Bringing Ethics Back Home 17 Chaminade Alumni Join Seminar on Ethics in the Workplace

Article excerpt

Seventeen alumni of Chaminade College Preparatory School recently returned home to discuss with seniors their most challenging problems at a seminar on Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace.

The program reinforced the importance of "values such as honesty, courage and integrity," said senior Sunil Varghese. "If you do the right thing in general, it might turn out for the best in the end."

Cases varied by professions: Should an investment representative share inside stock information with friends? Should a security specialist turn in the company president for committing contract fraud?

Sanford N. McDonnell, former chairman and CEO of McDonnell Douglas, delivered the keynote address and enlightened students about the value of ethics in the business world and in shaping lives and building character.

This year is Chaminade's first for the Ethical Decision Making seminar, a program that began eight years ago in St. Louis' public schools. The one-day seminar matches seniors with professionals and broadens their ideas about how to make ethical decisions.

Joe Sheehan, a financial adviser for the Moneta Group and a 1970 alumnus, pitched the idea to the Alumni Board about a year ago because he perceived it as "a neat program and very positive."

"Students come away with a sense that there's a way to sort through these things," said Sheehan, a three-year mentor of the program. "They realize they're not the only ones in the world who'll make these decisions. It gets them thinking about ethical things and doing what is right."

Members of the Alumni Board decided to couple alumni with the students and brought in professionals in real estate, the armed forces, theology, news, teaching, medicine and law enforcement.

William M. Constantine, a retired brigadier general from the U.S. Air Force and a 1952 alumnus, came from Alexandria, Va., to share a dilemma he faced as a major on whether to report findings of an accident investigation.

"My commander had preconceived ideas about the outcome," said Constantine. "My own conclusion was just the opposite. There was a lot of pressure knowing that I wasn't pleasing my commander. …