When three Western students won a prestigious case competition, were awarded $600 for the effort, and then decided to take this money and pay it forward by donating it to WWU APICS (their student professional organization), it might be considered extraordinary. But for these three, it was only the beginning of an amazing example of the power and reach of seemingly small, positive actions.
Lara Masri, Zane Hashmi and Nathan Hill, all Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management majors and fellow WWU APICS Student Chapter officers, competed and won First Place in the multi-university Boeing Northwest Case Competition last November. When they received their prize money of $200 each, they decided rather than spend the winnings, they would donate it back to the organization that was such a positive influence on their student success. “We wanted to give back because the program has given so much to us,” said Masri.
But they wanted to pledge their contribution with a small hook.
“Originally, we wanted to present the advisory board with our $600, but then Zane had the idea to have them match it,” said Hill.
When Western alum and 20-year Supply Chain advisory board member Denny Organ first heard of the officer’s idea he was moved and impressed.
“This was such a compelling gesture from the students, the type of good-news story I love, and I believed we could amplify the results,” said Organ.
The executive committee of the advisory board jumped into action, taking a leadership role and not just matching the students, but contributing $5,650 in their honor, including a generous donation match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Next, former student officers of the WWU APICS Chapter back to its founding in 1991 were asked if they would pitch in. This created another $3,000 of contributions from a very enthusiastic and supportive alumni group.
Finally, the students and advisory board asked all alumni and all industry partners throughout the region if they would contribute and further honor the initial act of giving back to what Lara, Nate and Zane began. To date, over $13,000 has been raised through the Western Foundation for WWU’s APICS Chapter, far beyond what the students initially thought would ever be possible. “This will be a lesson for a lifetime, critical learning outside the classroom for these three,” Organ stated.
The donations will serve a wide range of needs.
“We are excited for next year’s officers to be able to use this money for projects and events that we have been able to participate in,” said Masri.
The goal now is to raise $20,000 by March 31. The donated funds go to help support weekly student professional meetings, provide scholarships, send students to the APICS International Conference and improve the quality of the Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management and Operations Management education programs.
“It feels good to create new opportunities for other students,” said Hashmi. “The money can be used as an endowment and we can make sure that APICS will have the funding to continue helping and providing for students for years to come.”
To honor Nate, Lara and Zane, and to support outstanding future supply chain students, please donate to the WWU APICS Student Officer Challenge by linking to the Western Foundation Viking Funder website: https://www.vikingfunder.com/project/4877.
For more information about the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management program at WWU contact Professor Peter Haug, Program Director, at Peter.Haug@wwu.edu.
It is amazing that three students could create a legacy that will likely impact hundreds of students in the years to come; ‘good news’ indeed.