The St. Bonaventure University School of Business Advisory Board hosted a retreat at Mt. Irenaeus for 20 business students Oct. 17-18. This was the first weekend retreat held to include the School of Business Advisory Board, business faculty members, mountain ministry members and business students.
On Friday, Oct. 17, in the William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center atrium, a kickoff was held to commence the weekend prior to leaving for the retreat. Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president, shared some thoughts to kickoff the event.
Dr. Pierre Balthazard, professor of management and dean of the School of Business, moderated the kickoff event.
“This idea came [about] at our advisory council retreat last year where the advisory council members took the lead and said, ‘Look, we should have a retreat,’” said Dr. Balthazard. “We asked, ‘How do we create a unique opportunity to allow people to talk about how we operationalize values?’”
He explained that they wanted to take business professionals, faculty, students, Franciscans and Ann Swan, who is ultimately responsible for putting the values on the wall in the Swan Business Center, and bring them altogether.
“We have about 25 trailblazers that will have a very interesting conversation about SBU’s School of Business and, broadly, how we run a 21st century business applying Franciscan values,” he said. “We develop responsible leaders for the greater good and the bottom-line.”
Dr. Balthazard explained what he hopes the students gain as a result of the weekend retreat.
“They [the students] should learn that ‘business’ does not have a negative connotation in society; so they can have a conversation with whoever is talking to them, and understand it’s a force for positive change,” he said. “If nothing else, everybody should have more concepts, more language, more examples, more concrete ways of explaining what their expertise is and why it’s important for them to be in business.”
Several activities took place at the mountain retreat.
Highlights of the retreat included:
Two students shared their opinions on the retreat.
“I was very impressed with the experience as a whole,” said Mike Muffoletto, a sophomore marketing major. “When you try to put things like this together you often run the risk of it just being a fun and ‘cute’ experience without any real substance to latch on to. However, this retreat did not have that problem. The situations and stories brought to the table by alumni, faculty and even students were real, tangible and held tremendous value that we could really take home with us.”
Chaelon Brennan, a senior accounting major and co-student planner of the retreat, said, “I believe that the retreat overall was an incredible experience. Sr. Margaret’s send-off was absolutely wonderful. There was a lot of apprehension about how well the retreat was actually going to go, but with Sr. Margaret’s send-off it really sparked the energy in all of us to have an amazing opportunity to expand as business professionals.”
Muffoletto and Brennan discussed what they learned and how they hope to grow from the experience.
“The mission of the retreat was simple — to evaluate the values shown on the wall of the Swan Business Center, and then take them off the wall and put them to work in our professional lives,” said Muffoletto. “I believe it was pretty successful. We had a broad range of students, from freshmen to graduate level, and everybody seemed to, in their own way, take hold of the idea that our world is in desperate need of business leaders who take these values ‘off the wall’ and use them in their professional lives to make the world a better place to live.
“Prior to the actual retreat I knew that the Franciscan values were on the wall but I could not have repeated them to you even if my life depended on it,” said Brennan. “Thanks to this retreat, I can list them by heart and I also know that I am going to carry them with me until the day I die. These values represent just how I should be thinking every day and I hope that I am able to carry that with me in all of personal and professional experiences.”
Brennan expressed how grateful she was to have been a part of this experience and was excited that she was able to work with the individuals who planned the retreat.
“This retreat would not have happened if it were not for the initiative of Laurie Krupa, Connie Whitton and Mari Snyder,” said Brennan. “I am indebted to them for this experience, and I feel so honestly and truly blessed to have had the chance to work with them.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you