Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Faculty Auction Basketball Game at Assembly Hall

By Grant Allen, First-year MBA, Marketing

Faculty Auction with Core faculty raffling off prizes for charity 
One of the great aspects of Kelley, and what I believe is a true differentiating factor for this MBA program, is the level of devotion and accessibility the faculty give to the students. The classroom setting is just the beginning, as the Kelley faculty is widely involved in student life. A great example of this dedication is the “Kelley MBA/Faculty Charity Auction”; an annual event run by the Kelley Women Club where faculty members “donate” events or services that Kelley MBA’s then bid on, wherein all the funds raised go to charity. This year, the auction raised over $24,000 dollars!

The Faculty Team a.k.a. "The Geezers"
One of the premier auction items every year is a chance to play a basketball game against Accounting Professor Jamie Pratt, and his collection of “All-Stars”, which consists of other professors in Kelley and around IU. What makes this event especially awesome is that Professor Pratt has the game played at Assembly Hall. So, for any basketball fans who might be reading, imagine getting the chance to test your game against a renowned accounting professor, while 5 NCAA championship banners hang over your head. Oh, yeah, you are also playing in front of a large number of your MBA classmates. It is funny how quickly a “friendly game for charity” can suddenly make you a little nervous!

MBA Team

Our team practiced together a couple times per week through the winter and spring, so we could be ready for the big day. Pratt’s All-Stars were a formidable group, showing a remarkable display of athleticism and skill, despite their undeniable age handicap*. They won Game One, we students won Game Two, and they pulled out a comeback squeaker in Game Three, to take the “series”. 

While it was not the result we wanted, everyone had a great time and enjoyed the atmosphere. We had a professional musician (who also happens to be our classmate) play the national anthem (check out Ellen and Julia at, we enjoyed “half-time” shows from some of the women in our program who got together and created a dance team, and had hilarious commentary from a select group of MBA's who were calling the game.

Most importantly, our group in association with the Kelley Black MBA Association, raised $500 dollars for a local charity in the Bloomington area, Stone Belt (
Presenting the check to Stone Belt 
When considering business schools, I never imagined I would get the chance to play on a legendary basketball court. I never imagined I would play a game like this against my professors. 

What I did try to imagine but was unable to comprehend until coming to Kelley, was the satisfaction I would get from having a personal connection with the faculty and staff. What I thought I understood but vastly underestimated was the value the Kelley network provides, not just from current students but from the entire community of alumni and staff. Everyone at Kelley is invested in you, and they want to become a part of your network in a way that far exceeds any expectation you can have. They may push you to your limits, but it is always with your best interests in mind. Forgive the pun, but that’s a slam dunk.

*While I am not writing under a pen name, I am writing under the assumption that none of the professors will view this post! 

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