Mary Goss

An avid golfer, traveler and gardener, Mary Goss brings her infectious zest for life

Full-Time MBA - Faculty

On Top of the World

An avid golfer, traveler and gardener, Mary Goss brings her infectious zest for life — and more than 30 years of experience in education — to the Haslam College of Business as the director of the full-time MBA program.

Goss began her career in Los Angeles in 1982.

“It was my first job out of college,” she recalls. “I moved to LA and found a job at the Fashion Institute of Design Merchandising.”

After a year, a friend told Goss about a job opening at Pepperdine University, where she ultimately spent five years.

“Meanwhile, I got an MBA and married my husband, Eric,” she says.

In the late 1980s, Eric’s company transferred him to Hong Kong, and the couple spent a year living abroad. When he landed a position in North Carolina, Mary became associate director of admissions at Wake Forest University. The Gosses spent the next decade in the area, where their sons, Ryan and Michael, were born.

The University of Notre Dame recruited Mary in 2003, and she enjoyed leading their graduate business programs for the next fourteen years. But the family never intended to stay in the Midwest permanently.

“My husband and I were raised in Illinois, but we fell in love with the South while we were living in North Carolina,” she says. “Our goal was to end up in this area. We consider it home.”

Mary relishes the fresh challenge of taking the full-time MBA program at Haslam to the next level.

“I think we’ve got all the right elements to raise our rankings,” she says. “It’s about getting the best people in and the best people out, as far as work experience and diversity of the class.” She appreciates and supports the college’s focus on integrity and values.

When she’s not on campus, Goss heads to the golf course to unwind.

“I love to golf with my girlfriends,” she says. “I love it for the social aspect. It’s an essential skill to have in business, because lots of deals are done on the golf course.”

Today, the Gosses are often spread around the globe: Eric spends half the month in Alaska working as a pilot. Ryan trains sled dogs in the Italian Alps. Michael attends college in Indiana.

“We all love to travel,” Mary says. “Around Christmas every other year, we plan an international trip with just the four of us.”