The Beacon Award has been given out only two times in the GBF history.
2002 Emory University
The first Beacon was presented at the Emory GBC in 2002, following the 9/11 disaster.
Because of the recent events of 9/11 the GBF inaugurated its Beacon Award for Leadership in Crisis, which was presented to student delegates at the High Museum, during the Leadership Awards Gala.
Matt Gillett, Lowell Kahn, and Peter Ernst, from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, responded to aid the efforts of the Red Cross, and in doing so, not only organized the largest blood donation event in Emory University’s history nearly overnight, but also designed a program which could serve as an example for the Red Cross emergency response efforts.
2005 University Of Virginia
Returning from winter break and seeing the news of the Tsunami that swept over twelve countries in Southeast Asia on January, several student leaders at Darden felt the burden of their school’s mission to enable students to be action-oriented leaders in the global environment. Within a week of returning to school, six students united and set forth on planning a relief campaign effort.
Students in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration launched the Tsunami Relief Campaign on February 1st with the goal of aiding victims of the disaster in Southeast Asia. The students involved administration representatives in their planning efforts and mobilized over thirty students, faculty, and staff to collect funds. “Donate your age” was selected as the theme of the campaign, as student leaders felt that the motto would help people reflect upon the severe devastation wrought by the Tsunami, their appreciation of their lives, their family and friends’ lives, and, most importantly, the lives of those Tsunami victims who were still struggling to survive. Campaign activities included several student speeches given by students who had seen the devastation first-hand and a benefit event, among other activities that ensured each Darden student, faculty member, and administrator had an opportunity to give to the relief effort.
So as to have a greater impact, upon the outset of the effort student leaders acted to find an alumnus who could match funds raised through the student efforts. The leaders enlisted the support of senior administration and were able to quickly find a matching donor in an alum working for DHL in Southeast Asia. During the week of intense campaign activity, the student leaders and the team of thirty they mobilized generated donations from more than 400 individuals in the Darden community. Student leaders worked with the AmeriCares non-profit foundation to ensure that all money raised for tsunami relief would go directly to victims of the tragedy, with none of the funds used for overhead.
Two weeks later, the students and the team they had assembled had raised over $28,000 to be donated in direct aid for Tsunami Relief efforts.