“I love Isenberg,” Alumni Speaker Vinnie Daboul ’87 confessed to an audience of 200 at the school’s annual Scholarship Celebration on April 21. The event celebrated scores of Isenberg students who received several hundred thousand dollars in scholarship and other assistance, the lion’s share from alumni. “And, I’m 10 times prouder as a parent of an Isenberg student,” added Vinnie, anticipating the graduation in May of his daughter, Hanna, a 2015 accounting major. (Vinnie is the first chair of a new organization devoted to parents of Isenberg students.)
In his remarks, the former Isenberg finance major recounted highlights of his enduring postgraduate involvement with the school and offered advice to the students on staying engaged as future alumni. His first gift to the school, of $500, he recalled, “was the best feeling I ever had.” Since then, his involvement has taken many guises, including ongoing financial support, a scholarship in honor of his grandparents Rose and George, and mentorship to Isenberg students.
“I’ve made it a point to hire alumni whenever I can,” noted Daboul, who is a partner with Sage Benefit Advisers, an employee benefit consulting firm. As Senior Vice President with TD Bank in 2009, “We hired 22 people—18 from UMass; nine of them from Isenberg,” he recalled. “When I can, that’s how I hire; I always do,” he told the gathering.
“Always be proud of Isenberg,” Vinnie emphasized. “I wear Isenberg-branded clothes and I always take student calls and emails. And I give of my time. Kahlil Gibran said, “It’s when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Marty Boyle ’15, the event’s Student Speaker, exemplified pride in Isenberg. Four years ago, as a prospective student at an Isenberg open house, “I felt that the school had energy like nowhere else,” he told the audience. “The students and their enthusiasm were electric. I could sense Isenberg rising.”
Marty, who completed his B.B.A. in accounting in January and who has begun work on his M.S. degree, was not disappointed. The school’s national rankings rose 36 places during his undergraduate years. “Isenberg is now at the table,” he emphasized. “We don’t say look at what we’ve done; we say look at what we’re doing. At Isenberg, I met every goal,” he continued. That included three internships—one with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which he will join after graduation. Continuing support, including the Edward D. Shirley Scholarship, he added, “has driven my progress.”
“At this event, we honor your achievements and challenge you to reach new heights,” he told the awardees. “That includes giving back yourself,” he added, urging students from his class to trump previous classes with record-setting participation.