20 Years as Haub
By Joe DiStefano
For more than 150 years, Saint Joseph’s University has been in the business of business education — producing graduates who have become leaders in the fields of accounting, finance, insurance, marketing and more. With the proven Jesuit model of education as their foundation, the business programs at SJU have been constantly evolving, innovating and expanding, reacting to the needs of the market and aligning with best practices throughout the years.
On October 7, 1997, the College of Business Administration at Saint Joseph’s was renamed the Erivan K. Haub School of Business, after the philanthropist and then-chairman, chief executive officer and partial owner of Tengelmann Group, one of the world’s largest food retailers.
"The Haub School has been strategic and proactive in responding to the market and developing programs that match industry trends. And business students at SJU are incredibly active outside the classroom attending conferences, participating in competitions, and getting essential experience through internships and co-ops. Haub graduates are the perfect combination of smart and versatile with the business acumen and practical skills to make seamless transitions to the workforce."
Mark C. Reed, Ed.D.
"The interest of a global investor showed the international scope of our programs and allowed our profile to rise not only regionally, but internationally."
Nicholas Rashford, S.J.
University Professor and former University President
"The naming of the school was a pivotal moment in our history."
Joseph DiAngelo, Jr., E.D.’70
Haub School Dean since 2000
All credentialed business schools teach basic and technical skills, boosting profits and cutting costs, prepping students for lives of tough competition.
What sets a school apart? What’s different about the Haub School of Business?
I put the question to managers who hire Haub graduates, many at companies I’ve written about professionally, including alumni whose Hawk Hill experience is decades in their past.
It’s attracted a lot more students lately: Haub by the numbers is twice the place it was in 2000, when it was accredited under its new name and welcomed a new dean, Joseph DiAngelo Jr., Ed.D. ’70. Since then, Haub has more than doubled its undergraduate enrollment (to 2,700), nearly doubled its master’s student body (to 1,150), and boosted its full-time professor faculty by 75 percent (to 87).
Haub has grown at a rapid pace in comparison to the overall growth of U.S. business schools, as measured by the National Center for Education Statistics. Among Philadelphia-area universities, Haub is larger than Drexel’s LeBow or Villanova’s b-school, with more undergraduates than Penn’s Wharton School, and more graduate students than Temple’s Fox or Delaware’s Lerner. It is now the largest business school at a U.S. Jesuit college, with more students than the schools at Georgetown or Boston College.
Size matters — more faculty, students, alumni and revenue help build better programs. Haub’s specialized food marketing, insurance and pharma programs, its accounting and other basic business departments, often combined with other majors, are familiar to major employers. More than one in five Haub graduates surveyed in the last three graduating classes joined either JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, or PricewaterhouseCoopers, the largest of the Big Four accounting firms.
Other big Haub employers of recent grads include food companies – Aramark, E&J Gallo, Hershey, Nestle, Pepsico; video and Internet giant Comcast; PwC’s rivals, including Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton and KPMG; big insurers including AIG, Chubb and Tokio Marine (Philadelphia Insurance); investment giants SEI and Vanguard; and retailers such as Target, Wawa and Wegmans.
But all the good business schools recruit nationally. What’s different here? “Mostly, from all the strong MBA and undergraduate business schools, you get the core business acumen that you need to be successful,” says Dan Gallagher ’94, ’99 (M.S.), senior vice president, - operations at Comcast. “The Haub School thrives in three differentiators: Critical business skills, that’s an important part of Jesuit education, and it is achieved in these unique niche programs; strong communications skills – one of the hardest abilities to master, to get large groups of people to work in concert; and super-grounded values,” says Gallagher, who was the Hawk mascot in his undergrad days worked with the business school on its executive education program.
At Haub, “they’ve grown the school. But they haven’t lost sight of who they are. That’s no easy thing to do,” says Norman Solomon, Ph.D., dean of Fairfield University’s business school and frequent visitor to Saint Joseph’s as a member of the AACSB continuous improvement review accreditation team assigned to Haub.
“They’ve reinforced it with the Arrupe Center, infusing ethics in marketing and management and finance, putting their resources where their values and ethics are,” Solomon added. “It’s more of a vocation than just the bottom line.”
In Haub, the philosophy isn’t that ethics courses and service work ensure a lifetime of honest work and avoiding trouble — its that by offering curriculum infused with and framed by ethics, HSB graduates become young professionals and managers who are receptive to corporate codes of conduct, and who see beyond profit margins. To Gallagher and other bosses, this is clear.
“The Haub School’s academic philosophy, grounded in ethics and community service, translates into graduates that are well-prepared to address real-world business challenges,” aligned with Johnson & Johnson’s credo,” says Daniel J. Jonaitis, senior finance director at the pharma and medical-device giant.
