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Weeklong event celebrates undergrad program

Students, faculty and staff on treadmills and stationary bicycles logged more than 760 miles in the Krannert Drawing Room as part of the Krannert Kountdown, one of the new events in an annual celebration of the school’s
undergraduate program.

Held March 29 through April 2, Management Week included 10 activities and events organized by various Krannert student groups, from the customary date auction to a new cookies and milk giveaway.

“Each group takes a day and picks their own event that they think would be fun to host,” says Beth Corrigan, president of Management Ambassadors, the group that has led the Management Week initiative since its inception in 2007.

“They are responsible for funding and coordinating their own event. It really is a collaborative effort of all of the clubs at Krannert,” she says. Root beer pong, the annual free breakfast, and a food crawl were other activities during the week.

The barbecue, hosted by Management Ambassadors, is always a student favorite. About 450 plates were served by the end of the catered event.

Lara Budmats, president of the School of Management Council (SMC) and a coordinator for Krannert Kountdown, says, “If I have to choose my favorite event that I wasn’t affiliated with, it is definitely the barbecue. It’s always such a huge hit. Plus, it’s on a Monday, so it kind of takes away from the ‘Mondays.’”

Another of the more popular activities this year was Poker with the Profs, a new event where students and professors participated in a lively poker tournament.

“They had to turn students away because there were so many,” Corrigan says. “It was really successful because another goal of Management Week is to try to get students and professors together. They did a really good job planning an event that both groups would enjoy.”

The philanthropic Krannert Kountdown was also one of the most enjoyable for both Corrigan and Budmats.

Corrigan says, “The Krannert Kountdown was my favorite only because it was such a unique event, and it was something that no one had ever done before. The people who planned it got so excited about it and worked really hard to make it happen.”

Budmats says, “It was a lot of fun, and attracted a lot of attention. It would be so great to continue it since it was such a successful event.”

This was the first year for the 12-hour Kountdown, which raised more than $1,100 for the Brees Dream Foundation, started by Krannert alum Drew Brees (see page 2). The foundation’s mission is to advance research in the fight against cancer and provide care, education, and opportunities for children in need.

The organizers, including Budmats, began writing proposals, seeking corporate sponsors, and coordinating with the foundation a month and a half before Management Week began.

“And then, of course, you have to find the participants. We got done with it a lot faster than expected,” Budmats says. “All of our sign-ups were completely full before spring break. We wanted to make sure we had enough time for people to find sponsors.”

Sponsors were able to make a flat donation or pledge a certain amount per mile.


Funds raised at the date auction also went to charity. The purchaser was able to donate their money to the organization of their choice. Red Cross and Haiti relief were popular selections.

From giving back and connecting with professors, to enjoying free food with classmates, Management Week means different things to each student. For Corrigan, the week is about bringing students together.

“It’s just a week focused on students for enjoyment purposes, not for any other reason. I think it’s great that people are willing to work and fund activities for students just to enjoy Krannert,” she says.

Management Week is a way for Budmats to display all of the “Krannert pride” she feels. “Krannert is just one big family. All of my classes are here, and it is basically my second home, so why not celebrate it?” she says.

She and other members of SMC hoped that Management Week would attract students who are not in organizations or clubs and get them excited about their involvement in the school.

Management Week has continued to draw more and more students every year, Budmats says. “I think last year we did a good job attracting people, and this year it was something to look forward to,” she says. “That’s a huge accomplishment because we want people to remember what we did last year and then be looking forward to attending next year.”

— Mackenzie Greenwell