The William C. Foster '62 Center for Responsible Leadership strives to motivate students to carry with them into the business world, and into society, the Catholic Franciscan values that have guided St. Bonaventure University since its founding in 1858.
The Foster Center is made possible through an endowment gift by Daria L. Foster, managing partner of Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC, honoring her late husband, William C. Foster, '62, who served on St. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees from 2008 until his passing in 2010.
The center offers a yearly speaker series, bringing to campus business and industry representatives to engage with students and area civic leaders about ways in which they incorporate ethics, integrity and other Franciscan values into their work places.
Programming to foster an ethical consciousness
“Professionalism and ethical mindfulness are critical characteristics that have the potential to transform the corporate climate across all functional areas. The Foster Center for Responsible Leadership provides a means for individuals to engage and interact in ways that stimulate forward thinking and deliberate actions focused on fiscal and social responsibility,” said Dr. Matrecia James, dean of the School of Business.
The center promotes cross-discipline scholarship in the Franciscan intellectual tradition, with a particular focus on its application to issues of responsible leadership. It strives to integrate Franciscan values with business and civic leadership.
"The core of our program is to provide support, guidance and training designed to help individuals establish or strengthen their ethical consciousness," said James. “We want to help develop leaders who recognize and accept responsibility for creating and fostering positive outcomes.”
The center offers educational materials, practices and programs designed to develop responsible leadership. Students may attend retreats, informal dinner gatherings, workshops and panel discussions, all designed to inspire them to become leaders with Catholic Franciscan values.
The center also offers professional development to the community at large through continuing education, offering certificate programs for continued professional development.
Students may also have the opportunity to travel, attend other programs that embrace ethics and leadership, and engage in academic competitions and conferences.
The Foster Center for Responsible Leadership sponsors two presentations each year, typically a fall semester speaker and a spring semester panel discussion or conference. Future events will be presented here as they are developed.
Previously held Foster Center events
Here's a look at events presented by the Foster during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Spring semester 2021
Moments That Matter: A Look at Leadership
Presented by retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Maureen K. LeBoef
Author of "Developing Your Philosophy of Living & Leading One Moment at a Time"
An Olean native and 1976 SBU graduate, LeBoef held various staff and leadership positions during her 28 years in the Army including flying UH-1 helicopters in the U.S. and Europe. She served as professor and head of the Department of Physical Education at West Point from 1997 until her retirement in 2004, becoming the first woman department head at the military academy since its founding in 1802.
LeBoef holds a master's and Doctor of Education from the University of Georgia and is a senior adviser and faculty member at Thayer Leadership at West Point. In addition, she served for nine years on the St. Bonaventure Board of Trustees; for three years as executive director of the Feagin Leadership Program at Duke Sports Medicine; as vice chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services; and as chair of the Board of Directors for the USO of North Carolina.
Fall semester 2020
Developing Your Digital Brand
Presented by Joe Torregiani
Senior software engineer, technologist, researcher, educator and activist
Torregiani has dedicated his career to doing the most good that he can do. He focuses on solving a problem posed by American architect and designer R. Buckminster Fuller: "Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone."
This singular pursuit has led him to become a core technical contributor at impact-driven organizations across multiple domains.
A senior software engineer, Torregiani builds tools to empower people to participate and thrive in the economy. He is a co-founder of the Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective (SPEC), an open learning organization that empowers individuals to be catalysts for positive change through mentorship, training, action research, and service learning.