On Friday, February 24, full-time MBA students, professors, and staff participated in the highly anticipated 12th annual Mason Idol, a student talent show and auction featuring items donated by the Mason community. This year, the event raised over $6,500 for charity and brought students and professors together for a night of entertainment, food, and fun.
The evening opened with a moving solo performance from violinist Brian Fuller '17, followed by a classical Indian dance presented by the talented Sukriti Mishra '18. For those who attended, the performances were the highlight of the night. “There’s a lot of talent here," said graduate student Anthony Onuoha. "You get to see a side of your friends you don't get to see in the classroom. It’s a fun time.”
Between performances, students had the opportunity to bid on auction items donated by the William & Mary faculty and staff. One of the evening's most popular items was offered by Professor Franklin "Bud" Robeson, whose dinner and wine tasting event brought in an impressive $1650. Backyard cookouts at the home of the Mason School's Director of MBA Admissions, Amanda Barth, raised a total of $3200 making them the top-earners of the evening.
Funds raised by Mason Idol were donated to Kidz 'n Grief, a children's bereavement organization sponsored by Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System. The program supports grieving children with activities such as Mikey's Camp, an annual weekend of healing activities for children, ages 7 to 17, who have lost a friend or family member. "Without groups like yours, we really could not exist," said Kidz 'n Grief Director Beth Pile. "In fact, some years, we could not have had camp without the money you raised."
Mason School faculty and staff members look forward to donating their time and energy to Mason Idol each year. "This is an amazing event which combines fun with a significant purpose: to support Kidz 'n Grief," said Associate Professor Elizabeth Foster who, along with Professor Deborah Hewitt donated lunch in Colonial Williamsburg. "I also enjoy talking with students outside of the classroom in a more relaxed setting," she said.
Brooke Waggoner, co-organizer of the event, said the bonding opportunity for students and professors is a significant part of Mason Idol's success. "To see students so passionately bidding on the opportunity to spend time with each other is incredible," said Brooke Waggoner, co-organizer of the event. "It goes to show that there truly are amazing bonds that are made between students and professors during their Mason School experience."