The Shenandoah University School of Business’ Class of 2021 created something new this year. Students developed and hosted the Shenandoah University School of Business inaugural Legacy Golf Tournament at the Winchester Country Club on May 7, raising $20K for an endowed scholarship to benefit first-generation, high-achieving local and regional applicants who want to pursue a degree in business. The event attracted 25 teams, more than 100 players, and many corporate and private sponsors from the Winchester area, Northern Virginia, and beyond.
The legacy golf tournament was entirely conceived of, organized, and run by university students. It’s not just giving a financial benefit to future students in terms of scholarships, but this event is giving our students real-life skills that will serve them for a lifetime.”
Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. | President | Shenandoah University
Learning By Doing
Business School Dean Astrid Sheil, Ph.D., envisioned the tournament as a fundraiser and capstone learning experience for seniors taking her Business Communications class. In addition to the hands-on elements of the course, students completed survey work with HBDI (Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument) and Thomas-Kilman, a conflict-management series that demonstrates how individuals learn and react while working with others.
It was the framework for learning how to do sales, how to do marketing, how to follow through, how to take a ‘no’ and walk away to reframe and come back, how to work in teams with people you don’t know very well, and how to take a leadership role. Overall, it’s been a great experience for the students and also for the players. It’s also been a wonderful way for us to engage with the community.”
Astrid Sheil, Ph.D. | Dean | Shenandoah University School of Business
Sheil invited expert speakers to class, including Shenandoah University School of Business Advisory Board Members Anita Shull and Chelsea Hester, who led students through the logistics of running a golf tournament from planning to execution.
Chelsea and I both love golf and are passionate about playing. We helped students to visualize where we needed to go by creating processes and systems that would take us down the path to our end game. It was exciting to see them grow, especially when they began to see the numbers come together, how many players and sponsors were involved, and how we were going to make our target goal. It was a great team effort and collaboration.”
Engaging Community Support
In addition to Shull and Hester, a number of local businesses and individuals supported the event as players, sponsors, or donors, including Perry Engineering Company Inc., the tournament’s lead Silver Sponsor.
We are so happy to support and contribute to this hands-on, real-life learning lesson that will result in scholarships for students, especially first-generation students in our community. We’re glad to see business students learning all the nuances of executing and performing in order to achieve their end goals.”
W. Michael Perry | President | Perry Engineering | Shenandoah University Trustee
Yet in the end, it was the week-to-week, day-to-day efforts of the students collaborating in-class and out in the community that brought it all together.
Student Learning Perspectives
Blake Woodie ’21 of Las Vegas, Nevada, who played on the university’s golf team, brought considerable experience to the project, serving as a planner, golfer, and liaison with Winchester Golf Club.
It was a great experience to teach the class about running a golf tournament and using my past experience to help them put on a great event for the sponsors and players. I think the hardest part was probably the logistics of the tournament, but once we got a handle on it and started running things, we hit the ground running and we killed it!”
Blake Woodie | Bachelor of Business Administration | Concentration in Sport Management
Jason White, ’21, of Roanoke, Virginia, ran track and field for the Hornets. He took a lead role on the sales team and discovered that conversations can lead to unexpected results. Knowing he wants to work for a car dealership and ultimately for a Formula One team, he found that while cold-calling at car dealerships, he ended up speaking with a man who used to work for a Formula One racing team. They exchanged contact information, and White found that making the effort resulted in a connection leading to his personal and professional goals.
Coming to this class and learning that Dean Sheil wanted a hole-in-one car for the golf tournament was so exciting. I jumped on the opportunity to get out there to get more experience and make connections to help me out in my career path.”
Jason White | Bachelor of Business Administration | Concentration in Business Administration
Abigail Payne ’21 of Richmond, Virginia, said her experience as marketing team leader challenged her intellectually, often pushing her beyond her comfort zone. Three months after graduation, she landed a job as a digital marketing specialist with Outdoor Living Brands, a leading franchiser of premium residential and commercial outdoor living services located in Richmond. She said the hands-on skills, courses, and professional relationships she gained at Shenandoah gave her confidence as she launched into her new role.
I attended meetings with our media sponsors, iHeartMedia, and helped coordinate pre-event promotion with Dr. Astrid Sheil, Dr. Cathy Loranger, and the Office of Marketing & Communications. This whole experience opened my eyes to event planning and made me want to start a career path in it within the marketing field. It’s something I’m really passionate about, and I’m very grateful to have had this experience.”
Abigail Payne | Bachelor of Business Administration | Concentration in Marketing
Brian Lee ’21, of Winchester, Virginia, a career education and event coordinator at Shenandoah University, said the experience fueled his passion for community engagement.
I was able to connect with and meet new people, expand my network, and raise money for a great cause and scholarships. What makes Shenandoah so unique are these experiential learning opportunities, where we’re not just learning in the classroom in theory, we’re also doing it in person, making sales calls. It’s been an awesome experience, and it was exciting to see everyone turn out and hit some golf balls!”
Brian Lee | Bachelor of Business Administration | Concentration in Sport Management
Save the Date
Want to get involved next year? The Second Annual SUSB Legacy Golf Tournament is scheduled for May 13, 2022. For more information, contact Astrid Sheil at firstname.lastname@example.org.