Each year, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School recognizes two students for the exceptional leadership they have demonstrated during their time here. One of these students comes from the MBA program, while the other comes from the undergraduate BBA program. This year, the Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership goes to Jonathan Ross 24BBA and Nick Brown 24MBA.

The Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership is the highest honor a student graduating from Goizueta can receive. Funded by The Goizueta Foundation, the school awards this honor to two students who embody a love of learning; inspirational leadership; creative thinking; courage and commitment; transparency and trust; and excellence and integrity. The Goizueta Foundation established this endowed award at the business school in 2019 in honor of Roberto C. Goizueta on the school’s 25th Naming Anniversary.

Honoring the Award Recipients

“At Goizueta, we are preparing principled leaders to have a positive influence on business and society,” says Gareth James, John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School.

Students like Jonathan and Nick have left an enduring mark on Goizueta. I can’t wait to see the ways in which they will continue to thrive and leave their mark on the world.

Gareth James, John H. Harland Dean of the Goizueta Business School

“We are immensely grateful to The Goizueta Foundation for their commitment to preparing the future’s brightest minds to lead business forward,” says James.

Ross and Brown each receive a $25,000 award. They have also identified a faculty or staff member at Goizueta who had the greatest impact on them during their time as a student. Each faculty and staff selected receives a $5,000 honorarium.

“We are proud to support The Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership,” says Olga Goizueta Rawls, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The Goizueta Foundation. “I congratulate Jonathan and Nick on their many important contributions to the Goizueta Business School community and their peers. Today more than ever, business schools must prepare students to lead in an ever-changing world. Jonathan and Nick have shown they possess the leadership qualities to do exactly that.”

Jonathan Ross Honored for Strong Moral Compass and Putting People First

During his time in business school, Ross has embodied the values of Goizueta. He achieved academic distinction in his coursework and served as a fellow for the Business & Society Institute. He also exhibited superior strategic insights by taking first place at two intercollegiate case competitions. An inspirational leader, Ross is a sought-after mentor, sounding board, and teammate, who shares an authentic concern for others.

While serving as president of the Emory Impact Investing Group, Ross created a new way to educate potential new members about the different aspects of impact investing. This ultimately led to the creation of an ‘early analyst’ experience for students. Ross took it upon himself to create open lines of communication with the administration to help adapt to new policies and procedures implemented for students.

Ross also served as president of the Goizueta Consulting Group. He and fellow club leaders revamped the group’s website and resources to better serve members. He created networking nights, casing workshops, and a mentorship program.

“In every interaction, Jonathan considers the weight of his decisions against what is ethical, what is allowed, and most importantly, what is intended,” staff nominations noted. “What this means is that he asks questions that may result in an answer that he does not like or that creates more work for him. But his moral compass is always pointed in the direction of what is right.”

Strength in the Goizueta Community

Receiving such an award is an honor for Ross, who feels fortunate to have such a supportive and helpful community.

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected for the Robert C. Goizueta Award for Leadership,” Ross says.

During my time as a Goizueta student, I was incredibly lucky to have access to many mentors and resources. The students above and below me helped me to find my passions and community.

Jonathan Ross 24BBA

“Faculty like Professor Roberts have equipped me with skills and guided me toward resources,” Ross continues. “Staff members like Dean [Andrea] Hershatter have made Goizueta the incredible place that it is. They have all contributed deeply to my success and inspired me to give back to the community.”

Honorarium Recipient: Peter Roberts

In recognition for his mentorship, Ross selected Peter Roberts to receive one of this year’s $5,000 honorariums. Roberts serves as a professor of organization and management at Goizueta. He is also the academic director of specialty coffee programs at the Business & Society Institute.

Professor Roberts has taught me the importance of utilizing my studies at the intersection of business and society. He consistently pushed me throughout college and my recruitment to consider how I could remain involved with social impact at school and after graduation.

Jonathan Ross 24BBA

“I would not have the direction I do if it were not for Professor Roberts,” Ross says. “With that said, his impact extends far beyond my experiences. As one of the founders of Goizueta’s Start:ME program and an internationally recognized supporter of the sustainable coffee industry, he has embraced impact and business and used his faculty to help hundreds of students do the same.”

Nick Brown Rises to the Challenge and Helps Students Succeed

There was never a doubt that Nick Brown knew how to take on a challenge. With a military background guiding him, Brown served as president of the Finance Club at Goizueta. There, he implemented improvements to the recruiting process, doubling the amount of investment banking interns from the previous year. By uncovering issues in the recruitment process, Brown created a more balanced evaluation criteria to help students succeed.

“Nick has always stepped up into roles and responsibilities to help his classmates,” fellow student Harman Lindsey 24MBA says. “Coming out of the military, Nick was very much behind a lot of civilian peers to start. That never stopped him from stepping up and being ready to assist and help his classmates.”

As an active member in the Finance and Veterans Clubs, fellow students appreciated his honest advice. “Nick’s character is unwavering,” Goizueta student Patrick Forrestal 24MBA says. “As a Marine, he learned to always stand for that which is right. He carries that ethos with him to this day.”

Sharing the Honor

Receiving this award is a momentous accomplishment for Brown who wishes to share this honor with everyone who helped him along his journey.

Receiving the Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership is an extraordinary honor. It underscores the values and vision that Roberto C. Goizueta exemplified for Emory’s business community.

Nick Brown 24MBA

“This recognition is deeply meaningful,” Brown says. “It connects my journey to the legacy of an individual who profoundly shaped our institution. I share this honor with my supportive family, fellow students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Marines I have served with. They have all greatly influenced my development. This award is a testament to the high standards of integrity and leadership we uphold at Goizueta Business School.”

Honorarium Recipient: Ken Keen

Brown recognized Lieutenant General USA (Ret.) Ken Keen, associate professor in the practice of organization and management and associate dean for leadership, as the faculty member who most impacted his MBA journey.

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Keen’s dedication to developing principled leaders to have a positive influence on business and society inspires all of us at Goizueta. His steadfast support for veterans and his mentorship have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth.

Nick Brown 24MBA

“His guidance has taught me to effectively apply the skills and experiences from my military service and MBA education in meaningful ways as I embark on this new chapter of my career.”

Find out how Goizueta Business School is preparing principled leaders to have a positive influence on business and society.

Learn more about the meaningful work of The Goizueta Foundation.