Media Advisory

Heavener statement


The Heavener School of Business at the University of Florida has designed an ethical portal in the double archway of Heavener Hall courtyard to highlight the importance of ethics in business. The portal includes an explanatory plaque and four quotes. Installation will be completed in the next few weeks.

One of the quotes was provided by the building’s donor and the school’s namesake, James W. Heavener, and is already installed. Its core universal ethical principles of justice, mercy and humility are from a religious source.

Three of the quotes are from secular sources. Of these, two were contributed by a faculty member who teaches ethics. A third relates to the School’s commitment to global, ethical business, was suggested by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and was approved by the ethics faculty member and dean.

The school has no interest in advancing or burdening religion; its only interest is educational and relates to the quotes’ core universal ethical principles.

As a complement to its ethics curriculum, the school hopes the ethical portal will encourage students to identify and explore universal principals of ethics that are important in business and may be derived from many sources.

The portal includes the following:


The Ethical Portal to Heavener Hall

Ethics are fundamental to successful business education and enterprise. Scholars and students of ethics derive universal ethical principles from a wide range of sources, secular and religious, whether or not any particular scholar or student ascribes to religious beliefs. Three of the quotes on the four surfaces of this Ethical Portal are secular sources of universal ethical principles relevant to business, and one is a religious source. While the quote from a religious source has broader personal meaning to James W. Heavener, who provided the quote and after whom Heavener Hall and the Heavener School of Business are named—and while Thomas Paine did not ascribe to a personal deity and his quote derives from his belief in a natural order and the “exercise of reason”--the School is seeking only to encourage students to identify and explore the core universal ethical principles of justice, mercy and humility, being a citizen of the world, seeking to do good, and unselfishly serving the greater good.


  • “To restrain our selfish[ness], and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature.” Adam Smith, 1759 (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
  • “Wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.” Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics)
  • “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” Thomas Paine, 1791 (The Rights of Man)
  • “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Contact: Janine Sikes, 352-846-3903,