Aquinas College announced its new Master of Sustainable Business Degree, the first of its kind in the upper Midwest, at a luncheon held May 25 in Aquinas’s Wege Center. Introducing the new offering, President Ed Balog gave Peter M. Wege full credit for pushing Aquinas in this direction starting in 2000. That’s when Wege called on the Aquinas faculty to make a commitment to preserving the environment.
Jeanne Englehart, pictured above, from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, announced that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Siemens Corporation had just named Grand Rapids the most sustainable mid-sized city in the country. Englehart, who accepted the award in Houston with Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, said it was pretty emotional watching the live stream of the news running across the giant TV screen in New York’s Time Square. Englehart noted that this new educational opportunity at Aquinas confirmed why Grand Rapids was so honored.
Deborah Steketee, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sustainable Business, described the new 1.5-2 year masters degree combining science, environmental, and business courses as a program of service to society. Steketee noted that this new graduate degree is consistent with the Dominican Sisters’ mission of doing good for the world.
Nancy Hickey, representing Steelcase, a major sponsor of the new masters degree in Sustainable Business, talked about how the program fits Steelcase’s long-time commitment to green manufacturing and sustainable business operations. Rather than costing more to use sustainable practices to run their business, Steelcase’s experience is that respect for the triple bottom line – environmental, financial, and social – has given the company a competitive advantage and raised profits.