Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

$5M gift leads to new Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility

By Akanksha Jayanthi
Inside Loyola

An anonymous donor has given $5 million to the social enterprise and responsibility initiative at Loyola's Quinlan School of Business. Funds will be used to support the new Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J., Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility.

The Baumhart Center will provide faculty, staff, students, and alumni with opportunities for growth—including research, community outreach, and professional development—according to Kathleen A. Getz, Quinlan’s dean.

Social enterprise and responsibility is a burgeoning field in business, with companies now seeing it as vital to both the community and the bottom line.

“Over the past 20 years, there has been a real growth and appreciation that business ought to operate with a sense of appreciation and social responsibility,” says Timothy O’Connell, professor of business ethics at Quinlan.

O’Connell says social responsibility involves making sure all the stakeholders in a business are taken care of, not just the investors. These stakeholders include the employees, customers, suppliers, and financiers. Social enterprise refers to businesses whose central purpose is to help others.

“The second step beyond social responsibility involves bringing the skills of business to the organizations that explicitly are there to do good for society,” O’Connell says. “We have core competencies in the business school that could be particularly beneficial to nonprofits.”

Getz says the Baumhart Center exemplifies what Loyola stands for as a university.

“When you think about transformative education and the Jesuit approach to education, the words social justice, equality, responsibility, and community service immediately come to mind,” she says. “That’s what this is about.”

Getz says that the $5 million gift itself is a testament to the school’s belief that business can be a force for good.

“We couldn’t be doing this without our donors,” Getz says. “It shows they believe in what we are doing here. They believe in our community and want to make the future of this school even brighter. They believe in the students and want to support them.”

Per request of the anonymous donor, the Baumhart Center is named after the former dean of Loyola’s business school and former president of the University, Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J. Baumhart is one of the country’s leading business ethics scholars.

The announcement of the Baumhart Center comes just a month after Quinlan launched a Supply and Value Chain Center, the first in Chicago.

Getz says the generosity from the donors and their commitment to this school will continue to benefit and transform Loyola.

“The response has been overwhelming,” she says, “and the momentum is building.”