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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

About The Center


The Center for Business Ethics at Belmont University aspires to be a preeminent center for applied ethics In the Southeastern United States. It focuses on creating ethical business leaders for a better society. The Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics provides:

  • a forum in which leaders of organizations can interact with one another to discuss key issues in the area of organizational integrity;
  • resources to facilitate the development of ethical standards of conduct;
  • practical educational orientation about concepts of organizational ethics and compliance processes.

The Center for Business Ethics was founded in 1994 by Dr. Clifford Eubanks, who was then Dean of Belmont University's Jack C. Massey College of Business, and Dr. Harry N. Hollis,  James M. Medlin Chair of Business Ethics. Working with Dr. William E. Troutt, who was then President of Belmont University, the James Medlin family had made possible the establishment of the Center with generous gifts to Belmont University to be used to support the teaching of Ethics to students at the university. 

When Dr. James M. Clapper became the Dean of the College in 1997, he made a strong commitment to enabling the Center to grow and become an effective resource for promoting responsible ethics in businesses and in the professions. Under Dr. J. Patrick Raines, who became Dean in 2003, the Center for Business Ethics has continued to prosper. Mr. Harold Fogelberg became Director of the Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics in 2010 upon the retirement of Dr. Harry Hollis.

From the beginning, the Center for Business Ethics has focused on developing practical approaches to enable people to deal successfully with the tough ethical issues and decisions they face in the workplace. A major goal of the Center is to develop ethical leadership which will strengthen organizations as they seek to build and nurture ethical cultures.

The work of the Center was greatly strengthened initially by gifts from The First Tennessee Foundation and by The Dorothy Cate and Thomas F. Frist Foundation. These gifts have been used to help put on conferences on such issues as health care, business ethics, sports ethics, and ethics in the music business. These gifts have also funded scholarships for students to attend conferences sponsored by the Center.

In November 2012, Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business celebrated a generous endowment received from civic leader and Belmont Trustee Helen Kennedy by naming its Center for Business Ethics in honor of her late husband, Edward Creasman Kennedy, a local businessman who exemplified the values the Center promotes. A graduate of Hume Fogg High School and lifetime deacon of Judson Baptist Church, Mr. Kennedy co-founded Ed’s Supply Company and was actively involved in many organizations related to the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry. Mr. Kennedy also served 12 years as a Belmont University Trustee.


> Read about the Center for Business Ethics in the news