Beginning this fall, Spalding’s School of Business offers the new graduate concentration in Financial Planning within the MS in Business Communication (MSBC) program. Financial planners work one-on-one with their clients to develop strategies and plans for a secure future. This may include paying off debt, saving for retirement, meeting short-term financial targets, and long-term wealth management.

The degree fulfills the educational requirement to sit for the CFP ® Certification Examination that leads to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Students who successfully complete the concentration may also sit for the and the Accredited Financial Counselor® exam, which is offered through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education®. The CFP ® is the gold standard in personal financial planning and holding this certification allows attorneys to expand the services offered to their clients.

In the School of Business, we strive to ensure our offerings provide a strong return on investment for our students. As any educational endeavor requires a time and financial commitment, students should expect to emerge with skills that make them competitive in the job market. The Financial Planning concentration fulfills that expectation.

According to the US Labor Department, employment of personal financial advisors and planners is projected to grow 7% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Significant job growth and security are anticipated for financial advisors partly due to the large percentage of our population that is aging. As large numbers of baby boomers continue to enter retirement, more are likely to seek planning advice from financial advisors. Also, longer lifespans equate to longer retirement periods, adding even more demand for financial planning services. The 2021 median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $94K.

Financial planning remains steady despite the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Americans report feeling more prepared working with a financial advisor during a recession, and CFP professionals report a rise in prospective clients during COVID-19 (CFP Board). Being a financial planner helps many achieve a greater level of work-life balance, which employees are seeking more and more from their chosen profession.

The path to becoming a CFP ® reaches many in the student population. It is a lucrative field for our traditionally aged students to pursue once they complete their undergraduate studies, but it is also appeals to the adult learner. Those already in the financial profession will add credibility to their consulting practice while those looking to make a career change can pursue this opportunity with few barriers to entry. The inclusivity of this degree is a point of pride for our school. It does not require an undergraduate degree in business or the GRE or GMAT.

Currently, Spalding is the only university in Kentucky to offer a Master’s degree with a concentration specifically for Financial Planning. Our Financial Planning concentration program combines the triple bottom line of business—people, planet, profit—with the key knowledge you’ll need to become a trusted financial advisor. You’ll be ready to help others make important financial decisions in their investments, savings, mortgages, insurance, estate planning, retirement and more. As a graduate of Spalding’s School of Business, you’ll be qualified and ready to accept a job offer for a number of positions, including Financial counselor, Financial planner,      Risk analyst, and Estate planner.

The concentration in Financial Planning focuses on academic and practical competencies relevant to financial advisors. Graduates of this concentration will be able to:

  • Address challenges, best practices, and industry standards relating to financial planning.
  • Apply strong critical thinking, decision-making, presentation, and writing skills build upon the synthesis of knowledge.
  • Provide problem articulation, situation definition, strategic planning, and implementation.
  • Analyze and present data to clients.

 Degree Requirements

You’ll take five financial planning concentration courses (15 credit hours) in addition to the general requirements of the MSBC program, for a total of 30 credit hours.

Concentration Courses include:

  • Tax I: Individual Taxation
  • Behavioral Economics & Finance
  • Risk Management & Estate Planning
  • Investments & Retirement Planning
  • Financial Plan Development

For more information please contact Dr. Robin Hinkle at [email protected].

The new Financial Planning concentration is applicable to any industry for students of any major

The Master in Business Communication (MBC) adds a new track in Financial Planning. The MBC program, which prepares future and current business leaders to think and lead differently, developed the financial planning track for professionals interested in developing skills of financial advisors. The financial planning track is one of five program concentrations, including marketing, sports management, human resource management and general business administration. Dishant Pandya, Assistant Professor of Economics and Financial Planning, introduces this program to bring financial planning education to every student, not just finance majors, such as full-time working professionals and those wanting to excel further in their careers.

