Why We Give

George Moker, MBA ’03, talks about the CARES program at Suffolk through the Dr. George G. Moker & Family Scholarship Fund.
The Moker Family

The Moker Family

George Moker, MBA ’03 was an assistant professor of practice at the Suffolk University - Sawyer Business School until 2023 and is a member of the SBS Dean’s Cabinet. His daughter, Brittany Leary, CPA, MBA, BSBA '14, MBA '15 is a partner at ADC, an accounting firm in Newburyport, MA.

Together with her siblings, Bryce, BSBA ’14, MBA ‘18, and Jason, BSBA ’17, Andrew, MBA ’21, Brittany has followed in her father’s footsteps of supporting scholarship aid and the Suffolk CARES program at Suffolk through the Dr. George G. Moker & Family Scholarship Fund.

The two spoke recently about why they established the fund and how their fellow alums can get involved in it too.

Why establish the family fund?

George: The fund was a way of giving back and helping students be able to afford higher education. Initially, the fund was in support of scholarship aid. After meeting (Associate Dean) Amada McGrath, it was clear that there was a need to benefit many students. While I was aware of CARES, Amanda shared the depth of the program, convincing me that this was the best place for our family endowment. From a professor's standpoint, I saw certain instances that came up where students experienced hardship, most of it unforeseen. So, beyond helping our students, I felt it was important to help on the financial side.  

I found it compelling that an endowment for CARES would impact more students, rather than one or two scholarships. I talked to my wife, Laura, and my family about the fund’s purpose and they were interested. Both of our family pledges are now focused on CARES, providing a seed base of over $100,000 to help cover the cost of as many micro-grants as possible.

When you were a Suffolk student, did you see that kind of urgent need in your classmates?

Brittany: Yes, and there's that common misconception, too, that surviving through higher ed is just tuition and getting financial aid. It's more than that. I felt very fortunate, but I had friends who needed help beyond that. That really drove me to donate to the fund. I saw how far a small amount of money could go. 

When establishing the scholarship, did you deliberate a lot over the criteria for students who would receive it?

George: I didn't want to just do a general use scholarship. I was so invested Suffolk University -  our family has seven degrees, I committed 17 years to the University...I wanted something that acknowledged how much our family commitment to this institution, and also help set the family up for them to continue, when I'm no longer able to. But the key driver was addressing a broader need to help as many students as possible. CARES is able to fund 30 microgrants and I want to get to a point where we're funding more. As current pledges are in excess of $100,000, having other alumni jump in and help CARES will get us there much faster.  

What are your hopes for the fund in the long term, 10 or 20 years from now?

Brittany: To reach as many students as possible.
George: To expand the CARES programming where it's needed, where it directly benefits our students unforeseen financial circumstances during their academic career.

Beyond philanthropy, talk about how else your family has stayed so engaged with Suffolk.

Brittany: We have hired 22 Suffolk interns and full-time graduates to date...and I just interviewed another this morning. I was a judge in SBS-101, as well as various co-curricular competitions, and taught two career courses.
George: Our family enjoys being involved in Suffolk University. Bryce worked at Suffolk in ITS before landing his current role. As a student, Bryce participated in our internal case competitions, leading to him becoming an SBS-101 judge, student mentor, and instructor in information systems in the business school. Jason participated in competitions and SBS-101, as a judge, as well as joining me in class to share career experiences. The family has shared its networks with current students to help gain a perspective of their futures. I come at this from a unique perspective of sharing practical experience in the classroom, identifying opportunities for current students and graduates, as well as continuing to engage with my fellow alumni. Our family enjoys being involved, from the total Suffolk experience perspective.  

How can your fellow alumni support this work and the fund?

George: One thing I’ve learned, through the various programs I led, small investments go a long way. I’m calling on alumni to become more engaged, as the needs in higher education could not be more pressing. My experience with my children, and the graduates I employed over the years exemplifies the strength of Suffolk University. We collectively are making a difference, but this is just the beginning of becoming a stronger community.
Brittany: George was so involved in getting alumni to participate in SBS-101, which allowed us alums to not only see what undergrads are doing, but also help to connect with them and become mentors. We've seen how alumni who participate in that program and others start getting more involved in students' lives.

Support the Moker & Family Scholarship Fund today, or contact the Suffolk advancement office to learn more about how a family fund like the Moker Fund can make a big impact on Suffolk students.