Jim O’Donnell keynote speaker at HU’s Foundation Dinner

Jim O'Donnell, Luke J. Peters Professor of Business
Jim O'Donnell
HUNTINGTON, Ind. Jim O'Donnell, professor at Huntington University and husband of the late Elizabeth "Lizzie" O'Donnell, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 HU Foundation Annual Dinner on Sept. 8. At that time, Lizzie will be presented posthumously with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her leadership and service in Huntington County.

At the dinner, Jim O'Donnell, Luke J. Peters Professor of Business and Executive-In-Residence, will speak about "The Pearl of Great Price" which is based on Matthew 13:45-46.

Jim received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his MBA from Columbia University. He is a certified public accountant and spent many years as an executive in the financial services industry with such firms as Fidelity Investments and the Dreyfus Corporation.

Because of Jim's extensive experience in the investing world, he has also written two books for individuals trying to make decisions about saving for retirement. The first book, "The Shortest Investment Book Ever," was published in the fall of 2008. An update to that book was published in early 2010 under the title, "The Shortest Book Ever on Saving for Retirement."

Though highly successful, Jim always cut against the grain in the dog-eat-dog world of high finance. A man of deep convictions and great thoughtfulness, he strove to inject principles of his Christian faith into an industry characterized by cut-throat business practices. A thought-provoking writer, his opinions on ethics and finance have appeared in Barron's, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, America and many other publications.

Jim and Lizzie joined the Huntington University family in 1994, but shortly after, Lizzie was stricken with a life-threatening illness. As a family, they struggled with Lizzie's cancer, heart failure, kidney failure and other chronic problems, all the while keeping faith and sharing their hope with others. In 2004, Jim published the book "Letters for Lizzie: A Story of Love, Friendship and a Battle for Life" which is a gripping and true story of their fight to survive and do right against overwhelming odds. On Jan. 17, 2011, at the age of 58, Lizzie passed away.

The Foundation Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. with a 5:30 p.m. reception in the Habecker Dining Commons on campus. Reservations are requested by Sept. 2. For reservations, contact Pete Schownir at 260-359-4045 or pschownir@huntington.edu. The cost is $25 per person, or tables of eight may be reserved for $160.

Since 1938, the Huntington University Foundation has assisted Huntington County residents who attend Huntington University through the annual Huntington County Grant and endowed scholarships. The foundation also supports community arts events.