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A Legacy of Leaders

Goolsby Leadership Academy celebrates a decade of excellence

Combining artistry with business acumen can be difficult, but alumna Danielle Georgiou has fused the two with the grace of a ballerina.

“Our scholars graduate with solid leadership skills, an appreciation for learning, and increased self-confidence that serves them well in their careers.”

Eight years ago she graduated in the Goolsby Leadership Academy’s first cohort with a degree in international business and French. Today she runs the thriving Danielle Georgiou Dance Group in Dallas.

“There has always been something special about dance and the arts for me,” she says. “With my Goolsby experience, I’ve been able to apply the tools, techniques, and knowledge in business, marketing, management, and finances to running my dance company.”

Established with an anonymous $2 million gift in honor of Distinguished Alumnus John Goolsby ’64 and his wife, Judy, the academy is a cohort-based program for outstanding College of Business students. Since its founding, it has helped prepare more than 250 business graduates for career success.

Goolsby Scholars have held leadership positions at Microsoft, BNSF Railway, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Lockheed Martin, among others, and more than 25 percent have continued their education at graduate or law schools.

“Our scholars graduate with solid leadership skills, an appreciation for learning, and increased self-confidence that serves them well in their careers,” says David Mack, academy director and College of Business assistant dean.

Example: Eric Ryan Pace ’06. Also a member of the first Goolsby cohort, he is a civilian strategist and adviser on the Pentagon Air staff.

“My peers were all top-notch professionals who had little time for developing or leading me,” he says. “Despite the long work hours and intimidating atmosphere, I had certain expectations for my co-workers and myself. I continuously sought mentorship and development opportunities, and I mentored young professionals in a new program for civil servants.”

In 2013 the Air Force’s director of strategic planning named Pace the Civilian of the Year.

Pace and other Goolsby graduates agree that the program’s impact extends beyond the tangible rewards of business success. Sending prepared leaders into the world benefits everyone.

“Goolsby taught me that success is empty unless it serves the greater community,” says Jaysen Lamb ’07, a graduate of the second cohort and president of Paladin Signs & Graphics. “It taught me to commit with passion and be a good steward. No one is successful in a vacuum.”

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