SMU M.A./M.B.A. Student Honored with $10,000 Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award

Gerard Atkinson selected by Golden Key International Honour Society for academics, leadership and service

Photo Credit: Courtesy Gerard Atkinson

Gerard Atkinson, a second-year graduate student in the SMU dual-degree M.A./M.B.A. program offered by Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, has been named a recipient of the 2014 Graduate Scholar Award from Golden Key International Honour Society, the world’s largest collegiate academic honor society.

Golden Key receives applications from students all over the world and selects up to 10 to receive the award. It is the society’s premier scholarship and provides $10,000 for a recipient’s graduate studies. Selection is based on the student’s reasons for pursuing a graduate degree, future academic and career goals and plans to create change in the world using Golden Key’s three tenets of academics, leadership and service.

Atkinson is originally from Alexandra, Australia and was president of the Golden Key chapter at Australian National University, where he graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in physics in 2006. While developing a career in intellectual property, he discovered a passion for opera singing and eventually became the business development manager for Canberra Opera Inc. Motivated by this experience, Atkinson entered SMU to pursue an M.A./M.B.A. double degree in business and arts management.

While at SMU Atkinson has received multiple academic awards including the SMU Cox School of Business Dean’s Circle Award, ITOM Scholar Award and Distinguished Business Leader Award. He has also completed internships for internationally recognized organizations including The Dallas Opera, Americans for the Arts and Dallas-based METROArts Corporation. Atkinson’s career goal is to become a leader and advisor in the arts sector, using data-driven insights to create sustainable arts organizations that engage and uplift the communities they serve.

“Being selected for this award is not just a great honor for myself, but for all my University colleagues, friends and family who have supported me, encouraged me to pursue my dreams and helped me to grow as a person,” said Atkinson. “Winning this award is as much an endorsement of their talents and potential as it is of mine.”

About Golden Key

Golden Key International Honour Society is a global collegiate honor society established to recognize college students for academic excellence.  The Society’s core mission is to enable members to realize their potential through three pillars: academics, leadership and service.  The Society, comprised of over two million members, has more than 400 campus-based chapters in eight countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Bahamas and the United States.  For more information about Golden Key, visit here.

About the SMU Dual Degree M.A./M.B.A. Program

SMU Meadows School of the Arts, in conjunction with Cox School of Business, offers to a limited number of highly qualified candidates the nation’s only concurrent dual degree graduate program in arts management. Through SMU Meadows’ Division of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, the M.A./M.B.A. program combines development of contemporary general management skills with in-depth study of today’s professional arts world. Curricula include instruction from distinguished arts and business professors, continuing seminars with nationally recognized arts administrators, study abroad and internships. In the first term of the second year, students study at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. For more information, see M.A./M.B.A. Curriculum.