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  February 15th, 2021 | Written by


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To get an idea of how important a supply chain management education has become to the industry, remember the words of “Deep Throat” to Bob Woodward, the then-young Washington Post reporter investigating the Watergate break-in.

“Follow the money.”

Let’s start with the $25,000 pledge that Gebrüder Weiss USA, a global freight forwarder with a core business of overland transport, air, and sea freight and logistics, made in November to Rutgers University Foundation to encourage diversity and ease financial burdens for students studying supply chain management (SCM). 

The gift supports the creation of the Gebrüder Weiss Supply Chain Leadership Scholarship for five years, through the academic year of 2024-2025. Full-time undergraduate students enrolled at Rutgers Business School, which is part of Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, may apply for the scholarship by submitting the university-approved financial aid form.

Each year through 2024, two students studying supply chain will be selected as recipients of the scholarship, which aims to increase diversity by assisting underrepresented-minority students who are in the Rutgers School of Business. Based on the availability of funds, awards may be renewed for up to three years (or four years if the student is enrolled in a five-year program) at the discretion of the dean of the Rutgers Business School.

“This scholarship money will help make it possible for underrepresented students to attend Rutgers Business School, to study the field of supply chain management, and to consider many possible career paths,” says Lei Lei, dean of the Rutgers Business School. “We strive to promote diversity and inclusion across all of the academic programs within Rutgers Business School. The ability of companies like Gebrüder Weiss to create scholarships for underrepresented students helps us to achieve that and strengthens our efforts to cultivate professionals and leaders for the future business world.”

“At Gebrüder Weiss, we believe our words are only as strong as our actions,” explains Mark McCullough, CEO of Gebrüder Weiss USA, which is a division of the family owned Austrian company that is the oldest logistics and transportation company in the world. “As our leadership team in the U.S. contemplated what we could do to create meaningful change in the racial landscape of the supply chain and logistics industry in America, we knew education was one of the answers. 

“We’ve had a great relationship with Rutgers for many years. They welcomed the idea of creating a new Supply Chain Leadership Scholarship in the Business School to support our diversity initiative. We are thrilled to provide scholarship funds for undergraduate students studying supply chain management at Rutgers and hope our investment supports the growth of a more dynamic and diverse workforce in the future.”

Another Supply Chain Giant Steps Up

North American rail giant CN announced on Dec. 1 it would give $500,000 (Canadian) to renew its commitment to support research and education programs at the Centre for Supply Chain Management in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. 

CN donated the same amount to the school in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2015, and over the past years the rail company has worked closely with the Centre for Supply Chain Management to support student internships and a cooperative education program that has undergraduates putting their education into practice as “CN Fellows.” 

Events of the past year made extending the relationship with the school more important than ever, says Keith Reardon, CN’s senior vice president, Consumer Product Supply Chain. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the subject of strong and reliable supply chains to the forefront of public interest and discussion,” he explains. “As a critical part in many of the supply chains that North Americans rely on, CN is committed to developing Canada’s expertise in the increasingly important field of supply chain management by deepening our great partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University.”

“It’s a privilege to partner with CN, a strong Canadian company whose commitment has strengthened our supply chain management activities,” says Micheál Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School. “This generous donation will allow us to continue to enhance our research, outreach and education, ensuring our graduates hit the ground running with the skills needed for today’s complex environment that requires adaptable, resilient and flexible supply chains.”

Programs for Those Already in the Workforce, Too

Every year, CN, Laurier University and the Milton Chamber of Commerce present the World Class Supply Chain Conference, which targets students as well as professionals already in the field with industry experts and speakers from all over the world. 

Milton, which is about halfway between Waterloo and Toronto, “has become a center for supply chain and logistics,” says Scott McCammon, president and CEO of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. “The summit is an important forum for learning how opportunities in the field can be leveraged, and challenges overcome.”

The fifth annual summit, with the theme “Vision 2030: SCM for a New Decade,” was canceled due to COVID-19, so a virtual event is now scheduled for May 5.

The global pandemic is also on the mind of Yossi Sheffi, the Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics, a world leader in supply chain management education and research.

A recipient of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award, Sheffi is scheduled to present a Jan. 21 webinar on supply chains in a post-pandemic world. Hosted by the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT), the webinar is based on Sheffi’s most-recent book, The New (Ab)Normal: Reshaping Business and Supply Chain Strategy Beyond Covid-19. An audience Q&A is part of the presentation. (Go to for more details.)

Supply chain management students and professionals from the pharma side should also check out webinar recordings from Pharma Logistics IQ:

-The Pharma Supply Chain After COVID-19 

-Mapping Data Utilization to Transform Global Supply Chains 

-Reducing Waste and Eliminating Temperature Excursions in Your Supply Chain.

Go to for more details.