Called to Be: Access & Excellence

Title:Business alumnus makes historic gift to establish international undergraduate scholarship

Author: Lauren M. Poteat and Camille Scarborough
Date Published: April 1, 2024

a man and a woman smile at the camera with the US Capitol in the background

Seeking to smooth the path for international undergraduate students following in his footsteps at Georgetown, Bruno J. Mejean (B’74) and his wife, Martina Hund-Mejean, have established the Bruno J. Mejean and Martina Hund-Mejean Endowed International Scholarship Fund. Their $5 million gift—the largest dedicated to international undergraduate scholarship in Georgetown’s history—will support students enrolling in the McDonough School of Business. 

“We’re deeply grateful to Bruno and Martina for their significant generosity and support of our undergraduate international students,” says Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “Our University is made stronger through the presence of our international students, and this new scholarship fund at our McDonough School of Business will enable new possibilities for our international students and deepen the global character of our community.” 

Easing financial challenges

“I endured many financial struggles as an international student trying to complete my undergraduate degree at Georgetown,” says Mejean, recalling his transition from Morocco to the United States. “I worked at least three different jobs, at least 20 hours a week throughout my entire time at Georgetown, and at the same time I was trying to improve my English.” 

After a distinguished career in trade and project finance, Mejean is now the founder and managing partner of BJM International, a firm that specializes in arranging debt and equity for infrastructure and energy projects. He also mentors climate tech start-ups with Cleantech Open, the largest incubator/accelerator in the sector in the U.S.; invests in some of these start-up companies; and serves as a board member of the High Atlas Foundation, a U.S.-Moroccan foundation that supports sustainable agriculture in Morocco and is currently planting two million organic fruit trees a year for the benefit of local farmers.

He hopes that this scholarship, funded in part by a bequest in the couple’s estate plan, will be a catalyst for more international students to apply to Georgetown.

Mejean recalls that during his undergraduate years “international students had limited access to scholarships,” adding, “now that I am in a position to give back, my wife Martina and I want to make sure that we contribute something that will benefit both Georgetown and its international students.”

A destination for international business students

Ranked as a top three undergraduate business program, Georgetown McDonough continues to be a sought-after destination for international students who are seeking a Jesuit-based, globally oriented business education. 

The new fund will provide scholarships to international undergraduate students enrolling in the business school, specifically those who are residents of Morocco or countries that are part of the European Union.

“It is difficult for international students to secure enough grants and scholarships. These forms of funding are not typically covered by universities. That’s why this scholarship and its focus is so important,” says Mejean, who despite working every day, still needed financial aid from a number of sources during his student years. 

A global approach to business

Thanks to this new scholarship fund, more international students will have the opportunity to experience the business school’s mission of preparing them to become the “best in the world, and best for the world.”

“Georgetown was the only university that I applied to as an undergraduate,” says Mejean. “I happened to be in DC with a relative who worked at Georgetown and thought that this would be a great place to be a student.”

With a foundation built upon its location and deep connections in the global capital city of Washington, DC, Georgetown McDonough fosters a truly global experience for students through the international community it attracts and a variety of experiential programs that send students abroad. Nearly two-thirds of McDonough undergraduates have a global educational experience during their time at Georgetown.

More than two decades ago, McDonough cemented its place as a leader in global business education by creating the concept of the global business consulting project. In recent years, McDonough has developed interdisciplinary programs with the School of Foreign Service to more deliberately draw the connections among business, international relations, and policy.

“Georgetown opened so many doors with respect to my career,” shares Mejean. “I am very grateful to the undergraduate employment services from Georgetown. Beyond these resources, I am still good friends with many of my old classmates.”

“We are grateful to the Mejean family for paving a way for more international students to have the means to study at Georgetown,” says Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkeley Chair of the McDonough School of Business. “Our international students bring wonderful perspectives and life experiences to the program and carry forward our tradition of alumni success in the area of business and global affairs.”