by Angela Taldone '15
On April 14, Bruce Fears spoke to students, community members, faculty and staff in Cole Hall, for the Scott Symposium on Business Ethics.
Fears, a Bridgewater College alumnus and president of Aramark Leisure, is responsible for Aramark’s operations at conference centers, national and state parks, national forest, zoos, aquariums, museums and other tourist destinations throughout the United States.
Upon graduating from Bridgewater, Fears joined Aramark as a food and beverage manager at Skyland Lodge in the Shenandoah National Park. Taking advantage of various opportunities, he became regional vice president and made his way to his current position as president.
Fears recognized three members of the Bridgewater College class of 2015—Shearl LaVere, Kevin Morris and Jelani Saunders—who will be joining the prestigious company upon graduation. In addition, Fears recognized freshman Mohammed Albaz, who will be interning with Aramark this summer.
In his lecture titled “Integrity: The Foundation of Leadership,” Fears described Aramark’s numerous accomplishments, including being “one of the largest food service outsourcing companies in the world.” Aramark has been servicing the Olympics since 1968 and provides services to “86% of the Fortune 500,” Fears said. Fitting the topic of the symposium, Aramark was also named a “2015 World’s Most Ethical Company” by the Ethisphere Institute.
Coming from an ethical, hardworking family, Fears explained how his upbringing has influenced his ethics in business. His parents instilled in him and his brothers a code of ethics that Fears strives to live by today: “Tell the truth, be trustworthy, don’t cheat, treat everyone with respect—especially people who weren’t born as lucky as you—give back to your community, be authentic, be humble and always have the courage to do the right thing, no matter the consequences or what anyone thinks.”
Extending on what his parents passed on to him, Fears illustrated five specific cornerstones of integrity: trustworthiness, honesty, fairness, respect for others and authenticity. Concluding his lecture, Fears left the audience with the following advice, “Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but sometimes, it only takes a second to lose. Start building your foundation now as you prepare to become the leaders of your generation, and wake up every day protecting that foundation that you’ve built. […] Most importantly, lead with integrity.”
The Scott Symposium on Business Ethics, honoring Charles H. Scott ’65 and his father, the late Harvey H. Scott ’35, was developed to provide training for Bridgewater College students, who are emerging leaders and future participants in the workplace.