By Skyler Mitchell |
January came to a close and was an eventful month ending with the annual Russell A. Blanchard Lecture Series, a fitting way to end the first month of the school year.
The Russell A. Blanchard Lecture Series is an event held each year to commemorate the memory Russell Blanchard, a former banking president and alumnus of Augusta University. The first to receive the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus award, he went on to be the three-time president of the United Fund of Augusta and director of the chamber of commerce.
The lecture series focuses on the business ethics and the importance of ethical decision making in business, a value that Blanchard supported all his life. Every speaker that is invited to speak focuses on how ethics can be applied to everyday life as well as careers.
“Behaving ethically is critically important, no matter what career field you’re in,” said Rick Franz, the host of this year’s event.
Every year, a new speaker is chosen that has shown significant distinction in their fields and are known to make ethical decisions. This year, the speaker is Anthony Randall, a chaplain, pastor, and army ranger. He has had seven deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt. Also, he has a Masters of Theology in Ethics from Emory University.
Randall talked about his own ideas on ethics and how he learned them throughout his life. He espoused that people should ask themselves three questions when it comes to ethics: who am I, who are we, and who benefits from us. He wants people to ask themselves these questions and to make sure the answers embody who they are.
Randall also says that three principles of ethics must be applied: know as trust, forgiveness, and healing. Trust for when people must put their trust in others, forgiveness when that trust is betrayed, and healing so that trust can be regained. He says that his parents tried to instill these principles into him, just like he was hoping to instill them into the audience.
“Forgiveness is not about saying ‘I’m sorry,”’ Randall said about forgiveness. “It’s opening the doors open for trust (again).”
Randall fears that today’s society focuses too much on moral relativism and emotionalism, where people do whatever they want, even if it isn’t ethically sound. He also talked about how people are beginning to trust each other less.
“What kind of culture do we live in where we have put camera’s in an Uber?” Randall asked the audience, recounting a story when he was traveling.
He urged everyone in attendance to take the lessons he was preaching to heart, wanting everyone to understand what he was trying to say. He told everyone “Don’t argue about who a great man was,” but urged them just to be one. Most importantly, he wanted us to remember one final thing.
“Start and finish the race. Commit to the process and trust, forgive, and heal,” Randal proclaimed.
These lectures are free and open to the public, made possible by the Georgia Bank and Trust Endowment. Feel free to attend all future lectures, which are held in the JSAC every year.
Contact Skyler Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.