Jones School announces Military Scholar Program

 Ivor Kristiansen

With competition for top MBA students fierce and support of those students an essential philanthropic priority, the Jones Graduate School of Business is focusing a portion of its recruiting efforts on United States veterans. This military student support encompasses scholarships, the Veterans in Business Association, and a network of alumni and community members.

As part of this greater initiative to recruit and support military veterans, the Jones School launched the Military Scholars Program. This program is the result of a group of generous alumni and community members who wanted to acknowledge, honor, and support those who proudly serve this country. The Military Scholars Program provides a scholarship and additional funding to cover tuition, fees and expected living expenses for selected applicants who wish to pursue their educational dream of obtaining the Rice MBA degree.

“We are excited to develop support for military veterans who are making a transition to civilian life after serving our country,” said Bill Glick, dean of the Jones School. “Through the military, they have developed tremendous leadership skills. Through the Rice MBA, we can help them translate these leadership skills to civilian roles. Houston and the Jones School are very pleased to welcome and support our veterans.”

The Jones School is proud to announce the first Military Scholar, Ivor Kristiansen, a former U.S. Naval officer. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with six years of experience, including a tour in Afghanistan, Kristiansen brings leadership and management skills to the Jones School. His position with Noble Energy in supply chain management has also made him proficient with global operations in the oil and gas industry.

“My experience in the Navy allowed me to develop significant competencies in leadership and management, but I knew there would be a competency gap as I entered the corporate community,” Kristiansen explained. “I’m looking to the Jones School to bridge that gap and give me more exposure to career opportunities. Rice was the best fit for my career goals and their attentiveness to the needs of veterans was clearly apparent. It’s the only school I applied to, and if I didn’t get in, I would’ve applied again next year. I can’t wait to get started.”

There are presently 15 veterans in the full-time program. Over the next few years, the Jones School has committed to raising $5M towards military student support and to enrolling a robust 10 percent veteran population in the full-time class.

Executive Director of Admissions Melissa Blakeslee credits veterans for raising the bar. “The military veterans who come to the Jones School are able to share their unique experience and perspective both in and out of the classroom. Their level of involvement in both clubs and classes leads to the recruitment of top candidates.”

Continuing with its commitment to serving veterans, the Jones Graduate School of Business will host former Governor Tom Ridge April 16. Details on the event will be forthcoming.

To learn more about supporting veterans' education through Rice University or to contribute toward the effort, please contact Rachel Fleck, director of development, at 713-348-4262 or