Huntingdon Offers Ethics Symposium
Montgomery, Ala. -- Huntingdon College will offer an Ethics Symposium Thursday, September 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the College's Flowers Hall, Ligon Chapel. The featured speaker is Aaron Beam Jr., founder and former CFO of HealthSouth, who will speak on "HealthSouth and the Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse." Huntingdon's Accounting Club is sponsoring the symposium, which offers 2 CPE credits approved by the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.
Aaron Beam Jr.'s story is one of ultimate success brought down by ultimate failure. The founder of HealthSouth, he took the company public in two years, became a millionaire overnight, and then became involved in corporate scandal, losing almost everything and serving a prison sentence. "I think others can learn from my story," says Beam. "From how I started a major company, how I got involved in the fraud while serving as Chief Financial Officer, and more importantly, the human story, the pain of going through a trial and going to prison." HealthSouth, co-founded in 1984, was the nation's largest provider of outpatient surgery and rehabilitative services. Revenues grew to more than 3.5 billion after the company's founding in 1984, but in 1996 earnings fell short of the goals. That's when, according to Beam, the company's chief executive ordered the books to be fixed.
"Most of us, at some time in our lives, are faced with making the decision of doing what's right over doing what others--even those whose titles show more authority than ours--are pressuring us to do," says Huntingdon accounting professor Amy Hulsey. "At Huntingdon, we stress ethical responsibility and strength of character from the moment students sign the Honor Code at the beginning of their freshman year until they graduate. In light of that message, hearing the story of someone who has been through the best and the worst circumstances because of his own choices not only reinforces our message, but also shows the shades of gray in which such choices are sometimes experienced."
The Huntingdon College Ethics Symposium is free and open to the public. For more on Huntingdon Cultural and Community Events, consult the College's Web site at www.huntingdon.edu.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon is a coeducational liberal arts college. The College motto is "Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service."