Transcript:
Dr. Pandya: My name is Dishant Pandya, I teach at Spalding University for finance and economics. That’s my area of expertise. And I’ve been here for the last nine years. And I wanted to start a program where it touches every one’s life. This one kind of service that is sorely lacking in society. I feel like this is one where people understand how to help other people, and how to manage money.

Todd: I work full time, the classes were at night, the classes are once a week, the coursework I could complete on the weekends. So that was very important to me, because I do have to work full time. And I was able to pursue this while still working on this degree.

Dr. Pandya: This pathway will help students provide that trust.

Todd: It’s a growing industry. And it’s, it’s really the industry about relationships and building relationships with clients. And that was very appealing to me.

Dr. Pandya: So one of the benefits of being at Spalding is that it’s a very small institution with a very small university. I don’t want you to call me Dr. Pandya. Like call me Dishant.

Todd: The faculty is very knowledgeable. They are very generous with their time calling, you know, after class, meeting after class, helping with other things outside of class as far as interviews and job leads. I’m very happy with all the staff here.

The U.S. recently celebrated Immigrants Day. In continuing that spirit, Spalding is highlighting some of our students who identify as immigrants. We are so grateful to have these students as a part of our community, and we thank them for sharing some about their journey to Louisville and our university. First is Maria Romo-Barajas, a Business Administration (Human Resources) senior who was born in Mexico before moving to California when she was 7. Romo-Barajas began pursuing her undergraduate degree twenty-two years after graduating from high school. She is now two classes away from earning her Spalding degree. 

What is your country of origin? 

I was born in Mexico and at the age of 7 moved to California. I started 2nd grade in the U.S. and I can still remember my first day of school like it was yesterday. The fear I felt, not being able to communicate with others, will remain engraved in my memory forever.

If you feel comfortable doing so, share a little about your family and your experience of when and why you came to the United States? Were there any challenges you/your family faced?

Being the oldest of two sisters and growing up with a single Mom was very challenging. I always had more responsibility than what was fitting for my age, including the need to translate for my Mother at the age of 7. This forced me to quickly learn the language, but it also gave me the opportunity to become bi-lingual and fluent at a very young age. There were a lot of hardships we went through, but it makes me appreciate everything I have today, especially [now that I have] a family of my own. I quickly understood that being an immigrant meant you have to work twice as hard, to prove you are a good person, deserving of living in this great country which I love. It took me years to accept that to some, no matter how much I achieve, I will always be an immigrant. And, that is ok because I know the journey to my accomplishments and that is all that matters.

Why did you decide to come to Spalding?

Recommendations from colleagues and the flexibility [that the schedule] offered is what attracted me to Spalding. It has given me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of obtaining a degree at my pace while balancing my family, work and school life.


BS in Business Administration | Program Overview | School of Business

What has your experience been like as an immigrant student at Spalding, and are you happy/proud to now be a part of the Spalding community?

The diversity at Spalding made me feel that I fit in, from day one. I have met great people from different backgrounds and cultures, which is very enriching. I am proud to attend Spalding, an inclusive school that is driven by ethical standards and has strong values.

Are there ways people could be more supportive of immigrant students?

I think the best way for others to be more supportive of immigrant students, is to be more of an active listener. Sometimes, something as basic as listening will expand our knowledge of other cultures, which not only can be interesting but also can help us understand our classmates’ struggles. [It can] give us the opportunity to help, in our own way.

What do you hope to do with your degree from Spalding, and does your immigrant experience influence your goals for your academic career, your professional career or your life?

My goal is to become part of the upper management group of professionals in the business world. I have been in management for 26 years, but not the level in management I desire. My degree, combined with my experience, will empower me to achieve this goal. Something that could make achieving my goal even better, [would be to] incorporate my bilingual skills with the management position I aspire to. That would be amazing!

Spalding University is highlighting graduates from a range of academic programs during Commencement season. Ahead of our last day of ceremonies (Business, Communication, Psychology, Social Work), we wrap up our Commencement Countdown with 2021 Master of Science in Business Communication (Organizational Leadership concentration) grad Jillian Boehmann, who came back to get her master’s to supplement her professional retail, sales and marketing experience.

