Chris Kayes said. “His gift ensures that GWSB will continue to lead the way in career services and retain its place among the top 20 career centers in terms of starting salaries for undergraduates.”

These specialized services support the transition to meaningful employment and other activities following graduation. According to a recent annual survey released by the Center for Career Services and the Office of Survey Research and Analysis, 92 percent of GW graduates have found full-time employment, continued their education, or engaged in military and philanthropic service, among other activities. This keeps pace with class of 2012 survey findings.

Mr. Shenkman is founder, president, chief executive officer, and chief investment officer of Shenkman Capital Management, Inc., a New York-based registered investment advisor firm specializing in high-yield bond and bank loan investments. He has more than 35 years of high-yield experience and is considered one of the pioneers of the high-yield bond market. With GWSB Professor of Finance Theodore Barnhill, Mr. Shenkman co-authored and edited “High-Yield Bonds: Market Structure, Portfolio Management and Credit Risk Modeling,” one of the first business school textbooks devoted exclusively to the high-yield market.

This gift continues a long tradition of Mr. Shenkman giving back to his graduate school alma mater. Since 1982, Mr. Shenkman has made gifts both individually and through Shenkman Capital Management, Inc.

Previous gifts have supported the School of Business Annual Fund, School of Business Dean’s Fund, School of Business Financial Markets Research Institute, GW Cancer Institute Gala, Hillel Fund, and the President’s Fund for Excellence. Since 2002, Mr. Shenkman has named a tiered classroom in Duquès Hall and supported the Phillips Undergraduate Student Investment Fund. Most recently, in 2013, he established the Shenkman Seminar Series at the Graduate School of Political Management and funded the move and expansion of Veterans Memorial Park to its new location on Kogan Plaza.

Mr. Shenkman has been a board member since 2003. He also is a member of the Student Affairs, Investments and Finance and Audit Committees. He serves on the GWSB Advisory Board and is a former member of the GWSB Board of Visitors. The Shenkmans are residents of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The George Washington University
In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.


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