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Alumni Span Globe To Raise Money for Masks

Apr 29, 2020
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It began as an individual effort to donate masks to a few classmates and professors in China. From there, the idea began to grow.

Maryland Smith alum Luhan Tang, MBA ’19, expanded the initiative into the UMD4Masks Campaign, wanting to help address the shortage of face masks faced by frontline medical workers as they worked to treat patients and contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

After connecting with Dr. Lydia Tang, from the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Luhan learned that UMMC anticipated a shortage of 80,000 masks by the end of April. She immediately teamed up with four other Terps to create the UMD4Masks team. The group contacted several mask manufacturers with FDA certification to create a process for raising funds to help bridge the supply gap.

The campaign launched on April 7 in China and quickly became a global initiative, reaching across the entire Smith community. UMD4Masks received support from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and from Maryland Smith’s Full-Time MBA and EMBA program.

By April 10, the team abroad had raised funding for 10,000 masks. It expects to export a second batch of 10,000 masks soon. To date, the campaign has received nearly $10,000 in donations from 68 different donors.

In the United States, Amit Puri, MBA ’19, launched a Gofundme page to further support the UMD4Masks campaign. The page fund has raised more than $2,500 in donations and is still growing.

–By Virginia Pierrie, a 2021 MBA Candidate and a Dean’s Fellow. Pierrie is originally from Raleigh, N.C., and worked for four years in corporate communications for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York before coming to Maryland Smith.

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The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.