The Paul Merage School of Business Proposes the Joanna Ho Endowed Fund

By The UCI Paul Merage School of Business

Irvine, CA - (November 06, 2023) -

Joanna Ho began her journey in higher education as a first-generation college student and the only female in her MBA class at National Taiwan University. Since then, in her 37-year career at UCI and the Paul Merage School of Business, she has impacted countless lives with her commitment to her students and research.

In recognition of Professor Ho’s contributions, the Paul Merage School of Business is seeking to establish the Joanna Ho Endowed Fund. This endowment will honor her legacy by creating opportunities for the next generation of business leaders in perpetuity.


A Generous Legacy

Over the course of her career, Professor Ho has been a critical contributor to expanding the Merage School’s global reach while ensuring students receive a world-class, personalized education. Her passion for leading MBA international residents has helped maintain a thriving alumni network and provided graduates with industry connections around the world.

“I’ve learned a tremendous amount from traveling with our MBA students to visit companies in many countries throughout Asia, Europe, and South America.” Professor Ho said, “Since each residential lasted a week, I had the opportunity to get to know many students personally. Because of my international background, I was particularly passionate about our international programs and collaborations.”


Creating New Role Models

The Joanna Ho Endowed Fund Scholarship will be awarded to a first-generation college graduate pursuing their full-time MBA either domestically or internationally. Ideal candidates have overcome adversity while pursuing their educational and career goals or have demonstrated a commitment to community service and leadership activities that create inclusive environments.

On the importance of encouraging these pioneering students, Professor Ho states, “MBA degrees often lead to higher earning potential and better career options. Supporting first-generation college graduates from families where higher education is not the norm would help reduce socio-economic disparities. Their success stories can establish them as role models and encourage future first-generation students to pursue higher management education.”


Seeking Support

Alumni, friends, and community members who would like to honor Joanna’s legacy can join the decorated professor in changing the lives of domestic and international students. The Endowment Fund aims to raise $200,000*, initially providing $9,000 each year to a scholarship recipient, and is now open to gifts that will collectively support these aspiring industry changemakers.

“Together, we will cultivate skilled professionals and future business leaders whose success stories will motivate future first-generation students to pursue higher management education.”

If you are interested in making a gift of any size in honor of Professor Joanna Ho, or have any questions about ways to give (e.g., send a check), please reach out to the Paul Merage School of Business Director of Development, Kevin Crabb at  You can also visit this link to give directly:


*Your gift to the First-Gen FTMBA Endowed Fund to support the creation of the Joanna Ho Endowed Fund may be tax-deductible. Please consult your tax advisor. In the unlikely event that the minimum for establishing a named endowment ($50,000) is not reached by November 30, 2028, then all funds raised in this campaign will be used as endowment support for the same purpose.

About The Paul Merage School of Business

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD, specialty masters and undergraduate business degrees – that prepare business leaders for our digitally driven world. Through our programs, students acquire the exceptional ability to grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, digital information technology and collaborative execution. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to rank consistently among the top five percent of all business programs worldwide through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close relationships with both individual business executives and global corporations. Additional information is available at