UCLA’s upcoming centennial year is the perfect time to reflect on barriers the university has broken, doors it has opened, and breakthroughs yet to come. Alumni have seen the benefits firsthand — and they are paying it forward through their philanthropy.
A Graduate’s Giving
“I’m very grateful for my past and the opportunities that were given to me,” says Fritz Demopoulos, MBA ’97, whose experience at UCLA Anderson School of Management helped lead to success as a media entrepreneur and investor in Asia. Now he’s returning the favor, with added incentive: “I want to make the world a better place for my daughters, so that they have opportunities, too.”
In keeping with this aspiration, Demopoulos recently gave to advance women’s entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson, where he also serves as a speaker and entrepreneur-in-residence. His gift supports the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports; the annual Velocity Women’s Leadership Summit; and a student fellowship, which secured the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Graduate Scholars Match.
A Unique Career Path
The Demopoulos fellowship already has opened opportunities for inaugural recipient Samantha Smith, MBA ’19. After working as an investment risk analyst while launching her own company, BestVoiceoverGirl.com, Smith wanted to find a way to unite both interests in one career path.
Fortunately UCLA Anderson’s entertainment entrepreneurship focus, top-notch career center, and Los Angeles location were the perfect fit. And thanks to Demopoulos’s fellowship, which enabled Smith to accept the school’s offer, a career in new media is on her horizon — whether starting an entertainment technology company or innovating at an online streaming corporation.
A Bright Future Ahead
“I am loving L.A. and UCLA Anderson and can honestly say I haven’t been this happy in ten years,” Smith says. “For the first time in my life, I can pursue a version of my passion that is both technical and creative. I can’t wait to see where I end up post-graduation.”
Demopoulos knows how much students can grow at UCLA Anderson. His generosity will ensure that more future leaders get the chance.
Published December 2018