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Creighton University’s College of Business Named for Heiders

The Creighton University College of Business is now the Heider College of Business, thanks to the generous support of Charles F. Heider and Mary C. Heider of Omaha. This is the first named school for the University. A grand opening celebration for the newly renovated Heider College of Business will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23.

The Heiders’ transformational gift to the College of Business Ignite the Greatness campaign helped expand and enhance the college’s space on campus and will provide support to students, faculty and the efforts to increase enrollment—going a long way to broaden Creighton’s business education programs to fulfill the rising demand for business graduates.

“As a graduate of the college, I couldn’t be more pleased to be associated with one of the best business schools in our country today, right here in our community. Mary and I have been advocates for a larger business school for years and now is the right time to expand its size. From the dedicated faculty and staff to the impressive academic programs and curriculum, it’s time to increase the number of students we educate. We are honored and grateful to be in a position to play a small part in the lasting impact this college will have on generations of future business leaders,” said Charlie Heider.

“Our relationship with the Heider family is one that can stand shoulder to shoulder with that of our founding family, ’’said Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., Creighton president. “The Heiders have elevated the University to new heights through their generous support to cancer research, prevention and cures, to enhancing academics and student life through student, faculty and staff support and capital improvements such as student housing and the College of Business.”

The Heider legacy is associated with business success. But, according to Lannon, it also signifies leadership guided by Jesuit values and a commitment to community service.

“That approach…of aspiring to the greater –magis –is our academic mission at Creighton…graduating men and women who are inspired to be business leaders grounded in ethics and service to others,” Lannon said.

This naming honor comes at a time of tremendous momentum for Creighton and the business school, which has received many national accolades. Demand for Creighton business graduates is at an all-time high with 98 percent employed or pursuing graduate/professional studies within six months after graduation. The college boasts innovative business program offerings and features hands-on, real-world business experience as part of the curriculum.

“The college’s new name and this campaign will help elevate the Creighton business brand across the nation as we compete for students with other top business schools,” said Anthony R. Hendrickson, Ph.D., dean of the Heider College of Business.

Heider served on Creighton’s Board of Trustees for 17 years. In 1997, he was elected Board Member Emeritus. Among his leadership roles, Heider guided the University through several fundraising campaigns and served on the Health Futures Foundation, reflecting his commitment to Creighton’s preeminence in biomedical research. Mary is a long-time community and philanthropic leader who served on numerous Omaha area educational and health-related boards.

Heider earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (B.S.C.) degree from Creighton in 1949 and received the Creighton Alumni Achievement Citation in 2003. He was inducted into the national Jesuit honor society, Alpha Sigma Nu, in 1982. In 2010, Heider and his wife, Mary received Creighton honorary doctorates of humane letters.

Heider enjoyed success in the travel and investment industries and was named to the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2005. In keeping with the Jesuit ideal of service to others, he and his wife support numerous civic programs and organizations. In 2002, the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus bestowed on the couple the first Ignatian Leadership Award from the Jesuit Council of Omaha.

The Heiders were the first Creighton donors to endow two faculty chairs at the University: the Charles and Mary Heider Endowed Jesuit Faculty Chair; and the Charles F. and Mary C. Heider Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. They also established the Charles F. and Mary C. Heider Endowed Scholarship, which is one of Creighton’s most prestigious student awards, and Heider Hall, a residence hall on campus, was named in their honor. The Heider family, with their investments in the Heider College of Business, becomes the most generous donors in Creighton’s history.