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Planning a Legacy: Encouraging the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
With more than 20 years as a successful Internet media CEO and entrepreneur, Mark Jung, MBA '87, has been a long-valued mentor to students and a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) at the business school. Currently the chairman of Playhaven and Songbird and previously having served in leadership positions with Vudu, Fox Interactive Media, and IGN Entertainment, Jung brings his passion for innovation and risk taking to the many roles he plays with the CES and the school.
"When you find a way to really engage with the school, you get back so much more than you give. Certainly that has been my experience in supporting students and programs through the CES—whether that be as a mentor to students personally, or as an advocate for new ideas to shape the GSB more broadly," says Jung.
In particular, Jung has enjoyed working with students as a mentor and encourages like-minded future entrepreneurs through his financial commitment to the center and programs such as the Entrepreneurial Summer Program (ESP). The center's popular internship program enables MBA students to gain entrepreneurial experience by offering a programming component open to all students working at early stage companies during the summer and financial stipends to selected participants. As many as 60 students have benefited each year through the structured program facilitated by the center. And companies representing a range of industries—including clean tech, retail, mobile, software, health care, consumer Internet, and social entrepreneurship—benefit by accessing affordable talent to solve pressing issues in their own growth.
When Jung first began volunteering as a mentor for GSB students a few years after graduation, his thoughts were a long way from contemplating what impact he might have on the future of the school. Over the years, the depth and breadth of his involvement grew to span a community of students, faculty, and fellow alumni through his frequent service as a speaker at student events to share his expertise, and in his volunteer work with the CES, the admissions office, his class reunions, and the school's Management Board.
So when Jung began actively thinking about his own personal long-term priorities, it became clear that he wanted to include the GSB in his plans. By including the school in his estate, he is among the 104 GSB alumni and friends who joined the Founding Grant Society during The Stanford Challenge and now represent almost 10 percent of the university's membership in this special group.
"The GSB continues to play a meaningful role in my life today. As a result, it's important for me to stay actively involved by volunteering my time, continuing to make annual gifts, and ensuring ongoing support by including the GSB in my estate plans."
According to its charter, the Founding Grant Society "is intended to convey to those whom it honors that in so acting, the Stanfords' university also becomes their university, and that each individual act of support reaffirms the Stanfords' promise to children about the future ... that it will be better, that they are needed to make it better, and that a legacy of education will serve them more than any other." The society is open to all who provide support for Stanford in their estate plans through wills, trusts, life income gifts, retirement plans, life insurance designations, and other vehicles.
As a second-year MBA student with entrepreneurial aspirations of her own, Anneke Jong enthusiastically notes, "I’ve been particularly lucky to participate in ESP while interning at a digital marketing company. The CES and its programs have afforded me the opportunity to learn more about bringing a company from idea to public launch."
In thanking donors like Jung who generously support the center, she adds, "I have found the CES to be an irreplaceable source for support and advice as I grow professionally."