Alumnus links ethics with success

Jan 7, 2005

Bruce Coventry '75, spoke with students as part of the GM Sullivan Fellowship Program focused on ethics and corporate social responsibility.

Bruce Coventry '75, president of Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance for DaimlerChrysler and a member of the Kettering University Board of Trustee, gave up his birthday to spend an evening on campus - an example of his commitment to Kettering students and his alma mater. Coventry was on campus working with the Student Leadership Workshop, co-sponsored by the GM Sullivan Fellowship Program and the Student Alumni Council. The purpose of the program is to focus student leadership training on ethics and corporate social responsibility.

The GM Sullivan Fellowship Program, sponsored by General Motors Corporation, was established to create awareness on GM partner campuses of the work of The Reverend Leon Sullivan, the first African-American to serve on a Fortune 500 board (GM's). His pioneering work in human development and human rights, culminated in the development of the Global Sullivan Principles. Kettering University has been a participant in the program for three years.

During the first session of the program Essence James, Kettering's GM Sullivan Fellow, outlined the Global Sullivan Principles and the role of individual ethics and values in each student's academic and corporate life. Coventry followed with a presentation entitled "The Link between Business Success and Good Corporate Governance," discussing the link between good corporate governance and business success. He said the global economy has created a level of complexity that corporations must address daily. "The ability to maintain a consistent face - driven by a consistent set of core values - is vital to maintaining your license to operate," Coventry said.

The second session focused on the student leaders' experiences at school and in the workplace related to the Global Sullivan Principles. Coventry served as moderator and responded to student questions and concerns. He reminded the students that they must not allow the status quo tocontinue if they see a problem. "If you accept the behavior and don't do anything about it, you condone the behavior", he said.

The second session also marked Coventry's birthday. Students presented him with a birthday cake with one large (diplomatic) candle.

Written by Vida Fisher