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Mary Cohron: Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Photo of Mary Cohron, EMBA’88

When Mary Cohron, EMBA’88, received her degree from Owen Graduate School of Management, she was one of only eight women in her class of approximately 50. “Back in 1988 there weren’t that many women in top-tier business schools, and Vanderbilt took a chance on me,” Cohron said.

She credits Vanderbilt for many of the opportunities she had in her career, and her gratitude led her to give back through scholarship support to help others realize the rewards of an Owen education. Cohron established a charitable remainder trust, a type of planned gift that allows her to receive annual income with a payment rate that exceeds most yields on bank and money market accounts.

“It’s a win-win,” Cohron said. “Vanderbilt has the full benefit from the donation, and I benefit from it for the rest of my life.”

After completing her degree, she continued her career in banking in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and was eventually asked to serve as founding president of a new local bank. She knew there were others in the area with similar backgrounds, and at the time it was a novel idea for a woman to sit at the helm of a bank. She was told much later that her Vanderbilt degree gave her an edge.

Cohron is a member of the Owen Alumni Board and is on campus regularly. She has the opportunity to observe the quality of the environment, programs and students of her alma mater; and she is passionate about alumni understanding the value of their contributions.

“We all like to invest in things that are positive and growing, and Vanderbilt is something that every alumnus would be proud of. It’s a great investment.”

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