By Nathaniel Luce
To continue its long-running support of veterans, the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation pledged a $100,000 endowment to Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management to help the brave men and women who have served our nation pursue a graduate degree from the elite institution. This is the first endowed scholarship created by the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation for veterans working toward their Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Once the scholarship is fully endowed, it will help support veteran scholars completing the two-year MBA program in perpetuity. The endowment not only helps further Cracker Barrel and the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation’s mission to support military families and veterans, but also furthers Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management’s goal to become a premier destination for veterans’ management education by deepening financial aid and expanding its programmatic offerings.
“For many years, we have enthusiastically recruited veterans and active members of the United States Armed Forces to Owen because of the extraordinary leadership and perspective they add to our community,” said M. Eric Johnson, Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy. “Now we seek to enhance their Owen experience through scholarships and programming that meets their unique skills and needs.”
This endowment is part of eight grants the Foundation recently awarded to support a range of military-related programs and charities. Through these grants, the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation is providing financial support to Operation Homefront, A Soldier’s Journey Home, Armed Services YMCA, Fisher House Foundation, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Alive Hospice (for its support of military veterans), The Legion Fund (Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee) and USO at Ft. Campbell. In 2019, the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation contributed over $325,000 in grant funding and scholarships, including over $100,000 to support America’s military and their families.
“At Cracker Barrel, we have always believed in supporting the next generation of leaders as evident by our Employee Scholarship Program, which has awarded scholarships to hundreds of deserving employees and their children since 1996,” said Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation Executive Director Sloane Lucas. “To extend that in support of America’s military families and be able to give back to those who have given so much to us through their service for our country is truly an honor.”
Since 1969, Pleasing People has been Cracker Barrel’s mission. It drives the company’s passion for helping people in the neighborhoods where it does business. The company’s main philanthropic focus is supporting members of America’s armed forces and their families. Cracker Barrel and the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation have long supported military-focused nonprofits and charitable initiatives. By directing most of its giving to this area, Cracker Barrel believes it can make a real, lasting difference in people’s lives. During the last 26 years, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation has supported many nonprofits and charitable programs, in addition to its annual scholarship program.
To learn more, visit crackerbarrel.com/giving.
About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation
The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Foundation is a nonprofit corporation created by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in 1993. The Foundation has awarded millions of dollars in grants to support numerous nonprofits and charitable programs. It also supports an annual Employee Scholarship Program, which recognizes and rewards the accomplishments of Cracker Barrel employees and their children who excel in their studies and serve their communities.