Several Haub-watchers used an old-fashioned term – “grit” – to describe the hands-on, practical approach they say marks the grads. “Haub graduates possess grit; they are passionate and persevere” and aren’t “intimidated by hard work,” says Gerianne Tringali DiPiano ’92 (MBA), a veteran pharmaceutical executive who serves on the boards of both Saint Joseph’s and Drexel universities and has taught in Haub.
To DiPiano, that means continual improvement: “Living greater is embedded in our DNA,” with the goal to “serve God by serving others,” she adds, echoing the Jesuit formula Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
Striving for more is a Jesuit value that Kelly Farrell, a campus senior recruiting associate for PwC, says she sees in her interviews with Haub students. “I am always impressed with how focused and driven they are,” she says.
That’s part of why “Hawks who intern at PwC always do exceptionally well,” adds Farrell. “They are not only prepared academically; they are polished. Their professional maturity is extremely impressive, and that continues to carry over when they start with us full time.”
For top Haub internship candidates, “what is really impressive is not just the grades — to get into our interviews they had to be high – but that many had double majors — finance, or accounting, combined with leadership and organizational sustainability or, business intelligence and analytics – and ethics, which is very particular to St. Joe’s,” says Joe McGinley ’91, vice president of corporate development for mergers and acquisitions at Comcast.
Philadelphia city government prizes Haub interns, managers there told me. “Conscientious, customer-focused, diligent, thoughtful and results-oriented,” says Vongvilay Mounelasy, deputy director of the Department of Human Services. A recent hire showed showed technical and project-management skills plus “the ability to translate complex practical problems into viable solutions,” says city HR director Pedro A. Rodriguez. St. Joe’s graduates show up as “smart, dedicated, hard-working individuals” who combine “academic proficiency and strong moral direction,” says Amy Mader, executive director of human resources for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, which covers the city.
David Benglian ’92 (MBA), a graduate of Penn’s competitive Wharton school, found “a much different culture” at Haub when helping set up the school’s specialty programs. A non-Catholic, he found Saint Joseph’s secure enough in its Catholic core beliefs and Jesuit practices to be “welcoming and open to other religions and cultures.” In his work with regional human-resources executives, “we heard time and time again from employers how open-minded, outgoing and expressive Haub graduates were,” Benglian adds.
Benglian sees two alumni – AIG CEO Brian Duperrault ’69, an early patron of the risk management and insurance program, and Philadelphia Insurance magnate James Maguire ’58, who sold his share in the company he built for $1 billion in 2009 and has helped finance the University’s expansion, including a recent $50 million gift to its programs and endowment, — as exemplifying Haub students: rising to success with a spirit of determination and grit, and a strong value set to match.
“This is our ultimate goal,” says Dean DiAngelo. “To provide the education and resources our students need to become impactful, global business leaders.”
In his remarks during the October 3, 1996 Campaign 21 groundbreaking ceremony at Saint Joseph’s University, Erivan Karl Haub said “When I paid my first visit to Saint Joseph’s in 1987 I was deeply impressed by the guiding principles and programs of this renowned university, and it did not take me long to embark on a partnership with this splendid institution.”
Then the chairman, chief executive officer and sole managing partner of The Tengelmann Group, Haub was responsible for growing a food retail business started by his great grandfather in 1867, into a major international company.
His generosity and relationship to Saint Joseph’s led to the naming of the Erivan Karl Haub Executive Center on the top floor of McShain Hall, the Tengelmann Teaching Award, and finally, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business in 1997. It also prompted a relationship between Saint Joseph’s and international food executives across the globe, as many came to SJU for leadership training and continued education.
Throughout his career, Haub and his wife, Helga, championed a number of philanthropic endeavors, dedicating themselves to causes such as the advancement of transatlantic dialogue, international trade, higher education, historic preservation and environmental protection. The couple was heavily involved with the Marshall International Center and in 1996 Haub was honored by the German-American Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to business cooperation between the countries. Founder of the U.S.O. Wiesbaden-Mainz chapter, Helga was honored by the organization for her dedication to public service in 1992. That same year, Saint Joseph’s granted honorary doctorates to the couple.
In 2001, Haub transitioned control of the Tengelmann Group to his three sons. Karl-Erivan took over the company’s European business, Christian oversaw activities in North America and Georg got involved in some of the company’s real estate activities. Haub served on the advisory board until 2012, when he retired from his role as chairman at the age of 80.
Throughout the evolution of their business, the Haub family’s relationship with Saint Joseph’s continued to thrive. In 2010, SJU awarded the family the Haub School Hall of Fame Award. Christian Haub served on the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2010, and he and his wife Liliane have been instrumental in the formation of the University’s Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship.
“We are forever grateful to the Haub family for their dedication to Saint Joseph’s and their confidence in our approach. They’ve helped us to grow our business programs and compete at the highest level,” says HSB Dean Joseph DiAngelo, Jr., Ed.D. ’70.