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Walter David “Bud” Fackler made such an impression on his Executive MBA students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business that they still keep in touch with his widow, Hazel Fackler. In fact, after his death in 1993, his students began fundraising for scholarships in his name, which turned into a campaign to fund the Walter David “Bud” Fackler Professorship. At the time, the gifts from the initial 763 donors marked the largest such pooled gift fund in the school’s history. “Every one of his students seemed to have a special story that they like to tell about him,” says Hazel Fackler. “Every single one of his students was special to him.” His students were not the only fans of Bud Fackler, whose legendary generosity extended to all in his sphere and helped bolster the fledgling Executive MBA industry. At the University of Chicago, which initiated the first EMBA Program in 1943, Bud Fackler embodied openness and a willingness to share. Indeed many administrators and faculty visited the University of Chicago to talk with Fackler and observe the Chicago model before they put their program in place. Bud Fackler’s generosity and spirit was carried forward in the organization that he helped found, the EMBA Council. The council, in turn, honored him and his efforts by establishing the Bud Fackler Service Award, which recognizes contributions to the EMBA Council and to EMBA Programs worldwide, including efforts to help other programs, to share best practices, and to raise the quality of EMBA Programs. Bud Fackler was the first recipient of the award in 1987.
The most recent winner: Barbara Millar
Barbara Millar

Barbara Millar, assistant dean, Executive MBA Program, at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, received the 2016 Bud Fackler Service Award.

Millar was elected to the EMBAC Board of Trustees in October 2010, serving as board chair in 2012. She also co-chaired the council’s Branding Committee for two years, was a member of the planning committee for the 2010 conference, led the development of the program for EMBA directors at the 2014 conference, and presented at many other conferences.

“Barbara has been an amazing supporter of EMBAC and the industry, going above and beyond so many times,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “She has devoted countless hours and her leadership to advancing the professional development of members and strengthening EMBA Programs as they prepare business leaders now and in the future.”

Millar joined the Air Force before attending college at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). She received her undergraduate degree in social work and her master’s degree in counseling psychology. She put herself through college with the GI bill and by working full time at the UNH. There she served in several leadership roles and was part of team that launched the Executive MBA Program, which was led by George Abraham, another Bud Fackler award winner.

She moved to the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1987 where she worked in leadership roles in student affairs, admissions, and financial aid. While working full time at UVA, she completed a Doctorate of Education. When tapped to launch the MBA for Executives Program in 2005, she certainly understood the challenges of a working professional attending graduate school. In 2015, when Darden merged their EMBA and GEMBA Programs, Millar was on the design committee and now serves as the assistant dean of this newly formatted Executive MBA Program, which began classes in August 2016.

“I am so deeply honored by the award,” says Millar. “I have a true personal and professional commitment to EMBAC, a place where we contribute and learn from one another. Any service I have given to EMBAC has come back 10-fold to Darden and me and for that I also am grateful.”



The council announces the Bud Fackler Award winner at its annual conference. The list of past winners includes the following outstanding leaders.

 / Bud Fackler, University of Chicago

1988 / Herbert (Pete) Lyons, University of Houston

1989 / Tom Ference, Columbia University

 / Ernie Scalberg, University of California at Los Angeles

/ Chuck Hickman, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International

 / Ed Wilson, Northwestern University

/ Susan Bunker, University of Colorado

 / Kathryn Carlson, University of Minnesota
Dave Ewert, Georgia State University

 / Norm Berman, New York University

 / George Abraham, University of New Hampshire

/ Martin Rapisarda, Vanderbilt University
Erica Kantor, Northwestern University

/ Penny Oslund, University of North Carolina
Connie Rieben, University of Wisconsin–Madison

 / Dave Poole, Pepperdine University and Chapman University

 / Marci Armstrong, Southern Methodist University

 / Graduate Management Admission Council®

/ Cathy Molony, University of Pennsylvania

/ Michael Saewitz, Campus Text

/ Maury Kalnitz, first Executive MBA Council managing director

/ George Bobinski, Binghamton University/SUNY

/ Anne Herbert, Helsinki School of Economics

2010 / John Fraser, University of Iowa
Patty Keegan, University of Chicago

/ Maria-Eugenia Marin, IE Business School

 / Beatrix Dart, University of Toronto

 / Brad Vierig, University of Utah

 / Gonzalo Freixes, UCLA, University of Utah

 / Louise Kapastka, University of Washington

 /Barbara Millar, University of Virginia

Receiving the award also made me feel very proud to be part of a group that creates and sustains a strong collegial culture, much like our students experience in our programs…I remain proud to have been part of an organization whose primary goal was and continues to be creating value for its members.

1996 KATHRYN CARLSON University of Minnesota
Customer Testimonails

In 2004, and still today, it meant everything to be the only organization to have been honored with the Fackler Service Award. It was an acknowledgement from an organization we greatly respect – the EMBA Council – that we were succeeding at staying true to the purpose given to us by schools when they created GMAC in 1953.

2004 GRADUATE MANAGEMENT ADMISSION COUNCIL® Sabrina White, Vice President, Americas
Customer Testimonails

It was a humbling honor to be recognized by peers, and motivating too, as affirmation usually is. I think recognizing a member of a European school really helped other member schools from around the school see their part in the council. Now I am so proud of the council when I see the long list of members from all around the world, and so many different nationalities represented on the board.

2009 ANNE HERBERT Helsinki School of Economics
Customer Testimonails

I wanted to give back to the council as much as I could. I think that is the beauty of the council—when people from 300-plus programs come together and contribute their ideas to help each other learn and grows.

2013 BRAD VIERIG University of Utah