April Showers Bring … Mustaches?

This post was written by Jessica Harris and Amy Snyder – both first year MBA students, CASE Fellows, and the fantastic leads of this year’s “Stache Bash”.

April showers bring May flowers, but around Fuqua, April also brings mustaches. LOTS of mustaches. This year, these mustaches raised over $13,000 to support students pursuing summer internships in the social sector – almost TRIPLING the amount raised in 2010.

This was part of “Stache Bash” – a Fuqua tradition that brings a bit of fuzzy fun to recruiting season.

Through a light-hearted competition, students seek sponsorship to support their stache-growing efforts. The ‘staches support the CASE Summer Internship Fund (SIF), a matching fund that provides financial assistance to students pursuing summer internships in the nonprofit and public sectors.

Stache Bash is a great way to bring the student body together to support a unique aspect of Fuqua’s culture – students’ commitment to apply their skills to the social sector and make an impact. Donors (including other students, faculty, and family members) are encouraged to “give a day” of their summer salary to contribute to SIF.

This year’s Stache Bash kicked off April 4. Students were challenged to grow their ‘staches for three weeks, culminating in a final judging event during Fuqua Friday. Contestants had to check-in each Monday – sponsorships and a check-in photo were taken at this time. Over 80 male students registered for the event.

The largest fundraiser, FY Chris Helton, brought in over $1,500 for his ‘stache and was crowned “King of Stache Bash”. Chris had an amazing campaign strategy where he would corner potential sponsors in the Fuqua library, where there is nowhere to hide! The next runner up, FY Mike McCarthy, brought in over $900, including a large “Give a Day” donation of over $800. Third place went to SY David Phillips, who raised over $800 in donations AS WELL as winning the “Best in Show” Magnum P.I. Award.

Other awards included the “Junior High Award” (mustache made of no more than 14 hairs) – given to FY Matt Portner and the “Rollie Fingers Award” (most creative/innovative mustache) – given to Jim Wilson. Celebrity judges included Associate Dean Mike Hemmerich, MBAA President and VP Fallon Ukpe and Mark Stern, and top sponsors Alex Endeshaw, Jessica Harris, and Swarup Katuri. Dean Hemmerich upped the ante when he chipped in an additional $1,000 for the “Magnum P.I. Award”, conditional on audience participation for deliberation between the three amazing finalists – SY Dave Phillips, SY Ankur Seth, and FY Yacine Amrani.

Thank you to the entire Fuqua community for making this a successful campaign! We can’t wait to start planning for next year. Beware the unpredictable antics of the springtime ‘stache.


The Summer Internship Fund (SIF) is administered by the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE).  SIF enables first year Duke MBA-Daytime students to learn about the rewards and challenges of social sector management without making a significant financial sacrifice. In addition, the program enables organizations that otherwise could not afford to hire MBA student interns to benefit from students’ expertise.  Through the SIF, CASE has supported 113 students, distributed more than $345,000, and helped to further the mission of many nonprofit and government organizations.

Unfortunately, the Stache Bash cannot raise enough funds to support it all.  If you are interested in donating to the Fund, you can donate online using your credit card.