25 Under 25 recognition program

Anyone who has spent time around them knows that the students in WSU's Mike Ilitch School of Business are some of the brightest and hardest-working around. For the sixth year, the best of the best will be recognized for all they do – in and out of the classroom – through the 25 Under 25 awards. 

Dean Robert Forsythe created the Mike Ilitch School of Business 25 Under 25 program to recognize students who have demonstrated success in at least two of the following four categories: academics, leadership, professional development and campus/community service.

Application process

To be selected for this program, students complete an online application complete with a résumé and, in some cases, reference letters to demonstrate their accomplishments to a panel of judges comprised of executives from the business community. The application for 2022 is closed. Previous winners are not eligible for the current award year.

Qualifications, required documentation and recognition are outlined below. Students are encouraged to have their résumés reviewed by the Mike Ilitch School of Business Career Planning & Placement Office before submitting them.

If you would like to nominate a student, please send their name and contact information to ilitchbusiness@wayne.edu. Friends and alumni of the Mike Ilitch School of Business who are interested in serving as a judge or event sponsor should contact Madeline Whims at mswhims@wayne.edu.

25 Under 25 program requirements


All applicants must:

  • Be fully admitted to and currently enrolled in the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business as an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral student (business minors are NOT eligible).
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least 30 credit hours of coursework toward a B.S./B.A. degree including a minimum of 15 credits at Wayne State University.
  • Have an established GPA in their program of study in the Ilitch School (minimum 3.0 overall GPA).
  • Be able to demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following areas at the college level:
    • Academics
    • Leadership
    • Professional development
    • Community/campus service
  • Be no older than 25 on March 1 of the award year.
  • Have not been recognized with 25 Under 25 honors in a previous year.


Students chosen for the 25 Under 25 recognition program:

  • Will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of industry executives.
  • Will have professional headshots taken by a WSU photographer. These headshots will be used for a recognition booklet, website and social media campaign. Headshots will be shared with students for personal use.
  • Will receive an award and be celebrated at a special networking reception at the Gem Theatre on Thursday, April 14, 2022 (pending ultimate approval by the Campus Health Committee).
  • Will be profiled on the Mike Ilitch School of Business website and highlighted in news releases, social media and other channels.

Required documentation

When completing the application, students should be prepared to:

  1. Describe (using no more than 750 words) your accomplishments in at least two of the following areas: academics, leadership, professional development, and community/campus service activities.
  2. Submit an updated résumé in PDF format.
  3. Although not required, students may also submit PDF files of up to two reference letters that provide proof of significant community service, leadership, or professional development.

While students must fill out the application themselves, others are welcome to suggest students for participation by sending their name and contact information to ilitchbusiness@wayne.edu.

2022 winners

2021 winners

2020 winners

2019 winners

2018 winners

2017 winners