Babson Center for Global Commerce

A Wm. Polk Carey Pre-Business Program

Corporate leader, entrepreneurial priest, and UN diplomat featured in Babson Center autumn schedule


An Environmental Protection Agency administrator who became a corporate leader, an international development expert for the United Nations, and an Episcopal priest who turned to entrepreneurship to build a ministry are the featured speakers for the Babson Center for Global Commerce’s 2013 Advent semester schedule.

Other major events this semester include the second season of the Sewanee Entrepreneurial Challenge; a Smith Career Day for students interested in learning more about careers in banking, finance, and consulting; a workshop on personal financial management for students; and a seminar on financial modeling using Excel.

The lead-off speaker for the semester is Lee M.Thomas, C’67, this semester’s Bryan Viewpoints Speaker. Thomas retired in 2012 as chairman and chief executive officer of Rayonier, Inc., a diversified forest products company. His first job after graduating from the University was as a juvenile probation officer, and his career in public service culminated when, from 1985 to 1989, he was the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

He will speak on Tuesday, September 17. Thomas’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Forestry and Geology.

Douglas Broderick will visit the University as a Diplomat in Residence and speak on Tuesday, October 15. Broderick is the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Indonesia. He lectured at Sewanee in 2011, while he was resident representative for the UNDP in Cambodia. His career in international development and disaster relief includes work in North Korea, Armenia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Palestine, and Egypt.
Broderick’s residency is co-sponsored by the Department of Politics, the Department of Economics, and the Social Entrepreneurship Education Program (SEED).

The Rev. Becca Stevens, C’85, is the Episcopal chaplain at Vanderbilt University, and she is also the founder of Magdalene & Thistle Farms, a nationally lauded social enterprise that produces natural bath and beauty products in support of its residential programs for women who are recovering from sexual trafficking, addiction, and prostitution. Stevens, the 2013 Humphreys Entrepreneur in Residence, will speak on Tuesday, November 5.


Stevens’ residency coincides with the return of the Center’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. In the Challenge, teams of Sewanee Students compete for cash prizes to produce the best disruptive business idea, design a business plan to create a new business based on the idea, and prepare and deliver an effective presentation of the business plan for potential investment. Final presentations and judging of the competition will take place Wednesday, November 6.

Smith Career Day, offered in conjunction with the Office of Career & Leadership Development, is scheduled for Friday, September 13. Jim Folds (C’86 – Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group), Isabel Foster (C’06 – JPMorgan Chase), Will Harper (C’07 – Bain & Company), Alex Harris (C’11 – SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.), and William Yoder (C’88 – Southern Community Bank) will provide career guidance and employment counseling.

Students will have two opportunities to attend a Personal Finance Seminar on either Thursday, September 19, and Tuesday, September 24. Taught by John Goodson, a partner in Lawson Winchester Goodson Wealth Management, the seminar will help students develop the skills they will need to manage their financial lives while in school and after graduation.

The financial modeling seminar, taught by the nationally recognized finance education firm Training The Street, is scheduled for Saturday November 16. Students will learn the ins and outs of using Excel spreadsheets for financial modeling.

For more information on the Center’s programs and events, visit the Babson Center’s website or contact the Center directly. Some events require prior registration, but the three lectures and the finals of the Entrepreneurial Challenge are free and open to the general public.

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