Our founding trio with Marilyn Fedak
“What effects do the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank interest rate policies have in the developing world?”
“What are the economic consequences of unprecedented monetary expansion to U.S. businesses?”
“What happens when some firms are ‘spared’ at the expense of secured creditors during a financial crisis?”
These are the types of questions the three of us set out to answer when we founded The Adam Smith Society chapter at The Fuqua School of Business in the fall of 2013. As we set out to scale these discussions from the school’s small team rooms to a larger forum, we set three guiding principles: Team Fuqua is paramount; economics is center; and value creation is key.
Our solution was to examine Fuqua’s history and focus on its namesake, J.B. Fuqua, who celebrated free markets on a global stage, partner with an organization that is actively working toward similar ends as he once did, and to create a unique forum where students are able to explore the benefits of free market economics and the links between the economy, government and society.
Team Fuqua is Fuqua, and to stay true to our community we agreed that any initiative we created would be explicitly tied to our school’s culture and heritage.
During the beginning of our second year, we had all read Fuqua: A Memoir, by J.B. Fuqua, and were inspired by the story of our school benefactor building relationships in the midst of the Cold War in order to exclaim the virtues of free markets. J.B.’s mission to cultivate a relationship with Russia predicated on free-market system education, was as visionary as it was successful. And it was his passion and unprecedented success at using philanthropy to create global change that is inspirationally ‘off the charts.’
“… this program [with Russian managers] has been the most satisfactory philanthropy I have ever done.” – J.B. Fuqua
Every time you walk by J.B. Fuqua’s bust in the main Fuqua hall, one can see and read his vision: “Benefactor, advisor, champion of free enterprise and business education, and valued friend whose magnificent generosity and keen vision have contributed to the legacy that is The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.”
As we celebrate Fuqua’s 25th Anniversary of involvement with Russia, we are reminded that about this time last year we were working to build a system with The Adam Smith Society that is very much a continuation of J.B.’s original mission.