The University of Indianapolis received a $100,000 gift from alumnus John F. Whorley, Jr. (Jeff) ’01 to create the Dr. Gerald Speth Business Knowledge Award for UIndy MBA instructors. Created to honor the leadership of Dr. Speth, the founder of the executive MBA program at UIndy, the award recognizes faculty who demonstrate the ability and commitment to impart critical information and insights to business students.
Whorley, who earned his MBA from UIndy in 2001, has served at the executive vice president level in three Fortune 500 companies as well as in leadership roles in start-up ventures, government, and non-profit organizations. He credits important aspects of his professional career to his UIndy business education and one business professor in particular, Dr. Gerald Speth.
Dr. Speth, a former UIndy faculty member of 17 years and leader of the university’s Executive Master of Business Administration program, is known for his teachings on leadership and demonstrating how to apply effective leadership in life and in the workforce.
Dr. Speth’s influence on Whorley continued even after he graduated from the UIndy program. While employed by Sallie Mae, Whorley called on the expertise of Dr. Speth to help create a high performance, career-path-focused culture with newly assembled teams that Whorley was leading in a new corporate enterprise.
“Dr. Speth has the ability to help a business student see their unique potential and how learning in a business program can support that potential being realized,” Whorley said. “He would use low key but persistent and powerful messaging to nudge, push and pull MBA students along their particular career success path.”
Seeing his career path was linked to influence and instruction of outstanding professors, Whorley wants to help recognize current professors who show the same high level of engagement and encouragement that Dr. Speth conveyed to students for many years. Whorley said that thinking about the value of exceptional instructors lead to the creation of the Dr. Gerald Speth Business Knowledge Award.
“I really just want to help remind UIndy’s most engaged business professors that they are influencing career paths more than they even realize,” Whorley said.
This gift will allow Larry Belcher, dean of the School of Business, to convene a committee of student leaders who will gather nominations from School of Business students. The student leader committee will be responsible for selecting the top candidate for the award, annually. The faculty recipient will be eligible to receive approximately a $2,000 award for their outstanding leadership shown throughout the year.
“We want to thank Jeff Whorley for his generosity,” said Dr. Larry Belcher, dean of UIndy’s School of Business. This award recognizes two things about the School of Business: the focus on students and the relationships they develop with the faculty. Jeff had a strong faculty mentor in Dr. Speth, who provided not only education but personal and professional guidance that he has drawn upon throughout his very successful business career. This gift and the award will provide future students the opportunity to recognize School of Business faculty who have had similar lasting impacts on the next generation of business leaders.”
Whorley is an Executive Vice President at Fiserv, a financial technology services company, and heads the company’s Fiserv Education business. Most recently, Whorley was appointed by Governor Holcomb to the Ports of Indiana Commission, which is a board appointed by the Governor to approve major projects, budgets and strategic objectives for the billion dollars plus impact state enterprise.
“Opportunities like these are created because of individuals like Jeff,” said Janel Bogenschutz, AVP of Advancement at the University of Indianapolis. “We thank him for helping the University acknowledge and celebrate outstanding faculty members.”
“My hope is that students who consider nominations for this award stop and think about what a tremendous learning resource their professors can be,” Whorley said. “An MBA program like the one at UIndy can be an opportunity for each student to prepare a personalized and practical career toolkit under the guidance of terrific instructors.”
Jeff invites those that are interested in supporting this initiative to do so by going to getinvolved.uindy.edu/give and choosing ‘other’ as the designation and type in Dr. Speth Fund in the text box. To learn more about making a difference in the lives of UIndy students, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Advancement and the School of Business will be celebrating this outstanding award on Wednesday, September 14th at 2 pm. For those interested in attending, please contact Janel Bogenschutz at email@example.com or call (317) 788-3922.