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Feb 8, 2024

Resetting for 2024: All Scholars Welcome Back from Winter Break

By Merytt Haney, Class of 2024

On Friday, January 12, incoming Luther Hodges Scholars joined with upperclass scholars for dinner to celebrate the start of the 2024 spring semester. The Luther Hodges Scholars had the opportunity to hear special remarks from Dr. Paige Ouimet, Executive Director of the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise, and Dr. Mary Margaret Frank, Dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School. The evening provided an opportunity to engage in stimulating conversation and delightful fellowship.

The conversation began with Dr. Ouimet informing the scholars about the work that has been occurring at the Kenan Institute, specifically highlighting two initiatives of the Kenan Institute—the American Growth Project and The Grand Challenge. The Kenan Institute’s Grand Challenge is a fundamental problem that effects the U.S. economy in a multitude of ways with great consequence. This past year’s grand challenge was Workforce Disrupted: Seeking the Labor Market’s Next Equilibrium. Ouimet explained how there have been multiple push-and-pull factors that have led to workplace and workforce disruption. She explained how scholars can get involved in the work that professors and business leaders spearhead around the Grand Challenge. The Grand Challenge for 2024 presents the same opportunities for scholars to learn and get engaged with this aspect of the Kenan Institute’s work. This year’s challenge is Business Resilience: Navigating Global Uncertainty and Managing Risk.

The evening was lit up by Dean Frank’s discussion with us of her move to leadership of Kenan-Flagler and how the Luther Hodges Program reflects one of the key reasons that she took on the role. Dean Frank noted that one of her professional goals has always involved the public sector in the work she does with the private sector. She said that’s why she spent over 13 years with Veru Inc., formerly the Female Health Company and maker of a female condom. She worked to help take the company public. Dean Frank encouraged scholars to find a cross-sector mission to pour their passions into as she sees it [cross-sector collaboration] as the future of the business.

Overall, scholars had a wonderful time fellowshipping with each other and the program’s staff. We’re grateful for their ongoing support. We are looking forward to this year and the many developments to come.

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