I was already sold on the Fuqua community as I entered the throes of MBA admissions last fall. But one looming—and important—question remained: as a gay male from Southern California, would I have to put this aspect of my identity off to the side when I headed to North Carolina? Or even hide it?

Lucky for me, the answer ended up being a large “NO” in all respects, and I discovered this by attending The Duke MBA LGBT Weekend.

What to Expect at LGBT Weekend

Every year FuquaPride (Fuqua’s LGBT network) and Fuqua Admissions host a special weekend to provide prospective students an opportunity to learn more about Fuqua and the admissions process, as well as general life as an LGBT student. While the weekend offers plenty of more traditional ways to learn about Fuqua—class visits, meetings with Admissions and Career Management Center (CMC) representatives, even an optional interview—the real value comes from ample opportunities to meet current LGBT students and alumni through numerous panels and networking events.

When I visited last December as part of LGBT Weekend, we even received VIP treatment from two venerable Fuqua institutions—Fuqua Friday and FuquaVision. By the end of the weekend, I was not only sold on the supportive Team Fuqua spirit, but I also was excited to join an active and vibrant LGBT community.

A Supportive Community for LGBT Students

Fuqua students, staff and alumni at the 2014 ROMBA conference in San Francisco
Fuqua students, staff and alumni at the 2014 ROMBA conference in San Francisco

Now that I’m currently enrolled, I can only confirm and expand upon how fantastic Fuqua is for LGBT students. FuquaPride has given me an immediate group of best friends and even second-year student mentors as I jump into a new world of classes and recruitment. Regular events we hold, such as trivia nights, bar crawls, and the North Carolina Pride Parade Watching party, attract a wide assortment of student allies.

Even last year, nearly 300 students and staff members attended our annual Drag Show, including our own Dean Russ Morgan, who served as a judge. FuquaPride also receives a huge amount of support from our CMC for Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA), who holds an annual LGBT MBA conference that attracts nearly 1,500 students and recruiters every year. And if you like rankings, Fuqua also participates in the annual Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge, which ranks LGBT inclusiveness at top business school, receiving top “Gold” status in 2015.

Come Visit and See for Yourself

Choosing an MBA program is not an easy process, and every current student will tell you how important it is to find the right fit. If you think Fuqua might be the perfect place for you, come visit us in December at the 2015 LGBT Weekend. The deadline for applying to is November 2. See you soon!