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MC Business Ethics Event Challenges Attendees to Take ‘Leap of Faith’ Toward Christian Service

Mississippi State Sen. Robin Robinson, who enjoyed a distinguished career with Sanderson Farms before entering politics, will deliver the keynote address during the Faith and Ethics Luncheon Feb. 29.
Mississippi State Sen. Robin Robinson, who enjoyed a distinguished career with Sanderson Farms before entering politics, will deliver the keynote address during the Faith and Ethics Luncheon Feb. 29.

Christian professionals from a wide variety of industries will share how they have found success by incorporating their beliefs into everyday practice during a Faith and Business Ethics Week event Feb. 28-29 at Mississippi College.

Sponsored by the MC School of Business and endowed by L.D. Jordan, a member of the School of Business Class of 1951, the 11th annual event will include a keynote address by a Mississippi state senator, a panel discussion of faith, ethics, and service by four prominent business professionals, class presentations from several industry leaders, and a networking luncheon.

“Taking a Leap of Faith” is for students and friends of the school and will focus on the responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges facing Christian business leaders, according to Marcelo Eduardo, dean of the MC School of Business.

“We want to prepare wonderful business graduates, but we want to do that in the context of our faith,” Eduardo said. “One of the most practical ways to do that is to prepare graduates who are very ethically aware and have a strong sense of service to others.

“In doing that, we’re honoring God.”

He said the Faith and Business Ethics program aligns perfectly with the school’s mission – to provide a quality business education in a Christian environment – and vision – to be known as a business school recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ.

“Our guests will share their career and how those careers intersect with their faith,” Eduardo said. “They will help to reinforce our mission by enhancing our students’ awareness of ethical issues and their commitment to serving others.”

Business students like Lindsey Harris and Luke Horst say the interaction with industry leaders and the ethical careers they model serve as blueprints for the professional success they hope to enjoy one day.

“I enjoy getting to hear from people who work in the corporate world and to learn from their experiences,” said Harris, a senior finance major from Raymond. “We hear about current issues in the workplace. It helps prepare us for our future in the business arena.

“Faith and Business Week provides an opportunity for us to learn why it is important to demonstrate Christian values within the workplace. We also learn how to handle situations that test our faith, how to be a witness to others within the workplace, and how to protect our integrity.”

She said the event underscores the lessons every business student learns in the mandatory “Faith and Business Ethics” class taught by Bobby Perkins, assistant professor in the School of Business.

“Faith and Business Ethics Week provides practical application for that class,” she said. “I am excited to learn from professionals and hear their stories – I love the testimonies from individuals who overcame difficult situations and seeing how God moved and provided for them.

“As a Christian, it was important for me to attend a university that implemented those core values. Mississippi College is a Christian University, and this week allows us to showcase that.”

As an undergraduate at MC, Horst attended the event each year. Now a graduate student working toward his M.B.A., the Pinson, Alabama, resident treasures the opportunity to learn how others have lived their faith in the world of business.

“The speakers who come to Faith and Business Week always bring great stories of how they have seen the impact of faith in their own lives and give great advice on how students can begin to apply their faith in school and work,” he said. “The event enhances my experience by providing a unique perspective on what I am learning in my classes. By having activities focused on how faith impacts my life as a future business professional, I am reminded that there is a greater purpose in business than making money.

“Business is one avenue through which I can use what God has given me to serve the people around me. This perspective is preparing me not only for a job, but for all of life.”

State Sen. Robin Robinson of District 42, who fashioned a distinguished business career with Sanderson Farms before entering the political arena, will present the keynote address during the Faith and Ethics Luncheon from Noon-1 p.m. Feb. 29 in Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

Elected in November 2023 to serve the people of the Hattiesburg and Laurel areas, Robinson is vice chair of the Senate Tourism Committee, secretary of the Appropriations Committee, and secretary of the Education Committee, among other committee service. Before her Senate election, she served the people of District 88 in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Billy Morehead, professor of accountancy in the School of Business, said Robinson has an incredible history of leadership.

“Robin has been a public servant in our state for years,” Morehead said. “She was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve on the College Board, which governs the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning over eight public universities. During her term, she was elected to serve as chair of the board.

“She is a lifelong Mississippian, a passionate advocate for education, an advocate for the sanctity of human life, a strong woman of faith, and loves encouraging and motivating students to be all that they can be. I am proud to call her a friend.”

A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Robinson was a trailblazer for female leadership in the poultry industry during a 40-year career at Sanderson Farms. Director of the only Fortune 1000 company headquartered in the state of Mississippi, she is chair of the board for the Jones County Junior College Foundation and chair of the board for the Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi.

Named a “Business Champion” by the Business and Political Education Committee for her support of the business community, Robinson received an “A” rating from the Mississippi Associations of Chiefs of Police.

Eduardo will formally welcome Faith and Business Week attendees and guests and offer an opening prayer at 11 a.m. on Feb. 29. Morehead will then provide a brief introduction to the Center for Faith, Service, and Business Ethics that he directs within the school. Center staff helped organize the Faith and Business Ethics Week activities.

Following the introduction, a panel of four industry leaders will talk about their faith and business ethics during a discussion moderated by Steven Mulhollen, a faculty member in the School of Business. The panelists will include:

Jessica Graves, director of international capacity development with the M4 Institute, who obtained her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Extension Education from Mississippi State University and served in academic advising administrative roles on the MSU faculty, teaching in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She joined M4 last August to answer God’s call for her life and serve others in rural communities around the world.

Rita Wray, founder and CEO of Wray Enterprises, Inc., a national independent health care consulting firm, who held a 10-year gubernatorial appointment as deputy executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration. The entrepreneur, author, and lecturer obtained her M.B.A. from Jackson State University and is a nationally recognized consultant and facilitator in regulatory compliance, risk management, leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and strategic planning.

Philip Vandercook, executive director and chaplain of Global Maritime Ministries, which provides two port ministry centers serving the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana along the lower Mississippi River, serves as president of Port Ministries International. He has a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Stan Buckley, founder and executive director of But God Ministries, a nonprofit organization that builds sustainable communities around the world, served as senior pastor in three churches before starting BGM in 2011. An alum of the Mississippi College School of Law, Buckley has authored seven books and has a degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Leading up to Thursday’s event, a wide variety of Christian speakers will share their perspectives on the intersection of business and faith during classroom presentations Feb. 28-29. They will include Arty Finkelberg of Raymond James, Billy Stewart of First Baptist Jackson, Matt Thornton of the Butler Snow Advisory Group, Tara Hayes of Chick-fil-A, Rance Sapen of Butler Snow, Mike Carraway of Carraway Cooley LLC, Kelly Williams of Greenovee Managers LLC, Mike Thornton of Southern States Utility Trailer Sales Inc., and Robert Leard of Regions Bank.

Eduardo said the close interaction between MC Business students and the guest speakers creates a more engaging, interactive exchange.

“We present these concepts in a much more personal way by bringing these very strong speakers to our individual classes,” he said. “Speaking in a setting of 20 or 25 students allows you to have a dialogue. It gives the speakers an opportunity to provide a more personal perspective.

“MC Business has a curriculum that discusses ethics in all our classes. These speakers provide a true application. They relate instances in which they have faced an ethical dilemma and explain how they’ve gone about recognizing it, dealing with it, and resolving it. The case studies we present in class become real when you hear from someone who has lived that experience.”

For more information about the Faith and Business Ethics Week at the Mississippi College School of Business, email Anna Kate McCain at