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Business Students Set Charity Fundraising Record

January 7, 2011

During the fall 2010 semester, OBU School of Business students brought in a record-setting $1,891.66 in their annual fundraising competition to be divided among several local and well-known charities. The previous record for the OBU business competition was $1,029.03, set in the fall of 2007.

The competition is part of the Business and Professional Careers course taught by Dr. Rich Rudebock, Cargill associate professor of business. It is designed to raise money for charities, as well as help OBU business students develop skills they will need in professional fields.

"Team Awesome, Inc." was one of eight teams competing to raise funds for charities through the Business and Professional Careers course at OBU. The team included (from left) Fujuan Yang from Mengla, China; Jessica Storey from Tulsa, Okla.; Sterling Wright from Midwest City, Okla.; Mickey Peercy from Duncan, Okla.; and Brett Vandervort from Tulsa.

Fifty-three students in fall 2010 joined the long list of students who have participated in the fundraising competition every fall since 2006. Rudebock said he gleaned the idea for the competition from a Christian Business Faculty Association conference.

"The students work in teams to develop an idea, write and present a business plan, buy and resell products, choose a charity and then write up a final report," Rudebock said. "The majority of these steps are things that they will do in the real world of business. This gives them a chance as freshmen to get a taste of their future careers."

The two sections of the course are divided into eight teams. Each team represents its own "company." The students in each team are responsible for securing half of the company's profits to fund future competitions through the School of Business course. The other half of the profits go to the charity of the students' choice.

Jessica Storey, a freshman from Tulsa, Okla., was part of "Team Awesome, Inc.," which sold hooded sweatshirts to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America. Storey said the team displayed posters in dormitories, the OBU mailroom, Ford Music Hall, and the cafeteria announcing the sale of the clothing. Students were invited to text or e-mail team members to order a "hoodie" costing $25, including tax.

"The competition really helped enhance my learning because the competition was hands on and gave us a taste of doing business and working as a team," said Samuel Whelan, a freshman from Parachute, Colo. "Instead of just sitting in lectures, we got to make mistakes on our own and learn how make an honest profit."

The competition dwells on work ethic, business skills and working as a team. The students involved in the competition said they feel as though the exercise has benefited them in many ways.

"The competition has helped me forge good relationships with other members in the School of Business, especially with my team members," said Staci Wright, a freshman from Dewey, Okla. "It helped me see how much you can accomplish by working together, and how little I could have done without other members of my team."

The charities supported by the competition profits have included The Salvation Army of Shawnee, Shawnee Mission, World Vision, Children's Medical Research Institute, and many others. Many people benefit from the competition: The students receive priceless business experience and, with more than $6,000 raised for charity since 2006, countless other lives have been touched.

The Christian Business Faculty Association exists to assist and encourage Christian business faculty in the study, integration, teaching and application of biblical truths in service to the academy, students and the business community. For more information about the CBFA, click here.

To learn more about OBU's Paul Dickinson School of Business, click here.