SOMETHING SPECIAL will be on the agenda when the Richard Ivey School of Business/Asia's executive MBA class of 2000 get together for their sixth annual alumni reunion dinner. 'Someone said we should do something special beside getting together, having a drink and reminiscing,' said class representative Joe Attrux. 'We decided we should do something special to set the tone of what other classes could do.' After much discussion, the alumni came up with the idea of setting up a fund to help applicants who met all of the requirements but lacked the financial resources to pay the programme's hefty tuition fees. 'We have all benefited from the programme, and we wanted others to benefit from it too,' Mr Attrux said. Two names were proposed for the fund: the Guinea Pig Fund, because they were the first group of students, and the Millennium Fund, because they graduated in the year 2000. 'We took a vote and Millennium Fund won.' The fund has been financed entirely by voluntary donations from the 23 students in the class, and is now worth $150,000. The goal is to pay 10 per cent to 25 per cent of the fees of one or two deserving applicants each year. The fee for the August intake will be $525,000. 'With only 23 of us, we are very close,' Mr Attrux said. 'Alumni in general get connected through the class and then stay connected. The school tries to get them connected with other classes.' At least one other group of graduates has shown a generous heart. The class of 2004 raised $174,000 to build a school in Yunnan province through the charity organisation Sowers Action. About 180 children attend the school, including 76 who board because they live too far away to walk there daily. The Richard Ivey Business School, established in Ontario, Canada in 1920, launched its Hong Kong-based EMBA programme in 1998. It is essentially the same as the Canadian programme, except for an emphasis on Asian case studies and business in Asia. The school also offers a host of public, consortium and custom executive development programmes. It was the first North American business school to set up a permanent facility in the region. The school has 27,000 alumni around the world.