Big Fish Fights for the Common Man
Michael Sturdivant ’17 wants to know who holds companies responsible for their actions? After receiving and accepting a $90,000 scholarship to attend Drexel Law School, Sturdivant aspires to become a corporate lawyer specializing in consumer advocacy and to answer this important question. He wants to fight for the “common man.”
“About a year ago, Wells Fargo and Mylan [pharmaceutical company who makes EpiPens®], were in the midst of lots of unethical issues and I wondered, ‘who holds these CEOs accountable for their actions?’” Sturdivant asks.
Since enrolling at Immaculata University in 2013 as a Business Management major with a minor in Human Resources, Sturdivant has achieved many of his goals which have paved the way for his future success. Recruited to play basketball for the Mighty Macs as a point guard, Sturdivant expanded his campus connections beyond sports and last year found himself portraying Cousin It for the Children’s Theatre production of The Addams Family.
I told Sister Marcille [McEntee, former director of the Cue and Curtain Players], “I can’t sing, I can’t dance but I always wanted to be in a play…she found me a role!” he remembers fondly. Not that playing Cousin It is going to help him in law school, but it does expand his horizons. However, Sturdivant has pursued extra-curricular activities that will bode well for his future including membership in Enactus, an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress. Enactus holds regional, national, and international competitions and this year, Sturdivant and the Immaculata Enactus team is traveling to Washington, D.C. for the regional competition.
With an easy, pleasant smile, Sturdivant’s campus legacy may be measured in the number of students who decided to attend Immaculata after his enthusiastic tour of campus while he was serving as an Admissions Ambassador. He is thrilled when students recognize him from their campus tour.
“I love being a big fish on a small campus,” he confesses. From the beginning, Sturdivant wanted to know everything about his new school. “My first couple weeks on campus, my roommate and I, Roy Farrell, literally roamed Immaculata. We were in and out of every dorm hall trying to meet new people. That was fun.”
Now as he and Farrell complete their undergraduate degrees, Sturdivant will be entering law school and Farrell is heading to Fairleigh Dickinson to become a pharmacist. “We always pushed each other to do crazy things. I mean, back in freshmen year, I would never have even thought that I’d be headed off to law school and he’d be going to pharmacy school,” he admits.
During his roaming days, Sturdivant met Abby Pickell, a fashion merchandising major. The two started dating and soon, with Abby’s talents in the fashion world and Sturdivant’s business acumen, they started a t-shirt company. The campus community supported their efforts and Pickell and Sturdivant raised enough money from the proceeds to buy warm clothing and food for 100 low income 2nd graders from North Philadelphia. In addition to the supplies, they also started a mentoring program at that school. Next they want to do the same thing for Sturdivant’s alma mater, Masterman High School, located in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. Even as a young man, giving back has always been extremely important to him.
Sturdivant is grateful to the Immaculata University faculty and staff who he credits with helping him earn the scholarship from Drexel. Because he has made so many connections to people from all aspects of campus, he was able to solicit glowing recommendation letters. “I got recommendation letters from department chairs, the executive director of Admissions, and the undergraduate dean. If I didn’t attend Immaculata, I wouldn’t have even met those people at a bigger school.”
The Drexel scholarship will provide Sturdivant with the resources to follow his career dreams. Once he begins to take on corporate America as an advocate for consumers, he will relentlessly pursue unethical leaders who dodge responsibility. Sturdivant’s education has provided the foundation for his quest to “wrong the rights,” which will benefit all of society and may truly become his legacy.