How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?

It definitely felt odd at first to return to school at 37, after so many years away. However, it wasn’t long before I realized how much I really enjoyed writing and presenting, especially when the topics were so applicable to my career. It went by so quickly, but I feel that I learned and accomplished a lot during my time at Spalding and feel proud to be graduating.

What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?

Certainly strange, as I was only able to have one course in the classroom before the pandemic hit. However, it just shows how adaptable and resilient both the faculty and students were.

COMMENCEMENT 2021 | Schedules, livestream links and more info

What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school?

I liked the practical approach of the MSBC program. It was not driven by test scores or regurgitating information, but rather on how the materials in each course could be applied in real-life business situations. It helped me to hone both my written and oral communication skills, especially in a time when in-person interactions were very limited, both academically and professionally.

MS IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION | Overview  | Why an MSBC vs. MBA? | Faculty 

Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of.

I am proud that a professor chose to use my presentation as an example for future students, and that I finished with a 4.0 and was invited to be a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society.

What does it mean to you to become a graduate of Spalding University? What do you think you will take with you from your time at Spalding that will serve you well in your career or life?

It means an opportunity for advancement in my career and more confidence in my ability to advance. It means connection to a wonderful network of faculty and students that will exist for years to come.

What are your next steps with this degree?

My hope is to expand into a different role with my employer, and I also plan to continue with Spalding by pursuing my Human Resources certification in the fall.

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Dishant Pandya, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance in the School of Business. Read bios of the School of Business’ faculty here.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

I like the small class sizes, so I can connect with my students. I usually am able to connect with them because I get them all the way from freshman through senior year. By then we have a stronger relationship than just student and teacher, so I get emails after graduation about where they work and what they are doing.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

I teach economics and finance here at Spalding. I have my master’s in economics, and I am currently getting my doctorate in finance. We just started a Certified Financial Planning concentration for the Business Administration major, which helps students manage other people’s money. This a new program that we just started this year, and I am excited about it. Spalding is the only university in Louisville where you can concentrate on financial planning as part of your undergraduate degree.

LEARN MORE | School of Business programs
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION CONCENTRATIONS | Details on marketing, financial planning, sports management, HR Management
MS IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION | Learn about Spalding’s innovative alternative to the MBA

Why is business a good option for new students to consider as their major?

No matter your education or major, business is always something you need. Even if you go into a different field or degree program, you should at least take some basic business, finance and economic classes. With economics, I like to tell students that they should be able to listen to a political message on the news and realize if the information is true or not. With finance, you always want to be able to manage your own money and not rely on someone else to do it.

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?

I have a lot of interesting things in my office like Yoda, Dumbledore and Darth Vader figures, and it’s always a mess.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I always tell my students that in 10 years you should be able to make more money than me and that if you aren’t, then you need to find another job. So, when students tell me they are making more money than me I am really happy.

At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?

I am hoping my economics and finance classes allow students to manage their own money but also help their family members manage their money. It’s kind of like the saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for his lifetime.” That’s the same thing I am hoping for with my students.

FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As

Spalding University held its annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday at Canaan Christian Church, conferring bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to 614 students. Spalding also extended its tradition of conferring honorary degrees to members of the public who have made contributions to the greater good as well as awards to outstanding alumni, faculty and undergraduate students.

This year, the Spalding Board of Trustees presented three honorary doctorates – to business and community leader Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman (Honorary Doctor of Laws), to Humana co-founder David Jones Sr. (Honorary Doctor of Public Service) and to Sister of Charity Federation NGO representative to the United Nations Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters).

Spalding presented the Caritas Medal – its highest honor for alumna of the year – to nursing leader Shirley Powers, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Spalding in 1972.

