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: Jamie Breen
After living in the consulting world for the majority of her career, Jamie Breen accepted an invitation to teach a short elective course on the business and culture of consulting for working professional students at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
That invitation led to her involvement in the development of Berkeley EMBA for Executives Program and to a full-time job as assistant dean, MBA for Executives Program, at UC Berkeley, and ultimately to assistant dean, MBA programs, at UC Berkeley. It also led her to EMBAC.
In October, Breen received the 2023 Bud Fackler Award from EMBAC, acknowledging her work to advance the EMBA industry and EMBAC as the voice of the industry.
The Bud Fackler Service Award recognizes contributions to EMBAC and to EMBA Programs worldwide, including efforts to help other programs, to share best practices, and to raise the quality of EMBA Programs. The council named the award after Bud Fackler, the late director of the EMBA Program at the University of Chicago and one of the council’s founders.
“Jamie has lent her considerable talents to not only helping EMBA students and EMBA Programs, but also to helping EMBAC better serve its members and the industry as a whole,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “Her energy, her ideas, her willingness to share – have helped EMBAC improve its offerings and its knowledge of the industry, as well as inspiring members.”
Breen attended her first EMBAC Conference in 2014, only a few weeks after she began working with the UC Berkeley program. It was love at first experience.
“I was struck at the incredible networking, the degree of collegiality and sharing that was going on, and the genuine nature of it,” she says. “These are people who really do share ideas.”
She quickly saw the benefits of increasing her involvement. She began presenting at conferences, hosted a regional meeting, and served on the conference planning committee for the 2017 EMBAC Conference. In 2018, she was elected to the EMBAC Board of Trustees. After completing her term, she continued volunteering as a member of EMBAC’s Research Committee.
Breen retired from UC Berkeley in 2023 and launched her own business as an executive leadership coach. During her time at Berkeley, she made her mark in many ways to advance educational opportunities for executives and working professionals.
As a result, EMBA students at UC Berkeley benefited from the addition of electives in areas such as finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship; experiential learning immersions; and innovations in career development.
Breen received her undergraduate degree with a major in economics and government from Harvard University and her MBA from New York University. With her MBA in hand, she joined American Can Company as a financial analyst.
After working with consulting companies, the consulting firm of what was then Coopers & Lybrand hired her. She spent most of her consulting career at Accenture, serving as managing director, financial services, before she entered higher education. She led change management projects, managed operations for a group of consultants, and also developed and delivered a course on change for Accenture.
“Jamie has had such an impressive career,” says Desiderio. “We at EMBAC are very fortunate to know her and deeply appreciate her and her accomplishments.”
THE HONOR ROLL
The council announces the Bud Fackler Award winner at its annual conference. The list of past winners includes the following outstanding leaders.
1987 / Bud Fackler,
University of Chicago
1988 / Herbert (Pete) Lyons,
University of Houston
1989 / Tom Ference,
1990 / Ernie Scalberg,
University of California at Los Angeles
1992 / Chuck Hickman,
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
1993 / Ed Wilson,
1995 / Susan Bunker,
University of Colorado
1996 / Kathryn Carlson,
University of Minnesota
Georgia State University
1998 / Norm Berman,
New York University
1999 / George Abraham,
University of New Hampshire
2000 / Martin Rapisarda,
2001 / Penny Oslund,
University of North Carolina
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2002 / Dave Poole,
Pepperdine University and Chapman University
2003 / Marci Armstrong,
Southern Methodist University
2004 / Graduate Management Admission Council®
2005 / Cathy Molony,
University of Pennsylvania
2006 / Michael Saewitz,
2007 / Maury Kalnitz,
first Executive MBA Council managing director
2008 / George Bobinski,
2009 / Anne Herbert,
Helsinki School of Economics
2010 / John Fraser,
University of Iowa
Patty Keegan, University of Chicago
2011 / Maria-Eugenia Marin,
IE Business School
2012 / Beatrix Dart,
University of Toronto
2013 / Brad Vierig,
University of Utah
2014 / Gonzalo Freixes, UCLA
2015 / Louise Kapastka,
University of Washington
2016 / Barbara Millar,
University of Virginia
2017 / Nicole Tee, Nanyang Technological University
2018 / Karin Wiström, Stockholm School of Economics
2019 / Bernadette (Bernie) Birt, University of Pennsylvania
2020 / Elmer Almachar, Northwestern University
2021 / Sylvia Haas, UC Irvine
2022 / Matthew Gibb, ESSEC Business School
2023 / Jamie Breen, University of California, Berkeley
Voice of winners
Bud Fackler winners share their perspectives on EMBAC
Gonzalo Freixes, UCLA
Barbara Millar, University of Virginia
Louise Kapastka, University of Washington
Nicole Tee, Nanyang Technological University
Karin Wiström, Stockholm School of Economics
Bernadette (Bernie) Birt, University of Pennsylvania
Elmer Almachar, Northwestern University
Sylvia Haas, UC Irvine
Matthew Gibb, ESSEC Business School
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
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.
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
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.