After such a divisive and challenging year, the need for building community and leveraging business as a tool to uplift the public is as strong as ever. As global hardships have revealed the necessity for business leaders who have community interests in mind, I am excited to be a part of the Kenan Scholars program which focuses on addressing this need.
Orientation weekend provided the Class of 2023 a comprehensive overview of both the Kenan Scholars program and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Scholars were introduced to Kenan Institute leadership, including Executive Director Greg Brown, and we were briefed on the various centers that make up the institute. From the Center for Sustainable Enterprise to Rethinc Labs, we learned that the Kenan Institute incorporates multiple different fields with the shared goal of furthering research, providing solutions to economic issues and improving society. Dan Drake, President of William R. Kenan Jr. Funds, also taught us the history of Kenan-Flagler and the story of those who shaped our university. These experiences highlighted the holistic business education that the Kenan Scholars program provides.
Another important focus of orientation revolved around the book we read as a cohort during winter break, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Through conversing with other scholars and hearing their perspectives on the book, I was able to gain a deeper insight into issues around race and discrimination. This discussion also displayed the program’s value of diversity, equity and inclusion.
I had a lot of fun getting to know fellow scholars during orientation and look forward to working with them throughout my time in the program. I am very excited to start my journey as a Kenan Scholar, and orientation definitely opened up my eyes to all of the possibilities the program offers. From making an impact abroad to putting together meaningful research, the Kenan Scholars program provides the opportunity to make a positive impact in both business and society.