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Recognized philanthropist Adam Braun to speak at May 8 Heller College luncheon

Posted: 02/28/2014
“For anyone looking to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done.” That’s what Sir Richard Branson said about “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change” by Adam Braun.
 
Braun, the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world, will be the guest speaker at Roosevelt University’s annual Signature Luncheon on May 8 at the Palmer House Hilton.

At the event sponsored by Roosevelt’s Heller College of Business, Braun will talk about “Blending Nonprofit Idealism with For-Profit Business Principles” and the College will honor Marketing Professor Paul Wellen.  Tickets are available by contacting Dianne Danielly, 312-281-3342.

Wellen, who is currently department chair of Management, Marketing, Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurship, has served Roosevelt with distinction since 1978.

“Paul Wellen not only is an outstanding professor who knows how to challenge and relate to students, but he is a scholar and academic leader,” said Heller Dean Terri Friel.  “Thousands of Roosevelt students have benefited from his insightful teaching.  We are pleased to be able to recognize his many accomplishments at our Signature Luncheon.”

In 2013, Braun’s organization, Pencils of Promise, was recognized at the United Nations as the Empact Showcase’s “Education Organization of the Year.”  In 2012, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and Wired Magazine’s “50 People Who Are Changing the World.” He is a graduate of Brown University and a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges and Fortune 1000 companies. 

Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just 16 years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. He started his college career as a Division 1 basketball player, but while traveling abroad he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “a pencil.” 

This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 on his 25th  birthday. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he meshed nonprofit idealism with for-profit business acumen and in doing so built a leading organization in the global education space, proving that anyone can start a movement that matters.