Dr. Pattie Dillon, Associate Professor of history and the Chair of the School of Liberal Studies, was named the Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2019.

Spalding bestowed the honor of Faculty Emeritus/Emerita on three long-serving faculty members who are retiring with at least 25 years of service each at the university – School of Business Assistant Professor of Management David Hudson, School of Nursing Professor and Graduate Program Director Dr. Pamela King and School of Natural Science Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marlene Will.

The two undergraduate student award winners were Teresa San Ngyuen, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, who received the Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award; and Kelsey Hamilton, Bachelor of Science in Education (Secondary and Middle Grades), who received the Meagher Senior Award.

Here’s a closer look at the honorary degree recipients and award winners from 2019, and congratulations to them all:

Honorary Doctor of Laws – Junior Bridgeman
He’s the owner and chief executive officer of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co., LLC, which owns and operates a Coca-Cola production and manufacturing facility in Lenexa, Kansas, and 17 Coca-Cola distribution facilities sprinkled across the American heartland.

Prior to the 2017 acquisition of the Heartland bottling operations, Bridgeman was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states, including 263 Wendy’s restaurants and 123 Chili’s restaurants, and his companies received several prestigious awards within the industry.

Bridgeman attended the University of Louisville, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was a three-year letter-winner and starter on the U of L basketball team, receiving All-American honors as a senior. He played professionally from 1975 to ’86 as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.

Bridgeman serves or has served on multiple governing boards, including for Meijer Inc., Churchill Downs, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the James Graham Brown Foundation, Simmons College, the West End School and U of L, where he was board chair.

Bridgeman’s personal honors include membership in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and being named a recipient of the Volunteers of America Tribute Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky; the John Thompson Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award; and the Coach John Wooden Key to Life Award.

Honorary Doctorate of Public Service – David A. Jones Sr.
He co-founded Humana Inc. in 1961 and served as chief executive officer for 37 years and board chair for 44 years prior to retiring in 2005. He served as founding board chairman of Hospira until his retirement in 2007. He is a retired director of Abbott Laboratories and several other companies.

Jones was a member of The Business Roundtable and co-founder and past chair of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a group of about 50 CEOs of the nation’s largest health care organizations.

Jones, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and his wife, Betty, have five children and 11 grandchildren.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 1954, where he won the outstanding senior award.  He also became a Certified Public Accountant that year. After three years of Navy service he entered Yale University, earning a law degree in 1960, while also serving on the economics faculty from 1958 to 1960. He received the Yale Law School Medal in 1990 and the Yale Medal in 1992.

In 2003, he received Romania’s highest civilian award, the Order of Merit, for his role from 1990-2006 in rebuilding that nation’s devastated health care system.

He also holds honorary doctorates from the Chicago Medical School, the Claremont Graduate School, the University of Louisville, Middlebury College, Transylvania University and Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters – Teresa Kotturan, SCN
In her role as the NGO representative at the UN for the Sisters of Charity Federation, Kotturan’s primary objective is to bring the concerns of the 2,700 members of the federation and all those with whom and to whom they minister in 26 countries to the global stage of the UN. She is committed to raising awareness through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.

Kotturan has been a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 49 years and previously served as Vice President of the SCN. She has also served as the Provincial Superior of the India Province for eight years.

Kotturan works to ensure that the voices of women religious and those they serve are heard. She strives to raise awareness for pressing global concerns such as poverty eradication, lack of access to education, human trafficking, human rights, global citizenship, migration and inter-religious dialogue, social development, financing for development, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Caritas Medalist (Alumna of the Year) – Shirley Burns Powers
The 1972 graduate of Spalding with a bachelor of science degree in nursing contributed to the advancement of health care and the profession of nursing in Louisville. She served  as the Chief Information Officer for Norton Hospital and implemented the first clinical information system in the state. She advanced to become Administrator for Norton Hospital and Senior Executive Officer for Norton Healthcare.

