Recap: Briner School of Business Celebration

Article by Whitney Vitt. Media by Aaron Phillips

The Briner School of Business held its official ribbon cutting ceremony last Tuesday, Nov. 3. While having recently done many updates to second floor Dietzman along with preparing the faculty for the numerous changes, the celebration was to rejoice in the recently named school and facilities. Bob Briner was a graduate of Greenville College in 1956 and he impacted the lives of those around him. Successful business men and women from all over the United States made their way to Greenville in honor of Bob Briner and the newly founded Briner’s School of Business. Ganton Circle was closed Tuesday to leave enough room for the ceremony as guests arrived at Dietzman around 4 p.m., where students came to network and meet new people. Food and refreshments were served followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony, which started at 5 p.m. Student Roman Butler explained, “The ribbon cutting ceremony was incredible. It was inspiring to hear how great of an impact Mr. Briner had on so many people all over the country, especially the Greenville community. The following day, four Faith and Work Seminars held by leaders in the business world consisting of Sports Management, Art Commerce and Christianity, an Executive Panel Q & A, and a speech in the Professional Business Leaders class.

Source: Aaron Phillips
Source: Greenville College Marketing
Sports Management

The Sports Management Seminar was led by Kirk Elmquist. Elmquist carries the title of Tournament Director at Top of the Rock in Branson, Mo. He has also been the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Springfield Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals and has done much more in his career. Junior Emilie Britt stated, “This was the second time I have had the privilege of hearing Kirk Elmquist speak. His seminars are always very motivating and inspiring; I enjoy the amount of energy and enthusiasm he brings. He explains how a Christian in the secular world can pursue a career in business while upholding ethical values and beliefs that are glorifying to the kingdom of God. He also talked about the fact that we need to thank God in all circumstances and never give up on what it is that we want to accomplish even when we get rejected. We need to maintain a yielded heart that does not complain or rebel when tough situations may arise.”

Art Commerce and Christianity


Terry Mattingly was the voice for the second seminar. Mattingly works as a journalist, Director of The Washington Journalism Center, an author, and has been a professor for 27 years. After going to Mattingly’s seminar, junior Corbin Quinonez shared, “Terry Mattingly brought forth a seminar that really intrigued me. He shared a time of humility, provided information on current social issues with Christians in the business world, and challenged the audience. Mattingly opened my eyes on social issues that I have not taken into account for. I found Mattingly’s presentation very beneficial. He personally knew Bob Briner and shared first-hand encounters with Briner. Mattingly shared Briner’s mindset on how he believed that the problem isn’t a lot of talent, rather it is a lack of money. As an accounting major heading into the business world, I look forward to finding solutions to problems on the financial side.”

Executive Panel Q & A

The third seminar was an executive panel Q & A with Dennis Spencer, Brent Cowin, Wendy Wildt, and Ed McMillan. Each person was asked questions by students, faculty, and guests for their advice on various topics. So many great discussions came about, but a key question throughout this seminar was “What is more important ambition or IQ?” Cowin shared his opinion that ambition is much more important than IQ, but they are both essential. He explained when someone is frustrated they need more knowledge and when someone is anxious they need more experience.

Source: Briner School of Business
Source: Greenville College Marketing


Professional Business Leaders

The Professional Business Leaders seminar was delivered by two speakers, Garry Kinder, and Donna Skell. “It was a great way to wrap up the event because they are in charge of an organization called Roaring Lambs which involves Bob Briner, which is who this event was centered around. Being able to sit and listen to their advice was an incredible experience,” stated Kami Suess. The Briner School of Business is continuing to work hard to improve students’ experience and value of their education. The two days gave students the opportunity to listen to how one person can have such a powerful impact. Roman Butler added, “Overall, I think it was an extremely beneficial experience. To be able to sit down in front of successful people and pick their brains, to listen to the stories that tell how they ended up where they are and to find out what I could do to have an advantage in this ever-growing competitive world is an opportunity I am blessed to have as a student. I hope the Briner School of Business continues to put on events like this, and that students take advantage of the opportunities.” The Briner School of Business has a lot in store for Greenville College, and future Greenville University, we hope you can be a part of that!


  1. Whitney, thank you for reporting on this important event. I took Bob Briner’s interterm class during my senior year at GC, and he helped me land an internship at Zondervan Publishing House. I used him as a reference for grad school, and he had then-President Robert “Ish” Smith write an unsolicited recommendation for me (which may have gotten me accepted because one of my other needed references failed to send in his recommendation). His books — especially “Roaring Lambs” — had a profound impact on me during my years of reporting and editing for Sun-Times Media in the Chicago area. I appreciate your thorough coverage.


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