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Bentley Students Spearhead New Program To Promote Civic Leadership Among Their Peers

February 6, 2006

It's a program meant to engage students during their freshman year, but motivate them for a lifetime. Beginning in the Spring 2006 semester, Bentley will introduce the Bentley Civic Leadership Program (BCLP), a groundbreaking program created by two Bentley seniors, who want to help develop tomorrow's civic leaders.

The BCLP aims to draw students in right at the start of their college career. Incoming students are encouraged to join the program during their first year, but the program is open to any Bentley student, including transfer students. BCLP focuses on three critical areas: campus involvement, civic engagement and ethical and responsible behavior.

Ethan Manning, one of the program's creators, believes it's a way to expand upon a student's core values, "Virtually all students are actively involved in a combination of these activities. The Civic Leadership Program helps us, as students, make connections between the three key areas and reflect upon what it means to be a civic leader in the 21st century."

BCLP is the student-driven component of Bentley's well-established Alliance for Ethics & Social Responsibility (BAESR). The Alliance is made up of several campus-based programs that aim to create global, social change including the Center For Business Ethics (CBE), one of the first centers of its kind on a college campus. For thirty years the CBE has promoted ethical thinking and action in the corporate culture. Thanks to those efforts, Bentley was recently designated as a leader in ethical education by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

Other members of the BAESR include the Bentley Service-Learning Center, which makes community service part of the college curriculum; the Cyber Law Center, a resource for students and faculty dealing with legal and ethical issues in cyberspace; the Cronin International Center, connecting Bentley to the global business world; and the Women's Leadership Institute, encouraging new generations of women to strive for leadership roles in business.

BAESR director, Professor Tony Buono, says the Bentley Civic Leadership Program is a natural extension of the alliance and is an example of Bentley's commitment to developing business leaders who will make a positive impact on society. "Our students are encouraged to build on the business skills they develop during their undergraduate career, apply them to on-campus and off-campus community-based initiatives and reflect on their experience from personal, as well as broader societal perspectives. Our goal is to help them to become truly enlightened and engaged citizens as well as thoughtful, talented business people."

Students participating in BCLP are encouraged to take part in a wide-range of activities both on campus and off, including political participation, cultural awareness and service. They are required to keep an interactive co-curricular ePortfolio where they will track and reflect on their experiences. The ePortfolio will become a powerful tool they can present to future employers and graduate schools. When students are ready to graduate they must make a formal pledge to be Bentley Civic Leaders throughout their lives.

Manning and co-founder Ross Kurkish worked with faculty to define the details of the program. Kurkish says it's gratifying to see their idea turned into a reality, "After having completed a successful voter registration drive in 2004, both Ethan and I thought that higher educational institutions should play a larger role in the teaching and development of what it means to be socially responsible for students. We thought of many different ideas, and fell on a pledge program that emerged from the Graduation Pledge Alliance that began at Humboldt State. Once we began designing it for our unique student body, it grew to amazing heights."

BCLP serves as Bentley's chapter of the Graduation Pledge Alliance. Manning and Kukish will be among the first group of graduating seniors to take the Pledge this May during the college's Baccalaureate ceremony. Three other student leaders - Michael Caliva, Michael Ginzburg and Arman Salavitabar - will then become the next group of Bentley students to take on the role of program leaders.

For more information about the Bentley Alliance for Social Responsibility go to

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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