Upon retirement, Shirley started Powers Consulting Inc. and worked as Coordinator of the Greater Louisville Workforce Consortium for the Kentucky Hospital Association and Jefferson County Public Schools to implement the health care magnets in three high schools. She has served as a consultant to the Humana Foundation on a tour to Romania to assist in the writing of a health care plan for that country and to Spalding University on matters of nursing and finance. Burns has served on the boards of many organizations, including ones focused on health care, nursing and helping children. Among the myriad awards and honors she’s received, Burns was a recipient in 1996 of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Spalding for Leadership in Nursing. Now she is receiving the university’s highest honor for any alum.

Outstanding Faculty Award – Pattie Dillon
With courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow, gender history, and U.S. history since 1945, she has been praised for creating curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant to current events, and she is well-known around campus as being a very engaging teacher.

Dillon has undertaken scholarship work with the National Council for History Education, the Lilly Conference on College Teaching, and the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dillon serves as Faculty Senate President and the Board of Trustees’ Faculty Representative. She is also the faculty mentor for the mission societies and has served on several search committees. Off campus, she serves as President of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History; as school board member for St. James Catholic School; as a member of the Dialogue on Diversity Conference Committee; and as Lead History Scholar for the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the NEH Picturing America Grant’s Picturing America’s Changing Landscapes Workshop.

Designation as Professor Emeritus – David Hudson
He has taught of range of management courses in the School of Business while also possessing knowledge and experience in human resources, sales, marketing and public relations. He has been a faculty athletic representative for the Golden Eagles’ athletic program, and he is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran

Designation as Professor Emerita – Pam King
She has trained scores of nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care leaders as the director of the graduate nursing program. Outside of Spading, she has volunteered at the Family Community Clinic, which provides medical care to individuals and families who lack health insurance, and she’s used her position there as a platform to provide service learning opportunities for Spalding students.

Designation as Professor Emerita – Marlene Will
Dr. Will has spent most of her adult life associated with Spalding. She earned a bachelor’s degree in math and a master of arts in teaching at Spalding, then spent more than four decades as a professor at the university, where she also earned her doctorate in education. In teaching a variety of math courses – from college alegbra to statistics, as well as mathematics for teachers – Dr. Will played a part in the college journey of countless students from all manner of majors and degree programs.

Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award – Teresa San Nguyen
Annually, this award recipient embodies the spiritual values of faith, hope and charity, which emulate Spalding’s founder, Mother Catherine Spalding. On campus, Nguyen has been a work-study in the library and a psychology tutor. Off campus, she has been heavily involved with the Vietnamese Eucharist Movement, leading youth groups there, and she volunteers at Centerstone in the crisis management center.

Mother Rose Meagher Senior Award – Kelsey Hamilton
This award goes annually to a person who has performed well academically and has a proven record as a mature leader and member of the campus community. Hamilton has been praised by faculty for her academic excellence, work ethic, maturity, judgment, helpfulness and creativity. As a work-study in the College of Education and as a student teacher at the Brown School, she has been praised for her initiative to complete tasks, her professionalism and her knowledge of mathematics content. She has also been a successful member of the Spalding track and field team and active member of the Kentucky Education Association Student Program. Hamilton collected more than 500 children’s books for the Rutherford Elementary Reads program.

With Commencement approaching on June 1, Spalding is publishing a series of stories and Q&A’s that highlight students from a range of degree programs who are set to graduate. Next up is Kristin Spencer, who is earning a Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC) degree. Spencer is a young mom and an online student.

What is your favorite Spalding memory?
My favorite Spalding memory is studying abroad in Ireland. It was beautiful!

Which accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at Spalding?
The accomplishment I’m most proud of is, of course, graduating but also being able to enhance and perfect my time-management skills.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I did all of my classes online, so I was rarely on campus except when I went to the library, so I’d have to say my favorite spot is the library. The staff there was accommodating when I had to bring my son along and gave us a basket with coloring books and puzzles.

