The Heider College of Business, the first named college at Creighton University, was built on a legacy of success.
Named in October of 2013 in honor of Creighton alumnus Charles “Charlie” Heider and his wife, Mary, the college reflects the business and ethical leadership of the Heider family.
“We are honored and grateful to be in a position to play a small part in the lasting impact this college will have on generations of future business leaders,” Charlie said.
A History of Generosity
The Heiders are the largest donors in the University’s history. Their transformational gift to the Ignite the Greatness Campaign fueled the fundraising campaign and raised Creighton to new heights in the process.
“Charlie and Mary exemplify what we’re trying to do with students, which is to give them great skills to go out and have wonderful careers, but to develop their sense of responsibility that to whom much is given, much is required,” said Heider College of Business Dean Anthony R. Hendrickson. “There’s an obligation to give back to your fellow people in society.”
The Heiders’ gift allowed the business college to relocate to the Harper Center. The Heider Securities Investment and Analysis Center, located within the college, was also created in the Heiders’ honor. The state-of-the-art trading room is complete with stock ticker, interactive market boards, and ten Bloomberg terminals for student use.
Additionally, Heider Hall, an apartment-style student residence hall, recognizes the Heiders’ generosity. They have established endowed chairs at Creighton—one in cancer research and the other for Jesuit faculty. They also have established scholarships in their name.
The Heiders are also the generous donors of the newest statue on Creighton’s campus, ”The Flame”, located outside the main entrance to the Harper Center. The Flame, created by Creighton fine arts professor Littleton Alston, MFA, is a symbol of the lasting impact of the Jesuits on Creighton’s campus, and their call to “go forth and set the world on fire”.
Success in Business
A native of Carroll, Iowa, Charlie earned a bachelor of science in commerce from Creighton in 1949. He went on to become a well-respected leader in the investment community. Charlie assisted Warren Buffet with his 1967 purchase of National Indemnity Co., which was Buffett’s first entry into the insurance business.
In 1970, Charlie and Warren Chiles became partners as Chiles, Heider & Company. Charlie was a partner with Omaha investment manager Wallace Weitz until 2012.
For the Greater
Mary is a longtime community volunteer, serving on the boards of several nonprofit groups. Charlie served on Creighton’s board of directors for 17 years and was later named Trustee Emeritus. Some of his honors include:
- Being named an honorary Jesuit in 1982
- Receiving the Ignatius Leadership Award from the Jesuit Council of Omaha in 2002
- Receiving Creighton’s Alumni Achievement Citation in 2003
- Being named to the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2005
In 2010, the Heiders also received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Creighton University.