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The University of Alabama

SEC MBA Case Competition Comes to Tuscaloosa Next Year

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The inaugural Southeastern Conference MBA Case Competition at the University of Missouri wrapped up over the past weekend and while The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School MBA case team did not win its division, it brought the home court advantage to Tuscaloosa for next year.

“At the advisers’ business meeting, six SEC schools put their hats in the ring to host the 2014 SEC MBA Case Competition,” said Dr. Brian Gray, associate dean for the Manderson Graduate School. “After some discussion and deliberation, it was decided that the next host would be The University of Alabama.”

All 14 SEC schools competed in three divisions.

Gray said the Manderson team of Jon Chappell, Brittany Hovell, Mallory Meissner and Daniel Paul performed very well, but did not win their division and make it to the final round of three teams.  Florida finished in first place, followed by Arkansas in second and Texas A&M in third.

Paul, of Grove Hill, has accepted a position with Hewlett-Packard  in Chicago; Meissner, of Tuscaloosa, is headed for a position with Coca-Cola in Atlanta; Hovell, of Athens, accepted a position with PricewaterhouseCooper in Atlanta, and Chappell, of Birmingham, has accepted a job with Microsoft in Charlotte.

“It was a great experience, and Mizzou was an excellent host,” Gray said, adding that the Manderson Graduate School of Business, part of the Culverhouse College of Commerce, will begin planning this week for next year’s competition.

Each of the 14 SEC member universities sent a team of four MBA students to evaluate a real-time business case from event sponsor AT&T, create a proposal for the company and compete to identify the best solution. A panel of judges, including corporate executives and academicians, heard the proposed solutions and gave first, second and third-place awards, among other recognitions.

“The SEC MBA Case Competition is an exciting addition to the SECU menu as it is our first foray into the graduate level of studies,” said Torie Johnson, SECU executive director. “We are thrilled to be able to provide a forum for this type of education for our business students. And, we appreciate the support from across the University of Missouri campus for this event.”

Through its SECU academic initiative, the Southeastern Conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.

With approval from the SEC presidents and chancellors, the SEC made a three-year commitment to help launch and sustain the MBA Case Competition.

The competition was the first of its kind for the SEC.

“I congratulate Dr. Gray and the Manderson team for their great effort,’’ said Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce. “Competition in the SEC is as fierce in the classroom as it is on the field or on the court, and I look forward to bringing the MBA Case Competition to the Capstone.”

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Bill Gerdes, UA media relations, 205/348-8318
  • SOURCE: Dr. Brian Gray, Manderson Graduate School of Business,, 205/3348-8912