At Spalding, we like to say that, “Today is a great day to change the world.” For many of our students, Commencement is a world changing experience. After graduation, how do you plan to change the world, big or small, and who inspires you to be a #spaldingworldchanger?
After graduation I plan on changing the world by showing the African-American community that we can be great and obtain higher education. My 4-year-old son inspires me to be a #spaldingworldchanger! It’s an amazing feeling to have him see me graduating from college, and I already am instilling in him that knowledge is power.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your Spalding experience?
I’d love to give a shoutout to Dr. Robin Hinkle, who directs the MSBC program. She’s amazing!

With Commencement approaching on June 1, Spalding is publishing a series of stories and Q&A’s that highlight students from a range of degree programs who are set to graduate. Next up is Taylor Thompson, who is earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. She is also the 2018 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s golf champion, and she helped Spalding to two SLIAC team titles.

What is your favorite Spalding memory?
It’s hard to choose something specifically; however, I’d choose my entire freshman year as a whole. Getting the opportunity to join a new community and meet new amazing people was something I’ll never forget.

Which accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at Spalding?
Winning SLIAC women’s golf championships with my team in back-to-back years and individually my senior year.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The outdoor area by the Mansion with the tulip poplar tree.

At Spalding, we like to say that, “Today is a great day to change the world.” For many of our students, Commencement is a world-changing experience. After graduation, how do you plan to change the world, big or small, and who inspires you to be a #spaldingworldchanger?
While I don’t have a specific plan to change the world, I hope I can continuously find ways to positively impact my community and the people around me. As Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Spalding has taught me how to embrace a diverse community, and I hope to continue to create that sense of belonging postgraduation in whatever community I end up in.

 

With Commencement approaching on June 1, Spalding is publishing a series of stories and Q&A’s that highlight students from a range of degree programs who are set to graduate. Next up is Cameron Ferguson, who is set to receive a bachelor of science in accounting degree. He is also a member of the Student Government Association and the Social Media Ambassadors program. 

What is your favorite Spalding memory?
I have a lot of great memories at Spalding University. I have met a lot of wonderful and awesome people here and have made a lot of awesome friends. I have also joined several campus organizations during my final year at Spalding, including the SGA Senate and the Social Media Ambassadors. I think that my favorite memory at Spalding would have to be when I had the opportunity to portray Spalding’s new mascot, Ollie the Eagle, this past year for the first time ever. I was able to reprise my role as a mascot for the first time since my senior year in high school, where I did it for 2 1/2 years. I had a lot of fun doing it back in high school and not only that, I did it as a way to work on my social skills because of how I have Autism. I was thinking of different ways on how I could work on improving my social skills, and I found that being a mascot was a great idea to do because I had great results each time I did it, I also learned a lot about being a mascot, and I found it to be rewarding. Not only was I able to bring a smile and a laugh or two to people, but I brought a smile to myself afterwards because of how fun it was for me to go out there as Ollie the Eagle and be the silly, goofy person that most people that know me, don’t get to see much in me at all. While I may have gotten to do it for only one time, it was the best time of my life, and I loved it.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at Spalding?
There are a lot of accomplishments that I achieved at Spalding that I am very proud of, but I think one of my biggest was being invited to join the Spalding School of Business’ prestigious organization Sigma Beta Delta. It was such an honor to have joined this organization last year and become a member because of how I was recognized for all of my hard work and good grades. As a result of this selection, I was also given a special graduation cord that I can wear at Commencement. I will be very happy and proud to wear it.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know if I do have a favorite spot on campus. I have been to every building on campus, and I have seen almost every part of those buildings, too. It is hard to decide which place on campus is my favorite spot to hang out at. I do know that the library is one of my No. 1 places to go to and just work on stuff and hang out, so I guess you could say it’s my favorite place on campus.

