Training Racially Diverse Business Leaders

Gift funds tuition for two Ole Miss MBA students

Ole Miss students study in the breezeway outside Holman Hall, home of the School of Business Administration. A gift for the Robert C. Pozen Scholarship MBA Diversity Fund is designed to promote the admission of a more racially diverse MBA class at the school. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – A $60,000 gift to the University of Mississippi for the Robert C. Pozen Scholarship MBA Diversity Fund will assist two students pursuing master’s degrees in business administration.

The award covers $30,000 in tuition for two full-time students from Mississippi who are entering the on-campus MBA program this summer or fall.

Bob Pozen, of Boston, made similar gifts at the University of Alabama and University of Florida.

“I made the gift to three MBA programs to promote the admission of a more racially diverse MBA class, and hopefully the programs will help train racially diverse leaders who will stay within the state after receiving their graduate degrees,” Pozen said.

“I chose the three SEC universities because I believe that the MBA program at these three schools will most likely achieve my goal. All three have well-respected MBA programs, which draw heavily from in-state residents.”

Eligible students must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to a diverse MBA student body
  • Understanding of discrimination in the United States
  • Commitment to better communications across racial, ethnic and/or cultural lines
  • Ability to overcome educational, social or family disadvantages
  • Academic merit and leadership potential on equity and inclusion issues

Besides tuition assistance, the Pozen Scholars will be matched with professional business leaders who will provide mentoring support during and after the students’ MBA education.

“I believe that such mentoring is critical to their success in their business careers,” Pozen said.

Ken Cyree, dean of the UM School of Business Administration, said he hopes Pozen’s gift will set an important precedent.

“Bob has set the bar very high for other donors,” Cyree said. “To make such an admirable gift that essentially covers these students’ entire tuition is extremely generous, and we hope his gift will serve as an example that others will choose to follow.”

Besides the SEC MBA program scholarships, Pozen endowed the Pozen Commonwealth program in 2020 at the Yale School of Management to finance an executive MBA for three minority fellows with medical backgrounds.

Robert C. Pozen

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Pozen is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2012, he won acclaim for a popular book “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” (Harper Collins).

In April, Harper Collins is expected to publish his latest book, “Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work Wherever You Are.”

In 2004, Pozen became executive chairman of MFS Investment Management, which manages more than $400 billion for mutual funds and pension plans. Between 2004 and 2011, the company’s assets under management more than doubled from a base of $130 billion.

During his career, Pozen has been active in business, government and academia. Before joining MFS, he was vice chairman of Fidelity Investments and president of Fidelity Management & Research Co. During his five years as president, Fidelity’s assets grew from $500 billion to $900 billion.

Pozen served on President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in 2001-02 and is credited for developing a progressive plan to make the system solvent. In 2003, he provided leadership as secretary of economic affairs for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and, in 2007, as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Committee to Improve Financial Reporting.

He is an independent director of Nielsen and AMC, a subsidiary of the World Bank. He previously was an independent director of Medtronic PLC and BCE, the parent of Bell Canada. He also serves as chairman of the Leadership Council of the Tax Policy Center and of the Advisory Board of Agility, an outsourced CIO; trustee of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He frequently writes articles for the Financial Times, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, he has published a book on the recent financial crisis, “Too Big to Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System” (Wiley, 2009), and a guide for investors titled “The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed” (Wiley, 2011).

Pozen graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and holds a law degree from Yale Law School, where he also obtained a doctorate for a book on state enterprises in Africa. He lives in Boston with his wife of more than 40 years.

For information about supporting the UM School of Business Administration, contact Angela Brown, senior director of development, at or 662-915-3181. To make a gift, visit