By Mike Valiquette ’14
Acting ethically in the economic marketplace was the topic Siena President Fr. Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D. addressed as the keynote speaker at the inaugural Francis-can Focus Event on campus on Sept. 21. In celebration of the College’s 75th Anniversary, Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, organized the event in order to engage the Siena community in academic discussion outside of the classroom.
“The program allowed us to look at ethics in the economic marketplace, as well as in our personal lives, from a Franciscan standpoint,” Fr. Russel said. “I was very pleased and the students seemed to enjoy the event, too.”
Fr. Kevin spoke about Catholic Social Teaching and how the Catholic Tradition teaches us that a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. He emphasized how every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency.
He concluded his address by suggesting how to act ethically in a social environment. “We (Siena College) speak clearly when promoting good citizenship. We look at our Franciscan values and promote personal integrity as a key to being ethical. It is a Siena College graduate’s responsibility to take these values we talk about here on campus and bring them to the marketplace,” Fr. Kevin stated.
Most of the students appreciated the opportunity to hear from the President of the College. “I found his presentation very informative and intriguing” Brianna Hazard ’14 said.
Following the address, there were panel discussions on Socially Responsible Investing, Ethics in Free Markets and Other Market Systems, The Impact of Globalization on the Environment and Sustainability and Catholic Social Teaching in the Classroom. Panelists included Board of Trustee Virginia Darrow ’83 and faculty members Joe Allegretti, Jim Booker, Tom Dickens, Peter Ellard, Holly Grieco, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Adam Nguyen, Aaron Pacitti, Ashley Provencher and Jean Stern.