Carlson Women Connect Women

Friday, April 2, 2021

I was thrilled when I learned our spring edition of the Carlson School’s alumni magazine would focus on the important contributions women have had in shaping the school and how critical they are for its future. One of the many areas where this is apparent is engagement and giving back. We know firsthand the incredibly strong and growing force women hold in philanthropic leadership—both within the Carlson School and throughout our communities. We also know the key leadership roles women have in driving philanthropic decisions within their families. Indeed, as seen below in our “By the Numbers” section, our women alumni have made quite the mark on the Driven campaign with an impact that will last for decades to come.

Women-driven giving is on the rise and is responsible for some of the most important gifts to the Carlson School in recent years. In fact, we know that ninety percent of all philanthropic decisions in high-net-worth households were made by or influenced by women as an equal partner. These gifts have paved the way for first generation students to attend the Carlson School, allowed us to advance our goals around increasing diversity, equity and inclusion, and provided critical financial support for innovative and impactful academic and entrepreneurial programming.

Also, this past fall we launched the Carlson Women Global Connect network. This alumni-led network helps former students advance their careers through strong networks, professional development, and leadership opportunities. Learn more about this new network later in this section and by visiting our website at

As we prepare to close out the University’s Driven philanthropic campaign this summer, we ask you to follow in the footsteps of these inspiring women leaders, while joining thousands of your fellow alumni and friends, in making your campaign gift to the Carlson School. I also invite even more of our women alumni and friends to engage by mentoring students, serving on one of our many boards, and speaking to classes. In so doing, you will enable future generations of women leaders to have a positive influence at work and in our communities.

Travis Smith Headshot


Travis Smith,
Assistant Dean Institutional Advancement

By the Numbers

Women alumni and friends have been critical to the success of the Driven campaign. Their generosity will benefit the Carlson School for decades to come.


Total dollars of women-driven philanthropy to the Carlson School in the Driven campaign


Percent of donors to the Carlson School’s Driven campaign who are women, while only 35% of the School’s living alumni are women


Number of women alumni who have joined Carlson Women Global Connect since its launch earlier this year

Disclaimer: All photos were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring 2021 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Spring 2021 alumni magazine

Explore the latest insights and stories in business education and innovation. Dive into the Spring 2021 edition of Carlson School Magazine.



Spring 2021 table of contents