Akande to receive distinguished alumni award at WBU

Release Date: February 18, 2008

PLAINVIEW – Business professor and dean Dr. Benjamin Akande of St. Louis, Mo., will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award at Wayland Baptist University during homecoming festivities Feb. 21-24. Specifically, the awards will be presented during the 11 a.m. chapel slated for Friday, Feb. 22.

Akande is the dean of Webster University’s School of Business and Technology based in St. Louis. As chief academic officer of the 13,000-student business school since 2000, he leads a faculty of 1,500 spanning 106 campuses in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

During his tenure at Webster, Akande, who also serves as Professor of Business and Management, has provided leadership that has elevated the business school to new heights in curriculum innovation and fostered dynamic partnerships with corporations.

Akande holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oklahoma (1995) and completed post-doctoral studies in executive leadership programs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He earned the bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Wayland in 1983 and a Master of Economics degree (1990) and Master of Public Administration (1984) degree from the University of Oklahoma.

From July 1995 to May 2000, Akande was head of the Division of Business Administration and Associate Professor of Business Administration at Wayland. From January 1998 through December 1999, Akande also served as special assistant to then-President Dr. Wallace Davis. He developed strategies and special projects, including supporting the development effort for the $6 million Spanning the Centuries Campaign, a major gift for the David and Myrt Wilder Baseball Field and a major gift for the Van Howeling Education Complex.

While at WBU, he established the Student Advisory Council, an advisory body with primary responsibility to provide student perspectives on curriculum, placement, and other pertinent issues affecting the students’ professional growth; launched the institution’s first corporate cohort program in Business Administration; introduced the evening/weekend course option to assist working adults in their effort to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration; established the Wayland Executive Masters in Business Administration (WEMBA), a 22-month weekend graduate program for adult working professionals; and established a Master of Arts Degree in Organization Management and Human Resource Management for student practitioners in the human resource field.

He also was instrumental in upgrading the technology in the Business Division; established The James E. Doucette Leadership & Scholastic Program, benefiting high school junior and senior achievers from Plainview and the surrounding areas; introduced the Adopt-A-Student Program, which linked business students to local business owners and executives, who served as mentors and advisors; and established the Management Trainee Program with Wal-Mart Stores Distribution Center for graduating seniors majoring in Business. This program was the first of its kind for Wal-Mart Stores nationwide, and its success has led to the establishment of similar programs at other Wal-Mart centers across the country.

Akande has been honored as one of the Most Influential Leaders in St. Louis by the St. Louis Business Journal (March 2007) and has been recognized as one of St. Louis’ Most Influential Minority Business Leaders (August 2007). His consulting practice specializes in leadership, strategy and counsel. Current and past clients include The Boeing Company, Bank of America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company, The Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The World Bank, and United Nations Development Programme.

He serves on the boards of civic and private organizations in St. Louis, and he consults with leading Fortune 500 companies in the areas of strategy and market positioning, a sought-after speaker.

Born in Nigeria and raised in Oklahoma and Texas, Akande is married to Bola and they have three daughters: Moyosola, 15; Anjola, 12; and Reni, 7.

One of five awards presented by the Association of Former Students, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus who has made a distinctive contribution to his or her profession to justify pride on the part of the university. Honorees must exhibit a lifestyle upholding Wayland’s values, exhibited community service interests, strong Christian character, citizenship and ethics and loyalty to their alma mater.