Goodwin’s gifts continue to strengthen business education at Benedictine

October 14, 2016

Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University officially named its College of Business after Daniel L. Goodwin, a local real estate executive and vice chair of the University’s board of trustees, in honor of his extraordinary philanthropic support and leadership at a dedication ceremony on Friday.

About 300 faculty, staff, students and guests showed their appreciation for Goodwin’s philanthropy to the University during the ceremony for the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business. This marks the first time in the University’s 129-year history that it has named a college after anyone.

“By emphasizing theory in practice, innovation, strong general management and academic rigor, Benedictine’s business programs provide a lasting foundation for leadership and prepare students for current and future opportunities,” said Sandra Gill, Ph.D., dean of Benedictine’s Goodwin College of Business. “Mr. Goodwin’s support of Benedictine’s College of Business provides a lifelong investment in this future of every student, and is an ideal choice for this great honor.”

Goodwin, a trustee at Benedictine since 1991, is the CEO of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc., a multibillion dollar real estate and financial organization in Oak Brook.

“Daniel Goodwin has been a longtime Benedictine supporter and friend,” said Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., M.F.A., president of Benedictine University. “We are most appreciative of his generosity to the University community. We also believe it is most appropriate for us to name our College of Business after someone who is not only a strong values-based leader, but who is also recognized throughout the Chicago area as a tremendously successful businessman.”

Other academic leaders at the University proudly heralded Goodwin’s dedication to community and Benedictine’s success.

“This is truly a historic day because of the vision and leadership of Dan Goodwin, which has transformed us,” said Gill, who directs the University’s business programs housed within the Goodwin Hall of Business building dedicated last fall. “The Goodwin Hall of Business is now the vibrant center of the University campus.”

During the ceremony, Tanjia M. Coleman, Ph.D., senior director, Human Resources, at KinderCare Education, marveled at how the University’s faculty helped her excel in her studies while giving her access to the special resources.

On a day of personal significance to her, Coleman completed the degree requirements for a Ph.D. in Organization Development (OD) by defending her dissertation on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday observance within the Goodwin Hall of Business – the first OD student to defend a thesis within the confines of the new building.

“As I walk through the Goodwin Hall of Business, I see the spark in students’ eyes,” Coleman said. “Mr. Goodwin, you have created a lasting legacy at Benedictine University and that is something to be extremely proud of.”

Undergraduate students also expressed what the new building has meant to their college experience. Dominic D. DeMicco III, a senior Finance major, attributed some of the hands-on financial training and knowledge he has gained to the resources and networking events available in Goodwin Hall.

“The impressive facilities and resources the Goodwin Hall of Business provides vastly improve students’ education,” DeMicco said. “I believe that this school will bring in top business students because they will be drawn to resources such as Bloomberg terminals, a trading lab with dual monitors for each student and trading classes offered at few other schools.

“Benedictine’s relatively close proximity to the city of Chicago gives it the potential to become a pipeline for jobs in the city’s financial district,” he added.

Several public officials were in attendance, including Lisle Mayor Joe Broda, State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), State Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.

“I’ve had a unique vantage point for what has happened at the University,” Connelly said. “I’ve seen the transformation here at Benedictine since Dan Goodwin joined the board of trustees. The community at large benefits from the changes that Mr. Goodwin has helped to lead.”

Broda remarked that his history with Benedictine went back to 1978 when, in order to advance his career, he enrolled as a Management student.

“Three months into the program at Benedictine, I got promoted,” Broda said. “Benedictine gave me the opportunity to succeed, and this business building will give future students that same opportunity.”

Radogno expressed similar sentiments.

“As people talk about the values-driven leadership that is promoted here at Benedictine, this College of Business building is another way Mr. Goodwin has influenced and inspired others,” Radogno said.

Goodwin thanked the University and guests for their accolades but emphasized the changes at the school since he joined the board of trustees have been a partnership.

“Having been on the board since 1991, it’s been a real experience,” Goodwin said. “I have seen the transformation of the University. Some people say, ‘Why would you give a big contribution to a business school? Business is bad.’ Business is neither good or bad. It’s people who make the difference.”

Goodwin added that he and Benedictine shared values-based philosophies to life and business.

“I am a firm believer in capitalism with regulations so that people aren’t exploited,” Goodwin said. “If business is values-centered, it can make a difference. That’s what Benedictine does. I think our country needs more of that.”

Goodwin started as a teacher in Chicago public schools, and went on to form a series of real estate and financial companies which grew to make The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies one of the largest and most successful real estate organizations in the country.

His support for the University includes making the lead gift for the University’s newest and largest academic building, the Goodwin Hall of Business, which opened in fall 2015. Goodwin Hall houses the college’s undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business programs with classrooms, study areas, seminar rooms, offices, a 600-seat auditorium, a financial trading lab and a Starbucks café.

The building has not only enhanced the Goodwin College of Business and classroom experience, but has offered the entire University an upgrade in space utilization and event hosting.

Goodwin will give up to an additional $1.5 million if Benedictine meets his challenge to raise $5 million more for the Goodwin College of Business.

“We are honored to accept yet another generous gift from Mr. Goodwin and truly appreciate the challenge he has issued,” said Len Bertolini, vice president of University Development at Benedictine. “His support will help us to continue to strengthen our business programs and offerings so that we can continue to provide our students with the latest and greatest training in the field, and the resources they need to be competitive in the global workplace.”

The Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business at Benedictine gives students the tools to have a transformative experience in the business world and prepares them through a values-centered approach to business education, socially responsible leadership, and critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The highly respected college offers seven specialized master’s degrees, 11 undergraduate majors, boasts the internationally-acclaimed Ph.D. in Organization Development, innovative Ph.D./D.B.A. in Values-Driven Leadership and the Benedictine University Master of Business Administration program – the fourth largest M.B.A. program in the Chicago area.

Since the initial class of 39 business students graduated from the University a little more than 40 years ago, more than 10,000 students have graduated with business degrees and nearly 2,000 are currently enrolled in the Goodwin College of Business’ various programs.

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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