As they prepare for careers in business, university students face a changing landscape where focus is shifting from current and recent earnings reports to long-term profitability. Looking farther into the future, companies seek leaders who understand sustained financial stability balanced with environmental and social responsibility.
To help train those future leaders, Southwire Company and the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business unveiled today the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program. Funded by a $1.1 million gift from Southwire, the program will allow students to complete undergraduate business studies and earn MBA degrees in four years. The gift is the largest in the history of the Richards College of Business.
“Sustainable business practices require companies to plan ahead years – not just quarters –to ensure long-term profitability, the health of the environment and the strengthened social infrastructures of our communities,” said Southwire President and CEO Stu Thorn. “All of Southwire’s operations and decisions evolve through a culture built on the concepts of building worth, growing green, living well, giving back and doing right. We are honored the University of West Georgia sees value of our practices as a model for educating the business leaders of tomorrow.”
“Southwire and the University of West Georgia have had a great long-standing relationship,” said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of the University of West Georgia. “We are grateful and excited at this latest investment they have made in our future and our students.”
Students enrolled in the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program will meet the university’s requirements for general education, including global perspectives and critical thinking; complete requirements for both bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration; and engage in classroom and extra-curricular activities focusing on sustainable business development, ethics and corporate responsibility.
Throughout the program, which launches this fall, students will engage in real-world experiences at Southwire such as internships in their major field of study, working with the company’s Project GIFT (Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow), contributing to and editing Southwire’s Living Well magazine, and participating in the Southwire Engineering Academy.
“All companies, as well as non-profits and governmental agencies, are faced with planning for the future in ways that ensure long-term sustainability for the business, the community, and the environment,” said Richards College of Business Dean Faye McIntyre. “Now more than ever, programs such as the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program are needed to train the leaders of tomorrow to accomplish these goals. We could not offer this program without the support of Southwire – a true partner with the Richards College – and we are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our students.”
– Gary Leftwich