Traveling to New York for a finance trip as a junior. Serving as a student advisor for freshman orientation during her junior and senior years. Taking the Fitness for Living class from Bruce Rasmussen before he became Creighton’s athletic director. Teaching swimming to handicapped children through the Campus Ministry Office. Learning from her favorite professor, Tom Purcell, PhD, professor of accounting.
These are some of Deb Moritz’s favorite Creighton memories. Since majoring in finance at the University and graduating in 1984, Moritz has practiced throughout her career as a servant leader, a style modeled by the Jesuits at Creighton and which she adopted in the corporate sector.
To be a servant leader is “to be a lamp, a ladder or a lifeboat,” Moritz says, “to help somebody’s soul.”
When exploring her college options, Moritz was looking for a business school in the Catholic tradition. Creighton was big on opportunities, like travel courses to New York and numerous service programs, yet small enough that students could foster relationships with their professors and one another and hone their leadership skills.
She also found it to be “the perfect convergence of academic, social and spiritual development.”
Moritz has continued to keep in touch with her alma mater over the years. She is, after all, an avid Bluejays fan. But four years ago, the student planning team for the Creighton Business Symposium invited her to be a keynote speaker at the conference. She accepted, and it was the beginning of a more concentrated connection to Creighton.
“The Creighton Business Symposium is an impressive event, and I met an equally impressive group of students,” says Moritz. “Speaking at the event prompted a more concerted effort on my part to be involved with the University.”
She is serving a two-year term on the University’s Alumni Advisory Board and helped develop curriculum for the Heider College of Business’ first commercial real estate class within the Department of Economics and Finance.
Moritz has had a long career in corporate real estate. After graduating from Creighton, she worked for Union Pacific Corporation as a project manager. She was then a consultant at the real estate company Rubloff Inc. before co-founding and serving as an international director at Jones Lang and LaSalle (JLL), a Chicago-based investment management company specializing in real estate. Currently, Moritz is the executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm.
Real estate, often the second-largest expense on a firm’s income statement, should not be viewed simply as an expense; it can provide a corporation strategic advantage, Moritz believes. It’s a concept she has dubbed “experience per square foot.” Creighton’s recent growth adheres to this principle, she maintains, because it maximizes the student and faculty experience and is “thoughtful, well-planned, and integrated.”
“A day in the life of a Creighton student is enhanced because of the quality facilities, the beautiful landscaping and the areas to renew one’s soul through community or reflection. The campus master plan is world-class,” Moritz says. “The quality of education has improved alongside the University’s brick-and-mortar expansion.”
She hopes to return to campus more often, as an involved alum and as a parent. Her son is a sophomore in the Heider College of Business. Based on her experience, Moritz knows her son will graduate with both the technical and the soft skills needed to be a business leader.
“A Creighton education is holistic and comprehensive,” she says, “and it is what society needs.”