Peabody Reflector

Madden scholarship is a family affair

by Cindy Thomsen | Giving, Summer 2010 | No Comment | |

Brothers John, BS’88, and Steven Madden, BS’91, credit their successful careers to the training they received in human and organizational development at Peabody. That’s why they, along with their father, John P. Madden, established the Madden Family Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit an undergraduate student majoring in human and organizational development (HOD) at Peabody.

“One of the biggest challenges in business today is understanding the people you work with and how they react to different situations,” says Steven, president of Ashburn Chemical Technologies in Houston. “Human development is, in my opinion, the application of managing and interacting with people in the workplace. My work mirrors what I learned in earning my degree.”

John, who is the managing director of Falcon Investment Advisors in Dallas, was in on the ground floor of the HOD program—a member of the second class.

“There was a very supportive administration and a very caring faculty,” he says. “I had an internship my senior year that exposed me to the financial markets. That led to my first job at Bankers Trust in New York.”

The brothers say that the real impetus for creating the scholarship came when they realized the positive impact their education had on their lives. They encourage other Peabody graduates to follow in their philanthropic footsteps and to consider how their classroom experiences impact their lives today.

“I want people to think about their success and remember the skills that helped them achieve it,” Steven says. “Those interpersonal skills—how you speak and how you listen—are part of the foundation we were given in human development.”

“Giving to Vanderbilt was an easy decision because of the quality and caliber of the students, the alumni, the administration and the faculty,” John says. “We just really wanted to give someone else the chance to have the same experiences we did.”

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