VES looks at ‘What the Heck is Happiness?’ during October discussion

 Jim O'Donnell, Luke J. Peters Professor of Business 
Jim O'Donnell
 Troy Irick, Huntington University, a Christian college 
Troy Irick

HUNTINGTON, Ind.— Huntington University’s Visiting Executive Seminar brings together business leaders and HU business students to discuss important issues in today’s business world. On Oct. 28, the seminar will examine “What the Heck is Happiness?” The seminar will take place from 8:45 a.m. to noon in the Habecker Dining Commons.

The seminar is led by Jim O’Donnell, the Luke J. Peters Professor of Business and Executive-In-Residence, and Troy Irick, vice president for strategy and innovation.

The seminar will review two brief articles on Martin Seligman and his book “Authentic Happiness.” Seligman is the father and founder of the “Positive Psychology Movement,” a growing branch of psychology which seeks to prod the profession away from its historic focus on mental illness and life’s struggles and toward a greater focus on life’s joys and how to nourish those joys in all of us. One of our articles, from The New York Times, “A New Guide to See What’s Beyond Happiness,” is about Seligman and his work, the other, Time Magazine’s “Mind Reading: Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman on the Good Life” is a recent interview with him.

“Happiness is a central, if very poorly understood, part of every life. Some people try desperately to live their entire lives seeking to be happy. But such a pursuit is doomed to failure or terminal immaturity. For life also involves growing though pain and suffering if one is to find happiness and its more mature cousin, joy,” O’Donnell said.

During the seminar, O’Donnell and Irick will also examine an article from The New York Times titled “Aimless, Misled, and in Debt.”

Attendees are invited to stay for a fellowship time over lunch following the program. Attendance is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. RSVP to Linda Schmitz at (260) 359-4042 or

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director