One of the greatest joys of leading Palm Beach Atlantic University is witnessing how we live our motto of Enlightening Minds, Enriching Souls and Extending Hands.
At Palm Beach Atlantic, we have a unique commitment to spreading a thorough understanding of the American free enterprise system, which we celebrate every November on American Free Enterprise Day. I’m pleased to share that the university will honor Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in chief of Forbes Media, as this year’s American Free Enterprise Day Medalist. Our students, faculty, staff and the entire West Palm Beach community will learn much from this champion of the American free enterprise system. I’d like to invite you to join us for the celebration Nov. 3 in the Rubin Arena on Palm Beach Atlantic’s West Palm Beach campus. Visit www.pba.edu/afe for details.
Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic forecaster, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate. As Christians, we have a special responsibility to use our words precisely and accurately, and I so appreciate this about Steve.
Steve’s newest project is the podcast “What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers, politicians and pioneers in business and economics in honest conversations meant to challenge traditional conventions. It also features Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society, economics and policy.
Career and Calling
Sometimes our students ask: Can businesspeople both flourish and be good Christians? Our faculty help students navigate this question with great care. For right now, I’ll just say “Absolutely!” Steve is one example of many businesspeople we have honored over nearly 40 years of celebrating American Free Enterprise Day. I’d encourage you to read more about previous honorees on PBA’s website. Last year’s medalist, Ray Titus, is a shining example of turning your career into a calling while keeping your faith and family at the center of your life and 2019 medalist Y. Michele Kang is an incredible example of using business to increase opportunities for veterans, under-resourced young adults and disabled Americans who might otherwise miss out on the dignity of work.
God has given special talents and abilities to each of us. We are called to use these special talents and abilities to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our job as educators at PBA is to help our students discover what special gifts God has given them and to understand how they can give these gifts back to Him. For businesspeople, this often means creating a better product, rendering a better service, selling products for a lower price, or employing your neighbor. Through these actions and many others, businesspeople can love both God and their neighbors.
Faith, Roots and Reason
At PBA, we don’t limit the celebration of American free enterprise to just one day. Our professors are instrumental in enlightening young minds. Our Faith, Roots, and Reason curriculum, which is required of all students at Palm Beach Atlantic University, allows students to enroll in one of two courses: Freedom in American Society or American Free Enterprise. Students explore important economic, political and philosophical questions in these courses.
It is imperative that we pass down to the next generation an understanding of why the American free enterprise system exists, that it has brought human flourishing to past American generations, and that if we do not deviate from it, free enterprise will offer similar flourishing to future generations of Americans.
Our country has flourished because of the enduring grace of God and pillars such as religious liberty, traditional Judeo-Christian morality, constitutional government, the rule of law, personal and political accountability, and yes, free enterprise. Unlike other universities around the country, Palm Beach Atlantic’s commitment to American free enterprise is unwavering. Will you join us in celebrating on Nov. 3?
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, a physician, researcher and innovator, is president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. (www.pba.edu)
For more articles by Dr. Schwinn, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-debra-a-schwinn/