What does a lifelong commitment to one’s alma mater look like? Ask the Mand family. Their dedication to the McIntire School and the University of Virginia provides a clear picture of unwavering loyalty spanning two generations.
Marty Mand and his sons, Greg, Michael, and Brian (A&S ’94), all graduated from UVA, with Greg and Michael choosing to attend the Commerce School. Proud that they decided to follow in his footsteps and come to Charlottesville without his prompting, his sons also modeled themselves on their father’s generosity in choosing to give back to McIntire with notable regularity.
And what was it that originally motivated the senior Mand to support the Commerce School? Marty says with a laugh that he just thought it was the natural thing to do: “That’s the best way I can put it. I thought it was normal that you would give to your school.”
Leading by Example
A few decades after completing his studies at UVA, Marty began to give back with his time by periodically returning to the Commerce School to share his professional experiences with students.
He recalls how his involvement first ramped up at McIntire in the early 1980s, after Dean Bill Shenkir formed the McIntire Advisory Board and reached out to ask him to be one of its original members. He says Shenkir and the faculty were doing such great work that he felt compelled to help them attain their many programmatic goals. Marty’s engagement increased further in 1984, when Shenkir asked him to serve as the second Chair of the Advisory Board, a position he held for two years.
With his increased participation, he felt that giving was “certainly appropriate.”
He stayed on as a board member until 1995, a year after his youngest son, Brian, graduated from the College.
Despite leaving the Advisory Board many years ago, Marty continues to give to McIntire—and without constraints. “It’s just the way I am. I don’t put restrictions on gifts I make so that it goes to wherever it’s determined to be most needed,” he says.
Having long been a Cornerstone Society member—he has also planned an estate gift to the Commerce School—and in making annual investments in the School, Marty, through his steady generosity, has served as an inspiration to Greg and Michael. All told, the three Comm School grads represent a combined 87 years of support among them.
“My own giving has been motivated in large part by the example my dad has set with his support of McIntire and the future of business education over so many years,” says Greg. “He’s demonstrated for me the importance of continuing to give back to a place that played such an important role in his and my life.”
Michael echoes his brother’s sentiments: “In addition to wanting to support a school that was personally formative for me, I’m influenced—as with so many other things—by the model my dad has set.”
Their enduring dedication has proven substantive in helping McIntire to reach its goals through the successful outcomes of the School’s crucial Annual Fund.
Perhaps Marty’s professional achievements may have had something to do with two of his sons finding their way to McIntire, but while Marty insists the Comm School did an excellent job preparing him for his career, he admits that he wasn’t expecting to go into a business-related field.
“I was interested in the McIntire School principally because of the Accounting programs. I thought that would be a good background to have to be a tax lawyer,” he says. Having served in ROTC, he followed his time on the Grounds to the U.S. Navy’s former Naval communications station in Port Lyautey, Morocco, where he was required to lean on his undergraduate studies.
“Initially, I was a Communications Watch Officer, but a few months after I arrived, the Commanding Officer selected me to manage the recreational activities on the base as the Special Services Officer, as a new large recreation building was about to be opened on the base and he wanted someone to oversee such activities and to keep accurate accounting records. Because I was the only officer on the base with an accounting background, he selected me to head up the recreational activities.” Taking on those responsibilities, he discovered that he enjoyed managing and came to the realization that “a tax lawyer is an adviser—not a manager—and that’s what led me into the business world. I never even applied to law school.”
Upon completing his duties in the military, he joined the DuPont Company in its financial management training program. One of the highlights of his career at DuPont, when he was an Assistant Treasurer, was being assigned as the “Chief of Staff” to manage the company’s acquisition of the Conoco oil company. At the time, it was the largest acquisition in history ($7.8 billion).
“My experiences at UVA were a big factor in my career success at DuPont,” he says, explaining that when he left the company as Vice President and Treasurer, it led to a step up as Chief Financial Officer with Northern Telecom, which later became known as Nortel Networks.
Greg says that McIntire provided him with the strong business education that prepared him for his own professional journey. “Grounded in real-world learnings and practical skills at the Comm School, I was able to jump into my first job out of UVA feeling very prepared. Learning how to think strategically while also being able to execute at a detailed level were skills I acquired at McIntire and continue to serve me well to this day.”
The Comm curriculum also proved seminal to Michael, Chief Communications Officer for the leading talent and sports agency Creative Artists Agency. “I’m hugely grateful for the leadership opportunities that McIntire provided and the required collaborative work with other students. This background and the lessons I learned along the way have been key for me in my own career,” he says.
Michael feels that the excellence that defines the type of education he received is something that should be safeguarded and strengthened by the continued interest and interaction with the School by its graduates.
“The Comm School is an extraordinary place, and support from alumni can help keep it that way,” he says. “It’s a rare blend of academic rigor, practical learning, and plenty of opportunity to pursue individual interests—not to mention the first-class faculty and facilities that are ensured, in part, by financial support from donors. I’m excited for today’s students and future ones to have an experience that sets them up well for whatever path they choose.”
Greg says that as his McIntire experience was a foundational part of his personal and professional life, he too is motivated by the desire to see that type of impact continue for others. “I want current and future students to have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a McIntire education like I did. I hope that my support serves as an inspiration to others to continue to support the School. In addition, I love that McIntire continues to embrace innovation and develop new classes and programs for students that are relevant to the world of business today.”
They also remain motivated to stay involved in the success of the School as active members of the community. Greg explains that it goes beyond financial support: “I’m always eager to find ways to support McIntire, whether it’s serving as a mentor, speaking to a class, or helping a student connect to a job opportunity. Because of McIntire’s positive impact on my life, I want to continue my support of the School so that it remains a top undergraduate business program and that other students have the same opportunity that I did to receive a world-class business education.”
Michael says he’s delighted when current students and recent graduates reach out to him about career opportunities, especially when they are interested in positions in entertainment or sports. “It’s another rewarding way to stay connected to McIntire and, if we’re lucky, have more Comm School graduates join the fun.”
For Marty, his continued support may still feel “natural,” but he remains impressed by the many accomplishments McIntire has made in the years since he and his sons were students. “It’s made a lot of great strides,” he notes, including the growth of its graduate programs and global opportunities.
“I think it’s great that the School keeps expanding in new endeavors. I’m very proud of McIntire. Obviously, I thought my education was worth it if two of my sons went there and a third went to the College,” he says. While he was overjoyed that they chose to enroll in UVA, Marty says the ultimate reward was sharing the moment when each wore “the honors of Honor.” “It was quite emotional to see them walk down the Lawn to graduate—just like I did.”