Organizational expert to address annual commencement ceremonies

Organizational expert to address annual commencement ceremonies
April 24, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

James D. Ludema, Ph.D., a nationally-recognized organizational consultant and co-founder and director of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University, will address the University’s 116th Commencement Convocation on Sunday, May 17 at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. Ludema, who earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Calvin College and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, is a professor of Organization Development at Benedictine University and a founding owner of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, a global firm that includes several of the worlds’ leading thinkers and practitioners of appreciative inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry, or A.I., is the cooperative search for the best in oneself, others and their organizations. A.I. stresses imagination and innovation rather than negativity and criticism. Rather than focus on correcting problems, which leads to a negative culture, it assumes that every living system has an untapped potential for the positive. Ludema has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America and has served as consultant to a variety of organizations in the profit, non-profit and government sectors including BP, McDonald’s, Northern Telecom, Essef Corporation, Bell and Howell, Kaiser Permanente, World Vision and the City of Minneapolis. Ludema’s areas of expertise include A.I., organizational redesign and whole system change, large group interventions, the people side of mergers and acquisitions, human motivation and organizational storytelling. His current mission at Benedictine is the establishment of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership. The center is a dynamic “learning alliance” – a collaborative network of top universities, corporations, executives, thought leaders and other partners – whose mission is to advance the understanding and practice of values-driven leadership for the benefit of business and society worldwide. Commencement activities begin with a Mass at 8:00 a.m. at St. Procopius Abbey. The gates to the Sports Complex will open at 8:30 a.m. Commencement ceremonies for associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree candidates will begin with a procession from the Rice Center at 9:45 a.m. A reception will follow commencement in the Krasa Student Center. Parking is available on the Benedictine University campus and across the street at Benet Academy, 2200 Maple Ave. In addition, remote parking will be available at Lisle Senior High School, 1800 Short St., and the Lisle Park District, 1825 Short St. Shuttle buses will transport guests between these lots and the Sports Complex between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For more information about commencement ceremonies at Benedictine University, visit the commencement web page at www.ben.edu/commencement.


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. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.