St. Bonaventure University

Kearns Global Business Lecture Series

The annual Kearns Global Business Lecture Series brings industry leaders to campus to underscore the need for today's business students to develop a global mindset as they prepare to enter the work world.

Richard P. Kearns, retired chief administrative officer of Zurich Financial Services Group and a 1972 St. Bonaventure graduate, has four decades of experience in global markets, including 10 years in Switzerland as part of Zurich's senior management team.

He draws on that experience when he says it's not enough for today's students to leave campus with a head full of facts.Just as important as being "right" is your ability to apply your knowledge in real-world situations. The better you understand your world — how you conduct yourself, how you demonstrate to others that you are ethical and sincere and that you can be counted on — the greater your chances of succeeding and leading in the world marketplace, says Kearns.

To that end, Kearns and his wife, Maureen, fund and lead the strategy for the Kearns Global Business Lecture Series at St. Bonaventure. Their goal is to engage students with business leaders who offer diverse perspectives on global business matters. The series offers students the unique and powerful opportunity to ask questions of top people in their field.

Kearns is a distinguished alumnus who spent many years of his career living and working in Europe, and this lecture series provides vital insight into working across countries and cultures.

Kearns began his career at Price Waterhouse in 1972 and was admitted to the partnership in 1984. He was appointed leader of Global Partner Affairs following the merger that created PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. In September 2002, Kearns joined Zurich’s senior management team in Switzerland and continues to act as a senior advisor.

He served on St. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2009.

Making it big in gig

Kearns' keys for breaking into the gig economy: Develop a personal strategy, tap into the powerful Bonaventure alumni network, go to work knowing that your first job is probably not your last.