Growing up in Plano, Texas, there was an expectation that Brittany Ruiz ’08 would attend a big state school to pursue accounting. After all, her cousins stayed close to home—and it’s what her parents strongly preferred. But Ruiz’s first visit to CMC offered a glimpse of something uniquely personal. At the Athenaeum, she sat next to Marc Massoud P’89, Robert A. Day Distinguished Professor of Accounting—and the two connected immediately. Ruiz told him about her plan to major in accounting, work at a large accounting firm, and then go to law school to become a corporate lawyer.
That’s exactly what happened (she works at Latham & Watkins in New York City) thanks to a generous financial aid package and professors like Massoud guiding her ambition. “I am still incredibly close to the professors I had here—Massoud, Eric Helland, James Taylor, Joshua Rosett. They helped me tremendously, and I’ll always seek their advice,” she said. “I mean, if I missed a class as a student, Massoud would call me and ask where I was! CMC is that kind of place.”
“If I missed a class as a student, Professor Massoud would call me and ask where I was! CMC is that kind of place.”
The personal touch of CMC—and the close-knit community it fosters—is why Ruiz has given back financially from day one. She has also invested her time by serving on various alumni and institute boards, chairing reunion committees, hosting events in London and New York City, and volunteering as an alumni interviewer. “We’re a small college, which means we have a smaller network than others. But our impact goes further. We really have a chance to make a difference,” Ruiz said.
“If we, as alumni, can give one CMCer a job, an internship, an introduction, a summer experience, or help with room and board or tuition payments, that is so meaningful. I know this because it was meaningful to me as a student. I was someone who had the desire, the drive, and the motivation, but didn’t always have the resources. So many alums contributed to my education, and I want to ensure that today’s students get that same kind of help.”