Huntington University’s Visiting Executive Seminar (VES) is set to discuss issues of race in America on Oct. 28, 2016.

The seminar brings together the university’s business students with business leaders to address hot topic issues that face our world today. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the upper level of Habecker Dining Commons, a continental breakfast will be served with the seminar beginning at 8:45 a.m. Optional lunch will be served at noon.

This year’s seminar will be led by Jim O’Donnell, executive-in-residence emeritus standing, Troy Irick, assistant professor of business and Arthur Wilson, dean of spiritual formation and campus pastor.

New this year, VES takes on the format of a panel discussion in order to address opposing articles on the topic of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and social justice. Considering this discussion from a Christian mindset, the panel will be answering the hard questions related to these articles, and interacting with attendees.

“Our discussion would, I hope, test our own willingness to walk humbly as we try to discuss what many know is tearing us apart, yet can’t be discussed in the public square,” O’Donnell said. “May we respectfully, lovingly, humbly challenge the silence.”

Both articles are written by professing Christians, the first being Heather MacDonald’s article “The Myths of Black Lives Matter.” MacDonald works at the Manhattan Institute in New York City. The second article to be discussed is “Social Justice is a Christian Tradition – Not a Liberal Agenda,” which appeared in Sojourners by Stephen Mattson, a blogger and admissions counselor for The University of Northwestern.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Reservations must be made through Linda Schmitz by email at or by phone at 260-359-4099.

The articles and additional information will be sent to attendees after their reservations have been submitted.



Huntington University’s Visiting Executive Seminar took place on Oct. 28 and focused on the topic of race in America.

Around 40 students, mainly business majors, and 40 business professionals and community members were in attendance.

The seminar took the form of a panel discussion, with the four panelists being Jim O’Donnell, executive in residence emeritus standing, Arthur Wilson, dean of spiritual formation and campus pastor, Reverend Donavan Coley, executive director of Fort Wayne Rescue Mission and Gary Hamilton, deputy chief of Fort Wayne police department.

Troy Irick, assistant professor of business, mediated the event.

“I think it went really well,” Irick said. “I think some of us were a little anxious going in, to be real honest. But the feedback from students, community and business professionals was really positive.”

When approaching the topic of race using the two articles “The Myths of Black Lives Matter” and “Social Justice is a Christian Tradition – Not a Liberal Agenda,” the first part of the morning was devoted to the panelists’ discussion. Once that wrapped up, the audience participated in a question and answer session.

In light of the recent presidential election, Irick said it might have been fortunate they chose to tackle a non-traditional business topic.

“We are a society that is probably more deeply divided than we have been in the past or sometimes more than we want to admit or recognize that we are – so maybe it was providential that we take a topic that traditionally would not have been the type of topic we would have covered at VES.”

Another Visiting Executive Seminar will be held in the spring of 2017.