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Apr 2016

Standing with Duke Fuqua and UNC Kenan-Flagler Against HB2

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Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua's 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua’s 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

We at Reaching Out MBA want to express our support and solidarity for our schools in North Carolina  in the wake of the passage of House Bill 2. We know that the passage of HB2 is damaging, but we want to stand in strength with our students, leaders, and clubs at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 "Ask A Queer" event.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 “Ask A Queer” event.

Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club have each spoken out against the anti-LGBT legislation, noting that #WeAreBetterThanThis. We know, and our students know, that laws like this are not what North Carolina is about. Below are the public statements from Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club.


Statement from FuquaPride and its Allies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:

FuquaPride, the Duke MBA LGBT network, in conjunction with Fuqua’s student government, the MBA Association, as well with our allies in the MBA Association of Women in Business and the Black and Latino MBA Association, is deeply troubled by North Carolina’s regressive HB2 law. Today, we publicly reconfirm our commitment to growing and maintaining the Fuqua value of Collective Diversity that keeps “Team Fuqua” special and a transformative experience for its members. The installation of a gender neutral bathroom, the success of all FuquaPride events (including the sold-out annual drag show), and the prioritizing of LGBT admissions efforts are proof to the inclusive and thriving environment for LGBT students at Fuqua and of our school’s support. This law will not change that.

We can’t change this legislation tomorrow, but we do have the power – through our hearts and our actions – to send a signal today to North Carolina that as members of Team Fuqua and other leading MBA programs #WeAreBetterThanThis.


As student representatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we condemn the actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to pass House Bill 2 into law. HB2 intentionally excludes the LGBT community and veterans from statewide anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation, and prohibits and nullifies any local law or ordinance that provides such protections. Passing this law egregiously erodes civil rights protections, endangers some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and harms the reputations and cohesion of our state, local governments, and valued institutions.

The proponents of this bill invented a moral panic out of whole cloth, depicting transgender individuals as predators intent on accessing bathrooms to assault women and children. Not only is there no record of any such thing ever occurring, but transgender people are often put in serious danger when forced to use facilities conflicting with their gender identity.

We applaud the major employers in our state that have staked out clear positions against HB2. However, we have severe concerns that the law will make it impossible for our top-ranked school to continue attracting the best students, faculty, and staff. HB2 is rapidly wearing away our state’s global reputation as a beacon of growth and innovation. As a public institution of North Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s reputation will likewise suffer among prospective students, the companies that recruit our graduates, and the international business community.

Our leaders’ actions place North Carolina wholly on the wrong side of history. We choose to stand by the core values of our school: excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, and so we implore the General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconvene and cooperate to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination act that respects, values, and protects all of North Carolina and our people.

Susan Lawrence Hedglin, President of the MBA Student Association

Jonathan Aronoff, Vice President for Diversity

on behalf of:

MBA Student Association Executive Council

Association of Minority Business Students

MBA@UNC LGBTQ Interest Group

Pride Club

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Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jonathan Aronoff

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs.  Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.


Jonathan is a member of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Class of 2017. He previously led the corporate and foundation fundraising team at the Council for Economic Education, where he also built the major gifts program and established the Vantage Point: Real World Perspectives on the Economy annual symposium. Prior, Jonathan held other positions in non-profit development, primarily in research and data management for the Women’s Refugee Commission. He began his career teaching Art History in Dallas Public Schools and managing an after-school college readiness program for elite track athletes in NYC. As a proud member of the Executive Committee for J Street NYC from 2013 to 2015, Jonathan engaged Senators and members of Congress to advocate for a strong U.S. role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution. He graduated from The New School with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, Concentration in Economics. Jonathan and his partner Vincent Cheung enjoy cooking together, road trips, and competing for their dog Raffi’s affection.

What made you consider business school?

I’m eager to gain the foundational business education, strengthen my network, and further develop my leadership skills to transition to the private sector. I was inspired by some extraordinary MBAs who showed me that I could realize my passion for business while contributing to the community just as much as through a career in non-profit.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I already know these are going to be two of the best and most intense years of my life, during which I’m going to build lifelong relationships. I’m very excited to take part in my school’s new Energy concentration, take on real-world projects in finance and strategy consulting, and work with the UNC Pride Club to leverage partnerships across student groups. 

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Paul O’Neill, former Chairman of the RAND Corporation and Chairman & CEO of Alcoa – first learned from him about the value of transparency, how business expertise can be harnessed to contribute to the public sector in unique and powerful ways, and the importance of digging deeper and speaking up even when you’re expected to keep quiet.   Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States and former CEO of Planet Out – a visionary and inspiration who, among other things, taught me that I didn’t need to be wary of engaging the LGBT community in my professional life. That doing so wouldn’t distract from my achievements or talents, especially if I applied the same passion, skill, and leadership to everything I set out to do.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
If I look deadly serious, I’m probably joking.

What did you doing during the summer before you started business school?
My summer was business school and it was fantastic! Along with 150 of my classmates, I took early classes in Finance, Accounting, and Statistics and had an awesome time exploring North Carolina.

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