At Spalding, we like to say that, “Today is a great day to change the world.” For many of our students, Commencement is a world changing experience. After graduation, how do you plan to change the world, big or small, and who inspires you to be a #spaldingworldchanger?
I have several different goals that I want to pursue after graduation pretty soon. I am thinking about coming back to Spalding to join the MSBC Program. But I know that I must find my first full-time job and pay off my student loans before I can think about coming back for grad school. I’m hoping that by getting my master’s degree, that I could expand my knowledge and try to make an impact or a difference in the world, by putting myself into new situations that I don’t know much about and try to find a solution to it.

And because I’ve enjoyed it so much, I want to hopefully try to become a professional mascot somewhere for one of the many pro sports teams in the United States, while also continuing to be an accountant, too.

Some of my biggest influences have been some of my closest friends and my family because they have believed in me and they are very proud of me for everything that I have done. Two people who I think are my biggest influences and inspirations for being a Spalding World Changer are fellow classmate, friend, and former SGA President Scotty Brooks, and fellow Spalding alumnus and former SGA President Chris Muncy. They are probably just the most down-to-earth, nicest people I have ever met, and I’m just so happy that I have gotten to know them for the past year I have looked up to these two guys each day since I started my last year here, and they have always believed in me. Scotty would sometimes give me pep talks every now and then, and I would also enjoyed listening to him give them to me because it wasn’t for him and for Chris, I never would have done all of the amazing stuff that I did this past year, and I thank them each day for it because of how awesome they are. Also, if it wasn’t for their hard work for serving on the SGA Executive Board as well, I never would have called Spalding a second home.

Additionally, Spalding Marketing Director Amanda Lucas has also become one of my biggest inspirations at Spalding because she was the person who persuaded me to come to the university five years ago, when I first met her at a college fair at my high school. So thank you, Amanda, for being an awesome person and one of my biggest inspirations. Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone else whom I’ve met at Spalding throughout the last four years! You have also been a big influence on me and on my college journey, too. I also wish everyone the best of luck down the road and to always have fun! Once again, thank you, Spalding University, and go Golden Eagles!

With Commencement approaching on June 1, Spalding is publishing a series of stories and Q&A’s that highlight students from a range of degree programs who are set to graduate. Next up is Markel Bruce, a candidate for a bachelor of science in business administration degree. 

What is your favorite Spalding memory?
My favorite memory at Spalding University was actually transferring from a different school to here. Everything was so organized and professional. When I needed the help or had any questions I was able to ask people, and within that same day I got the answer that I needed.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at Spalding?
Graduating, of course! I’ve only been here two years to finish out my collegiate career, but graduating is something I am most proud of because I will be the first generation in my immediate family to graduate college.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot would have to be the Egan Leadership Center, specifically the financial aid office, with the reason being that they work so hard behind the scenes to get everything handled without breaking a sweat. Also, I was able to gather valuable information about student loans and counseling from them as well.

At Spalding, we like to say that, “Today is a great day to change the world.” For many of our students, Commencement is a world-changing experience. After graduation, how do you plan to change the world, big or small, and who inspires you to be a #spaldingworldchanger?
After graduation, my way of planning on changing the world, big or small, would be to help reform employee rights within the workplace. I’ve learned the ins and outs of the human resources field, business ethics, etc. With the knowledge I have I will go forth and make sure that I will reach out to individuals that have been denied certain rights to get them the proper resolution they need in the workplace.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your Spalding experience?
My experience at Spalding University would not have been great if it was not for Jimmy Rowland, my academic advisor. When I first started I had a different advisor, who ended up having to leave, so I was assigned Jimmy. Jimmy literally jumped right into action; every question I had was answered. Every concern I had was turned around to a positive outlook. And his whole vibe sets the mood for it being “a great day to change the world.” Jimmy saw so much drive in me that when I first got there I didn’t see in myself right off the bat. However, he is very encouraging and down to earth and made being a student more enjoyable.

Read more
Commencement Countdown | MSBC student Kelsey Gunther
Commencement Countdown | Art student Maddy Ezell