As spring semester drew to a close, the UST MBA class of 2009 decided to give Dr. Heino Beckmann, associate professor of finance, a gift. As she tried to find a way to surprise him, Kate Herzog ’09 M.B.A. discovered that something was amiss: Beckmann’s wife, Dr. Darlene Sholtis, had recently been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and was scheduled for surgery. On behalf of her classmates, Herzog immediately offered to provide Beckmann and Sholtis with three weeks of meals prepared by a chef. “The chef was one of my closest friends, an excellent cook who had trained at the California Culinary Academy. I had no idea what her plans were, but I signed her up anyway!”

Herzog’s classmates embraced her decision when she reported back to them. Beckmann and Sholtis were “speechless,” said Beckmann. “The superbly prepared dinners took a huge burden off our shoulders. The students’ concern and caring warmed our hearts and gave us unimaginable joy in a time of extreme stress and discomforting uncertainty.”

Graduate students are not the only business students who are reaching out to meet others’ needs. For nine years, a group of undergraduate students have hosted a silent auction for Listening House, a community center and shelter for the homeless, disadvantaged and lonely in St. Paul.

The students are enrolled in Business 200, a mandatory, noncredit service-learning course. Students are required to participate in 40 hours of service and can choose from many projects that both meet community needs and personal learning goals. Many students choose to work as a team to raise money for Listening House. The May 2009 silent auction raised more than $25,000.

Next spring’s 10th annual Listening House Silent Auction is scheduled for Sunday, April 18. All students involved in the planning of the past silent auctions are invited to return for this special gathering. For information about the evening or Listening House, contact Dr. Barbara Gorski, program coordinator for Business 200, bagorski@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-6124.