BSC Business Magazine - page 5

Spring 2013 3
Program News
Frederick Smith (left, center) with BSC students and Gen. Charles C. Krulak, BSC President (right, center).
Entrepreneurial Pioneer Visits BSC:
by Aaron Crowe, a junior from Nashville
In April, Birmingham-Southern College welcomed
Frederick W. Smith to deliver the second annual Stump
Entrepreneurship Lecture. Smith is the founder,
president, and CEO of FedEx Corporation and is widely
regarded as one of the nation’s foremost entrepreneurial
pioneers. The Stump family sponsors the lecture as
a way to inspire students’ entrepreneurial spirit by
connecting successful entrepreneurs with the campus
Smith proposed the concept underlying FedEx while he
was a student at Yale. In his senior economics thesis, he
outlined a hub-and-spoke system for delivering time-
sensitive items such as computer parts. Smith eventually
launched Federal Express, a company based on this
system, to handle all aspects of overnight delivery, from
pickup and shipping to delivery. FedEx is now the
world’s largest cargo airline in freight tons flown and the
fourth largest in fleet size.
During his visit to campus, Smith shared his insights on
the intersection of leadership and entrepreneurship. He
cited his service as a ground officer in the Marine Corps
as a catalytic force in his leadership development. In
fact, Smith stated that his experience as a Marine is his
second proudest accomplishment aside from raising
a strong family. Following his honorable discharge
from the Marine Corps in 1968, Smith purchased
Arkansas Aviation Sales, a small aircraft maintenance
company. Armed with $91 million in venture capital,
Smith founded Federal Express in 1971 and developed it
into a multi-billion dollar corporation. Smith’s vision,
however, would not have been possible without the
hundreds of thousands of employees who are part of the
FedEx family, and he attributes the company’s success to
employees’ devotion and hard work. According to Smith,
leaders achieve success by convincing all employees to
share their vision and goals. This management technique
is one of the reasons FedEx is so successful today.
The information Smith shared about FedEx provided
valuable insights on how to succeed in the workplace.
Just as the culture of Birmingham-Southern College
brings out the best in students, the culture of an
organization such as FedEx directly correlates with profits
and employee satisfaction. With opportunities like the
Stump Entrepreneurship Lecture under the umbrella
of the Stump Entrepreneurship Program, Birmingham-
Southern is encouraging students to look beyond the
textbooks, classroom lectures, and exams to pursue
entrepreneurial success.
Frederick W. Smith Delivers 2012 Stump Lecture
1,2,3,4 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,...16
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