McCord Hall.

Fleischer Scholars program celebrates 13th annual reunion

Current and former scholars gathered with the Fleischer community to celebrate their personal and academic achievements.

Molly Loonam

In 2010, financier, entrepreneur, and real estate investor Morton Fleischer founded the Fleischer Scholar Foundation to assist economically disadvantaged students in graduating from college while encouraging them to invest their time and talent back into their hometown communities. On Nov. 4, Fleischer joined around 100 past and current scholars for the 13th annual Fleischer Scholars reunion on the ASU Tempe campus.

"It's a big deal that this program has been going on for so long," said Karen Stark, Fleischer Scholars program director, in her welcome speech. "It's an even bigger deal to see all of you here today, and it's beyond exciting to hear your stories. Thank you for sharing this with us today."

In his keynote address, Fleischer spoke on the importance of education, shared the foundation's origin story, and discussed the Student Wallet, a virtual library of over one million scholarships that allow students to easily locate and apply for financial support for postsecondary education opportunities. Josh Elizetxe (BS Computer Information Systems '13), an inaugural Fleischer scholar and 2023 W. P. Carey Young Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, helped develop the platform and accompanied Fleischer to the reunion event.

Rising juniors and seniors planning to graduate from an Arizona high school can apply to become a Fleischer Scholar. Accepted scholars attend a summer program to learn about academic and career opportunities; interact with current W. P. Carey students, faculty, staff, and alums; complete a free college course; and participate in virtual programming with staff and mentor support. High school students interested in applying are encouraged to submit their application by March 15, 2024.

"I'm proud to know all of you, and I'm proud to be a little part of your lives," Fleischer told attendees before ending his speech with a word of advice. "When preparation meets opportunity — that's luck. I'd suggest to you to keep getting prepared — and good luck!"

Several current and former scholars shared their stories with the group, highlighting how the Fleischer Scholar Foundation has helped them meet their academic and personal goals.

A Fleischer Scholar mentor for two summers, Morgan Pearson (BS Finance/BS Supply Chain Management/BA Business Global Politics/BA Business Health Care '24) says the program helped grow her leadership and mentorship skills, making her more likely to participate in class, apply for teaching assistant positions, and pursue internship opportunities.

"The Fleischer Scholars program gives so much not only to the scholars but also to the mentors, as it allows mentors to become a leader with patience, grace, and confidence," she said.

As a first-year student, Pearson was introduced to the supply chain group at financial services company KPMG by a past Fleischer mentor. She recently accepted a full-time position at the company as a supply chain advisory associate and looks forward to moving to Chicago for the role after graduation.

While participating in an entrepreneurship project during last summer's program, Zainab Abu-Gilal and Luna Mange, current first-year students at ASU, met and founded Zeliorism. This technology startup company aims to develop technological devices. The company aims to create a better and healthier environment, reduce paper waste, and support future student education.

First-year students Luna Mange and Zainab Abu-Gilal.

Abu-Gilal and Mange have always had a passion for business and applied to the Fleischer program in hopes of an interesting experience and to begin earning college credits.

"Little did I know this program was going to change my life and turn a business idea I once had years previously into reality," said Abu-Gilal. "I am very thankful to have indulged in an amazing program and would recommend it to many others!"

Mange says she never anticipated the program impacting her life so significantly.

"I recommend the Fleischer program for eager entrepreneurs and have been very fortunate to be a part of such a unique experience," she said.

The event concluded with a Kahoot activity covering ASU, Fleischer Scholarship, and pop culture trivia arranged by the Spirit of Fleischer club, an organization of former Fleischer Scholars and mentors.

"We wanted to keep scholars and mentors connected and provide more ASU-specific resources now that they are Sun Devils," said Pearson, executive vice president of the Spirit of Fleischer club.

The club aims to enhance the experiences of those within the ASU Fleischer Scholars community by presiding over Fleischer program events, orchestrating fun and engaging activities for club members, and providing professional development opportunities.

"Morton and Donna Fleischer have worked tirelessly with others in the community to fund and make the program possible for all the scholars in this community," said Stark. "We are so grateful to all our donors, the board, and those who have supported the Fleischer Scholars program."

Learn more about the Fleischer Scholars program.

Photo from left: Luna Mange and Zainab Abu-Gilal.

Latest news