Yale Daily News

To support first-generation college students who matriculate to the School of Management, the graduate business school has launched a new scholarship — the Lise Pfeiffer Chapman MBA Scholarship.

Chapman, who graduated from the SOM in 1981, attended college because of a generous loan from a nonprofit foundation. Now, Chapman has endowed a scholarship at the SOM aimed at first-generation college students — the first of its kind at the school of management. The SOM’s financial aid office will award the scholarship on the basis of merit, but will give preference to a first-generation college student. The scholarship is likely to support one student, but may expand over time.

“I really want to support our first-generation underserved students and help them take advantage of all of Yale’s resources, including its alumni.” Chapman said.

The scholarship, which will likely be awarded for the first time in the next two to five years, is part of a larger effort by Chapman and the SOM to encourage more first-generation and low-income students to attend Yale’s School of Management. After leaving her position as chair of the Association of Yale Alumni Board of Governors in 2016, Chapman founded 1st GenYale — a shared interest group that promotes interaction between alumni and current students. Since its founding a couple years ago, the group has connected more than 1,000 alumni and students.

Looking to expand her impact past 1stGenYale, Chapman decided to fund the scholarship, which is now part of a broader initiative to increase low-income students’ access to the SOM.

“We strive especially hard in our outreach, recruiting and admission processes to attract students from backgrounds that tend to be underrepresented in MBA programs, and to make our scholarship awards competitive with peer institutions,” said Anjani Jain, deputy dean for academic programs and professor in the practice of management. “The generous gift from Lise Pfeiffer Chapman contributes vitally to this goal.”

Though she initially planned to remain anonymous, Chapman eventually decided to put her name on the scholarship to make it clear that she could be a mentor for students, according to an SOM press release.

Her idea of a scholarship, naturally, was quite exciting for Yale.

“We were delighted when Lise expressed an interest in endowing an MBA merit scholarship for first-generation students,” said Assistant Dean of Development Roe Fellows. “Lise has been a leader across Yale in supporting first-generation students and her gift is aligned with the SOM’s goal of securing more scholarship funding, which allows us to attract and support a talented and diverse student body.”

But, according to Francois Hailer SOM ’19, though great progress has been made, more can be done to support low-income students.

“More broadly, I think SOM could always do more to help first-generation college students and underprivileged applicants, although we all need to start somewhere and SOM is doing a great job so far,” Hailer said. “SOM’s student body is more diverse over the years, both from a geographical and a socioeconomic standpoint, and I think we are going in the right direction.”

1stGenYale, the group that Chapman founded, has a career networking mixer planned for Thursday, Nov. 8 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Afro-American Cultural House.

Emmett Shell | emmett.shell@yale.edu .