M7 Schools Launch Nepal Aid Drive

The donated funds will go to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Wong says the presence of fellow Wharton MBA student Andrew Towne at Everest Base Camp during the earthquake has brought Nepal’s disaster even closer to home for students. Towne was on an expedition to summit the mountain to raise money for Youth For Understanding, which runs international exchange programs.

“My first reaction to the earthquake was fear that it might destabilize the glacier under our feet—that a mighty crevasse might open up underneath us,” Towne writes on the YFU U.S.A. blog. “Very quickly, though, the threat from above became clear. We heard rumblings above us in all directions, and when I looked, I saw only a wall of snow a quarter mile high rushing toward us from the north. I assumed the fetal position behind a medium sized boulder, hoping it might act as a shield from any flying debris.”


Towne escaped with only a light coating of snow – the body of the avalanche had hit central base camp. He started helping to gather supplies such as sleeping bags and mattresses for the wounded. Then a doctor asked him to help set a patient’s broken femur. Then a man was brought in with both legs broken. “We saw both of his legs at right angles to where they should be,” Towne writes. “He received a heavy dose of pain medication and we wrapped both of his legs to two hiking poles, using sections of foam sleeping pad to insulate the legs from the poles and bandages.”

Towne on April 27 told his hometown Grand Forks Gazette that his expedition was cancelled, and he was planning to trek several days to an airstrip, fly to Kathmandu, and try to get back to the University of Pennsylvania in time to  double-graduate from Wharton and Penn Law on May 17.

Wharton MBA/JD student and mountaineer Andrew Towne - Youth For Understanding photo

Wharton MBA/JD student and mountaineer Andrew Towne – Youth For Understanding photo

On the YFU blog he expresses admiration for the global effort to aid Nepal. “I truly believe that international responses to tragedies like this get better as the world becomes smaller and people are better able to empathize with one another,” Towne writes.

Students at other business schools have also launched fundraising efforts to support Nepal. At the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, MBA students who traveled to Nepal last year with the school’s International Business Development program are leading a crowdfunding campaign, also on Tilt, aiming to raise $10,000.

It’s a very, very scary situation over there,” MBA student Jackie Laird says on a Haas blog. “We are trying to get funds there sooner rather than later.” Laird was among the school’s students who were in Nepal last June with the IBD program, working with a Nepali anti-sex-trafficking group. “Nepal was far worse than I expected, in terms of how destitute it is,” she says. “If that’s the way it was like in good times, I can’t imagine what it’s like now.”


At the University of Oxford Said Business School, strategy and innovation diploma student April Chapman has started a campaign to raise money for the World Vision charity, which is providing earthquake relief in Nepal. Chapman will use her own money, up to $20,000, to match donations from her fellow students.

“As soon as the news broke about the tragedy in Nepal, social media posts and emails within our group started flying to discuss what we could do to offer help,” Chapman says in a statement.

Christopher McKenna, Oxford Said’s academic director of the Strategy and Innovation program said, “The participants on the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation always create a strong network in the course and beyond. This remarkable team spirit is particularly evident this year in their collective aid following the earthquake in Nepal.”


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