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Alumna Supports GSB's Vision for Change Through Annual Giving
Pam Brewster, MBA '87, recalls the moment she decided to escalate her giving to the Stanford Graduate School of Business: "My support for the school increased when I realized that the goals of the GSB—change lives, change organizations, change the world—matched my own aspirational goals and experience."
Indeed, Brewster's career post-business school has been one of change. After starting in finance with a large bank, she segued into marketing and strategic planning primarily with start-up companies and more recently has put her skills to use helping nonprofits. "Growing up, my mother used to say to me that the only constant in life is change," she says. It's no wonder Brewster is a staunch advocate of the GSB's approach of preparing the leaders of tomorrow by guiding them through transformative, hands-on experiences that both challenge them and encourage them to take risks. "Effective leaders must embrace and harness the forces of change and innovation," she says.
Today, Brewster, who resides in Cranford, N.J., is a tireless champion of Stanford GSB. In addition to being a member of the New York alumni chapter and the Women's Initiative Network (WIN), she has served as a class agent since 2006. Brewster also has been a member of the Business School Fund Council for the past four years, providing advice and guidance to the annual and reunion campaign development staff. She also co-chaired the Participation Committee for both her 20th and 25th reunions. Recently, with her help, the MBA Class of 1987 raised over $8 million and set a new participation record of 87 percent for their 25th reunion campaign.
In encouraging her classmates to take part in their reunion campaign, Brewster emphasized the power of annual giving. Annual funds at Stanford, which include reunion campaigns, are typically unrestricted—meaning that they can be used either to supplement core activities or to support new initiatives that do not have any other designated funding source. In recent years, these funds have constituted the capital for the school's investments in areas such as educational technology, on-the-ground global experiences, and multidisciplinary collaboration. "At our reunion, my classmates were able to see and learn how their annual gifts have helped transform the GSB over the past 25 years. Many were surprised that annual giving underwrites about half the cost of educating current GSB students, a model that was in place when we ourselves were students," she says.
Since 2007, Brewster's commitments to the school have qualified her as a member of Leaders in Annual Giving. These donors distinguish themselves by making gifts of $2,500 or more each year. They provide 83 percent of Stanford GSB's unrestricted funding, granting the school the crucial seed capital to fund new projects. They represent the top 17 percent of donors to the school and—because of their generosity—enjoy added recognition in school donor rolls as well as special updates and invitations to select events.
"When it comes to giving, I believe in impact investing," Brewster says. "And at the Leaders in Annual Giving level, I believe my gift does have impact. Moreover, through collective giving at this level I can amplify the impact of my own personal gift. All in all, I am very proud to be part of the GSB legacy."