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Fuqua teams up with West Point

As part of continuing efforts to emphasize leadership education, the Fuqua School of Business has created a scholarship program for qualified graduates of the United States Military Academy.

Two West Point graduates will be eligible for the scholarship each year, beginning this fall. The Army will contribute a $16,000 civil schooling allocation for the officers and Fuqua will offset the rest of the $33,500 annual tuition.

This is the first time Fuqua has established a permanent scholarship for military officers, as well as the first partnership the Army has forged with a top-10 business school. Fuqua's appeal, said a West Point professor, was its perfect track record in effectively educating officers.

"Without exception, our officers who graduate from Fuqua seem to be especially well prepared to educate, develop and inspire cadets to serve the common defense of our nation," said Col. Thomas Kolditz, professor and head of the West Point department of behavioral sciences and leadership. "We believe the Fuqua partnership will result in outstanding synergies for Duke and West Point." Most of the incoming students will be company commanders who have served in Afghanistan, Kosovo and other international combat and peacekeeping zones. Fuqua Admissions Director Elizabeth Riley said the students will have to earn admission on their own merit.

Fuqua administrators' reasons for offering this scholarship are two-fold. First, Riley said West Point graduates have a strong record of achievement at the business school.

"We have had tremendous success with West Point graduates who have enrolled at Fuqua," Riley said. "They are actively involved in the Fuqua community in various positions and set a wonderful leadership example to their peers." Of the three active-duty officers who completed the Fuqua MBA program in the last two years, all three have held leadership positions at the school.

The partnership also gives Fuqua the opportunity to further boost its reputation for providing leadership education. That effort received a strong initial push last fall with the announcement of the Fuqua/Coach K Center of Leadership and Ethics, a $5.1 million center designed to support research and training on leadership that opens this month.

Men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski--COLE's namesake and executive-in-residence and a 1969 West Point graduate and former basketball coach there--praised the partnership. "I believe military leadership and business education is a brilliant and innovative relationship to build at Fuqua," he said in a statement. "I look forward to the growth of this program that makes so much sense. It is this type of cooperative effort that makes Fuqua one of the nation's top business schools."

COLE Faculty Director Sim Sitkin agreed. "Duke and Fuqua have a longstanding tradition of producing exceptional business leaders," he said. "To have the nation's top military academy partner with us will only serve to strengthen our program as we continue to teach practical models of leadership."

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