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When SUCCESS is not just Profit

Brennan Hall home of the Kania School of Management

In a world where the bottom line is often the only consideration in business, what is it that calls some to see beyond their personal gain?
When William and Judith Burkavage decided to endow The William and Elizabeth Burkavage Fellowship in Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, they not only honored his parents but they challenged the Kania School of Management’s faculty and students to infuse Jesuit ideals into their lives, education and careers. At the heart of the Burkavages’ commitment to education and their personal and business success is family and faith.


Family values and commitment to excellence are at the center of the mission of Burkavage Design Associates, an architectural and interior design firm. The business began over 65 years ago with William Burkavage, Sr. at the helm. Father, son and partners have consistently focused on following ethical business practices. They have also passed these tenets on to the third generation of Burkavages. Three of the four Burkavage sons have gone into business and finance. When they return home, ethics and ethical business practices often are the topics of family discussions with Bill and Judy providing insight.

Business & Faith

Living the life of an ethically committed businessman can “often feel lonely.” Consequently Bill Burkavage sought out other like-minded business people. He is a member of the Scranton Chapter of the Woodstock Business Conference (WBC), an international network based on Ignatian ideals that encourages “business and professional leaders to integrate faith, family, and business by incorporating their religious values into the policies and practices of their corporations.”1 The group gathers monthly to bring together business leaders who are committed to ethical, sustainable business practices to discuss the issues that confront them in their ventures. For Mr. Burkavage the WBC is a “reaffirmation and recharging of his daily values.”

The University & the Burkavages

Mr. Burkavage strongly believes that corporate social responsibility and business practices are not contradictory concepts. He realized that to take this mission to the next step and impact future business leaders, he would need to partner with business educators. Mr. Burkavage reached out to Kania School of Management Dean Michael Mensah. It quickly became clear that the University and the Burkavages share a similar vision of how important it is for future business leaders to carry Ignatian ethical values into the business and finance world. Dean Mensah’s vision was and remains that the Kania School of Management “not be a business school in a Jesuit university, but be a Jesuit business school.” Recognizing the common goal, the Burkavage family created the fellowship.

KSOM & the Bottom Line

What qualities inspired Peter Drucker, educator, author and modern management consultant to comment: “Don’t go to Harvard, but to the business school at The University of Scranton, where they are changing lives”? The Kania School of Management is dedicated to the commitment of bringing “the highly innovative business programs enriched with the latest technological applications that are sharply focused on educating the whole person for a lifetime of success. The dual focus on being on the cutting-edge of scholarly teaching and following the Jesuit principle of cura personalis informs and directs everything KSOM does on behalf of its students.”2 There is another unadvertised quality at The University of Scranton: it is the commitment of the local business community to be engaged with the education of future generations of business leaders.

The William and Elizabeth Burkavage Fellowship emphasizes transformative education. It funds faculty research and provides faculty with the opportunity to explore the models of business ethics and to bring what they discover to the classroom. The fellowship is of direct benefit to students, challenging them to live their personal and professional lives responsibly and ethically. It is an excellent model for the wider business and business education communities in providing and enhancing student opportunities to partner Jesuit ideals and good business practices.

1 Woodstock Business Conference.

2 Kania School of Management.