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Creighton University Embarks on Ignite the Greatness Campaign

Addresses Demand for Creighton Business Graduates Locally, Nationally

The global financial crisis, ever-changing business technology, entrepreneurial and cultural shifts and the increased emphasis on collaborative business models have created a rising demand for business graduates trained to not only think critically but to lead companies with integrity, ethics and sound business principles. To meet that demand, Creighton University officially announced an Ignite the Greatness campaign, Thursday afternoon – to advance the Creighton College of Business to fulfill the rising demand for business graduates.

The fundraising campaign will support the growth of the college through increased student scholarship, enhancement and development of innovative program offerings, faculty recruitment and retention efforts, a move to an expanded and reconfigured space in the Harper Center and sustaining of ongoing opportunities.

With several significant lead gifts totaling more than $47 million allocated to the College of Business, Creighton can seize the opportunity to expand its support for an enhanced learning environment for students and faculty.

“We have a unique opportunity through the campaign, to increase the capacity of Creighton University’s College of Business to meet the business community’s demand for our graduates who will achieve an unprecedented impact on our world,” said Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., president of Creighton University.

Campaign co-chairs and Creighton Board of Trustees members Scott Heider and Mark Huber, BSBA’83, JD’86, who are themselves Omaha business leaders, offer personal and professional insights for their involvement.

“Our family and especially my father, Charles Heider, who graduated from Creighton’s College of Business in 1949, know firsthand the caliber of the students who are educated at this institution. The business community is saying we need more Creighton graduates now because Creighton produces great critical thinkers,” Heider said.

Facts that demonstrate the demand for Creighton students and programming include:

  •  of our 2011 business graduates, nearly 98 percent were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diplomas;
  • more than 3,000 internship opportunities for business undergraduates annually;

  • nearly 80 percent of Creighton undergraduate students come from outside the state of Nebraska and more than 50 percent of graduates begin their careers in Omaha—a decided brain gain for the Omaha area;
  • the growth of innovative business programs being offered. The University has created numerous interdisciplinary offerings that leverage the expertise of the other eight schools and colleges on campus, real-world instruction with exposure to hands-on business experiences as well as online courses ranging from information technology to security analysis.

“Unlike other higher education institutions, Creighton made a brilliant business decision by innovatively using existing space so the dollars raised in this campaign are not just about bricks and mortar but are about investing in the learning environment for our faculty and students,” Huber said.

“In business terms, that allows the University to increase the “speed to market” of its vital product -- its graduates,” Heider added. “If we, as business leaders, are going to move the world forward, we need leadership. That leadership is not just about brains, it is about the magis, the something more that a Creighton education brings to its graduates to be part of a community, to drive results ethically – which comes from the education of the soul,” Huber added.

Leading the strategic direction of the College of Business is Dean Anthony R. Hendrickson, Ph.D. He believes this campaign offers an opportunity to shine a light on the outstanding people and programs of the college and move the college forward.

“Creighton graduates are taking their places on Wall Street, at Nike, Boeing, Target, and at Fortune 500 companies in Omaha and throughout the country,” said Hendrickson. “Few people realize our impact. We have a finance program ranked 19th nationally, a master’s program in Information Technology ranked 16th, our faculty receives Fulbrights and other distinguished scholarships and our real-life education programs, like the Portfolio Practicum, where students manage multimillion-dollar portfolios, are considered best practices across the country in business education.”

Serving on the campaign leadership committee are:
Co-Chairs Scott Heider, Managing Principal, Chartwell Capital, Omaha
Mark Huber, BSBA’83, JD’86, CEO, Corporate Ventures, Omaha

Leadership Cabinet
John M. Blazek, BSPHA’77, MBA’86, President, Corporate Ventures, Omaha
J. Patrick Curry, BSBA’78, Partner, Deloitte & Touche, New York City
Diane K. Duren, BSBA’81, Ex. VP, Union Pacific, Omaha
Nancy E. Felker, BSBA’74, MBA’81, Managing Director, XCel Energy, (ret.), Denver
James R. Greisch, BSBA’80, Office Managing Partner, McGladrey, Omaha
Donald C. Heppermann, BSBA’70, Ex. VP & CFO, Markwest Energy Partners (ret.), Denver
Richard T. Kizer, BSBA’71, JD’73, Chairman, Central States Health & Life, Omaha
Robert E. Johnson, BSBA’87, CEO, Javlin Capital, Omaha
Michael F. Lawler, BSBA’67, Ex. VP, Tenaska, Omaha
John L. Maginn, BSBA’61, President, Maginn & Associates, Omaha
Paul W. Markwardt, BSBA’83, JD’86, Shareholder, Winthrop & Weinstine, Twin Cities
Jeffrey A. McCroy, BSBA’84, Director of Global Client Relationships, American Century Investments, Chicago
Linda L. McCroy, BSBA’84, Chicago
Michael C. Meyer, BSBSA’81, MBA’02, Vice President, Tenaska, Omaha
Mark T. Mowat, BSBA’86, Managing Director, Frontier Capital, Omaha
Jon L. Narmi, MBA’73, Director, Robert W. Baird & Co., Omaha
Thomas K. Nichting, BSBA’83, President, Planet Group, Inc., Omaha
Ronald N. Quinn, BSBA’70, MBA’76, Ex.VP, Tenaska, Omaha
Nancy M. Summers, BSBA’77, CFO, Realty Executives of Kansas City, Kansas City
Steven E. Summers, BSBA’77, CEO, Realty Executives of Kansas City, Kansas City
Richard A. Witt, BSBA’74, VP & CIO, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha
Lyn Wallin Ziegenbein, JD’77, Executive Director, The Peter Kiewit Foundation, Omaha

Honorary Chairs
Mary C. Heider, HON’10, and Charles Heider, BSC’49, HON’10, General Partner, Heider-Weitz Partnership & President, Charles Heider, Co., Omaha
Joan D. McGraw and Jack McGraw, BSC’53, Chairman & CEO, Pacific Specialty Insurance (ret.), Atherton, Calif.

To find out more about the campaign visit ignite.creighton.edu