Founded in 1977 by Merrill J. Bateman, the management society was established as an organization of alumni as well as friends of BYU with a desire for high ethical standards. Brian Dixon, current chairman of the management society, says that Elder Bateman "saw [the society] as an opportunity to extend the on-campus experience for graduates and to create a greater impact of the school on the communities in which the society members worked and lived. He saw it as having a 'lifting influence' on graduates and on business persons in general." Now in its thirtieth year, the society boasts more than six thousand members in forty U.S. cities and ten countries across the world. It operates through chapter meetings as well as general training programs and an annual leadership conference. While providing the society's presidents and board members with an opportunity to network with one another, the leadership conference also allows them to grow stronger in their convictions and family relations. Bill Chapman, the chair-elect of the society's international steering committee, says, "This conference is well organized, well presented, and brings out the best in me in all ways. My wife comes and we meet some of our children to attend general conference. Last fall we also got to meet some of the families from my mission and one of my companions with whom I taught some of these families. These are memories that last." The goals of the management society are fourfold: (1) to help individuals with networking and job connections; (2) to help career development by updating and enhancing skills; (3) to support the Marriott School in its educational and outreach pursuits; and (4) to participate in community service. Through these goals, Chairman Dixon says, "We have helped people connect to job situations. We have helped people grow their skills. Thousands of dollars annually are generated for scholarships that usually stay at local universities." According to Brother Chapman, "Over $40,000 a year is given out in scholarships with little publicity or fanfare. But the students affected are deeply grateful and equally deserving, usually nominated and/or selected with input from local institute directors." The BYU Management Society has become a driving force for good in the world. Its power extends to greater circles when viewed in relation to its membership. Bill says, "BYU is unique in the number of its graduates who have lived in a foreign country and learned a foreign language and customs. They love their missions, but return home and are left with a soft spot in their hearts for a land left long ago and people who have faded from their memory but are not forgotten. I believe with business growing internationally, we have a chance to help reconnect people. What could have more meaning than that?"
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