February 19, 2020 • By UCI Paul Merage School of Business
The UCI Paul Merage School of Business is pleased to announce a new scholarship fund—the Keith and Michelle Boothroyd LEADership Award—gifted by alumni Keith (Economics ’92, FEMBA ’96) and Michelle (Social Ecology, ’93) Boothroyd. Their $250,000 pledge, which is partly a legacy gift, is a celebration of the couple’s commitment to the School and Keith’s role as Vice Chair of the Dean’s Leadership Circle (DLC). The undergraduate scholarship will be awarded annually to the President of the Leadership Experience and Development for Success (LEADS) program. This year, co-presidents Ashley Chen and Hannah Cooper were awarded the scholarship at a LEADS workshop held Jan. 15.
“LEADS is truly a unique program,” said Keith. “I continue to be inspired by LEADS students, and this is a great opportunity to give to a program that will touch student lives for generations to come.”
The Merage School LEADS program is open to business undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 and higher interested in developing their professional skills. Students learn about networking, personal branding, and other “soft skills” that will help students become successful in their new careers.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude for the generous scholarship that Keith and Michelle Boothroyd have awarded me, Hannah, and the future leadership of Merage LEADS,” said Chen. “I am honored to be one of the first beneficiaries of this award and I hope this inspires future members of this program to sign up, show up, follow up, and step up and invest in their leadership and communication skills.”
Keith and Michelle were married while they were undergraduate students at UCI and have remained in the area ever since. Keith was recruited for a position at McDonnell Douglas, an aerospace company that later merged with Boeing while he was an undergrad at UCI and later transitioned to Edwards Lifesciences, where he serves as Sr. director of finance and celebrates his 20th anniversary with the company this year. The Edwards Lifesciences matching gift program allows him to match his donations dollar for dollar, which helps accelerate the funding of the scholarship.
Keith, the incoming Vice Chair for the DLC, has spoken to LEADS students regarding proper interview techniques. He led the workshop “The Key to Interviewing with Finesse,” where he shared his insight and perspective as a frequent interviewer at Edwards. In spring 2019, Keith hosted LEADS students at Edwards, where many of them got a chance to speak about the positive impact the program has had in their lives.
“I was honestly touched by what I heard and impressed with what they are able to learn in the program,” he explained. “It’s developing them into people that are able to communicate more effectively, build relationships, and network. I felt inspired to want to do more for them.”
Keith, who played on the UCI Men’s Volleyball team, also remains active with UCI Athletics. He is a season ticket holder to all UCI Men’s Volleyball games and has hosted the team at Edwards for a lunch, tour and panel discussion with UCI alumni who work at Edwards in different functional disciplines.
Keith and Michelle have fond memories of the time they spent on campus at UCI and are grateful to be in a position now to give back in a meaningful way.