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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: Nicole Tee

Nicole TeeNicole Tee, director of graduate studies at Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), received the 2017 Bud Fackler Service Award from EMBAC in October at its annual conference.

Tee was elected to the EMBAC Board of Trustees in October 2011. A member of the 2011 planning committee for the EMBAC Conference in Key Biscayne, Florida, she also co-chaired two of the council’s non-North American conferences – the 2012 conference in Paris and the 2015 conference in Singapore. In addition, she has worked to increase EMBAC’s global membership, particularly in Asia.

“Nicole has enthusiastically supported EMBAC and the industry, helping the council expand its reach internationally through her many contributions to EMBAC and the EMBA industry,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “Her many volunteer efforts have helped make our community the truly global one that it is, ultimately strengthening the whole industry.”

Born in Singapore, Tee graduated from NTU and began her career at the multinational marketing and ad agency, Wunderman, and later at M&C Saatchi, where she started as a junior account executive and then became M&C Saatchi’s youngest account director. She made the switch from advertising to banking and later decided to return to school at INSEAD for her MBA.

Tee traded banking for higher education when she relocated with her husband to Barcelona, Spain. There she served as programme director of Executive MBA Programs at IESE Business School. She returned to Singapore six years later as director of EMBA Programs at INSEAD and in 2012, she joined her other alma mater, NTU.

Tee has both experienced and seen how education can impact and transform lives, and working in higher education and with EMBAC colleagues has been immensely rewarding, she says. “If it had not been for the education that I received, my life would be completely different, and I would not be standing here today,” Tee told EMBAC members at the conference. “I am deeply humbled to accept the Bud Fackler Award.”


Voice of winners

Bud Fackler winners share their perspectives on EMBAC

Gonzalo Freixes, UCLA
Barbara Millar, University of Virginia
Louise Kapastka, University of Washington

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

 / Louise Kapastka, University of Washington

 / Barbara Millar, University of Virginia

 / Nicole Tee, Nanyang Technological University

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