St. Nicholas On Campus

stnickHave you stopped believing in Santa Claus? Well, after you read this blog entry, you may need to reconsider your skepticism! After all, St. Nicholas actually visited our campus earlier this month, and was addressed by two Providence College professors and one accounting program alumnus.

This startling activity occurred at the third international St. Nicholas of Myra Conference on Catholic Social Thought, held on campus in our Ruane Center for the Humanities. Finance professor David Zalewski, Accountancy program alumnus Jim Klinger of IFC Asset Management (the private equity arm for the World Bank), and Accountancy professor Michael Kraten joined a panel discussion entitled Catholic Social Teaching and the Development of Human Capital.

Mike led off by addressing the impact and structure of the Libor global banking scandal. Dave then discussed taxation and other regulatory policies that affect the labor markets. And Jim followed by discussing how he applies principles of Catholic Social Thought in his own professional role within the financial services industry.

Their comments stimulated lively debates throughout their session and into the subsequent dinner hour. According to Jim, “It was a pleasure and an honor to return to campus to explore the implications of Christian theology on business practices before a variety of professors and students. I look forward to continuing our conversations, and to acting on what we talk about.”

Added Dave, “The conference provided an excellent opportunity to bring together scholars and practitioners from both business and the humanities to discuss the contribution Catholic social teaching can make in improving economic welfare.”

Mike agreed, noting that “Academics are sometimes accused of working in silos. And yet we were able to ‘make the connection’ between the global banking system, national taxation policy, and the theological underpinnings of our ethical and moral codes of conduct … all within our panel discussion!”

Indeed, our dynamic trio fully engaged the audience, and we can only hope that they pleased the spirit of St. Nicholas as well. After all, the Accounting Friars of Providence College will send Santa a letter soon, asking him for a suitable Christmas gift to enjoy throughout 2017 and beyond. We’ll publish that letter in a forthcoming blog entry.

To Be Continued …

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons File Ferapontov.jpg. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas (including the United States) where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.