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Enhancing the Toolkit of Young Professionals Through the Robert and Lori Topp Business Scholarship

Robert Topp, ’81, completed his Master of Business Administration at Boise State University and is so fond of the College of Business and Economics (COBE) that he and his wife established the Robert and Lori Topp Business Scholarship as his gift to help future business professionals with their studies. Lori also completed her B.B.A. in Marketing at Boise State (COBE) in ’82. Robert and Lori elected to create charitable gift annuities during their lives which will eventually endow the business scholarship.

Robert, who first earned an engineering degree after his service in the United States Navy, joined the workforce with Ore-Ida in their Michigan plant. He was working on his MBA at Grand Valley State University as opportunities to advance in his career began to appear.

“Engineers with graduate degrees were technically proficient, but it appeared that they weren’t going to have the opportunities to advance that people with business degrees would have,” he said.

During their rapid expansion, Robert transferred to Ore-Ida in Boise where he would continue to pursue his MBA studies at Boise State.

Robert credits his education here with providing him the skillset to be successful in his professional career of operations management.

“Boise State had a great business school with all the credentials,” he says. “It was great to have a university in the local community that provided latitude for working professionals like me.”

Robert was working full-time while attending night and weekend classes. “There were times I had to travel for up to ten days at a time and the professors were willing to work with me to ensure that I was able to complete my assignments,” he said.

The Robert and Lori Topp Business Scholarship is designed to provide junior and senior students financial resources to complete their degrees in business and marketing. When he was younger, Robert promised himself that if he ever had the ability, he would establish a scholarship for students with the drive and determination to complete their business degrees.

“I want to enhance the toolkit these young professionals will have upon graduating so they can be as successful as I was,” he said.