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Swim team captain personifies business school's core values

By J. Michael Moore | Emory Report | May 6, 2019

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Business major and NCAA All-American swimmer Ashley Daniels leaves a lasting impact on Emory as author of Goizueta Business School’s BBA Student Creed, an inspiring statement of values and commitment.

Many Emory University students strive to leave some kind of mark prior to graduation. Something others can remember them by. Something that will last longer than a printed name on the Dean’s List or Commencement program.

Ashley Daniels BBA19 leaves Emory having left such a mark.

In her junior year at Goizueta Business School, Daniels authored a BBA Student Creed — a statement of core values and commitments for students to follow. It is short, just seven words with accompanying definitions, but it is powerful.

Daniels collaborated with others on student government to draft a product that undergraduate students could agree upon and be proud of. The final creed passed a student vote by an overwhelming majority. 

The BBA Creed is built on these words: Respect, Scholarship, Integrity, Leadership, Diversity, Community and Celebration. 

“I am very proud of my collegiate career,” Daniels says. “I have gotten to develop athletically, academically, socially, professionally and through so many other avenues. But I am most proud of the creation of the Goizueta BBA Creed. I believe the creed is very reflective of my own experience and I am very proud that this document will outlast my time at the university.”

Tenacity and team spirit 

In many ways the Chesterfield, Missouri, native personifies the creed, which also includes a quote from the school’s namesake, Roberto C. Goizueta, encouraging a sense of philanthropy — “an obligation to give something back.”

As an Emory student, Daniels was active in student government, the women’s swimming and diving team, Relay for Life, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She excelled in athletics, serving as captain of the women’s swimming and diving team, which recently won its 10th consecutive NCAA Division III championship, and earning NCAA All-American honors.

“She models a tenacity, collaborative willingness and team spirit that ideally position her to make significant and meaningful contributions in the pool, in the classroom and across a variety of organizational environments,” says Andrea Hershatter, Goizueta’s senior associate dean of undergraduate education and BBA program director. “While she is naturally gifted, she augments her talents with a work ethic that moves her achievements to a higher level.”

After graduation Daniels will join SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as an acquisition finance execution and structuring analyst. But building a career will not take a back seat to her desire to make a positive impact.

“I am constantly shocked with how much of an influence a business can have on the lives of employees, friends, admirers and the general public,” she says. “By recognizing the social, economic, political and environmental footprint a company has, I have become much more interested in observing how to make all those positive. Leaders of all-sized companies have the opportunity to positively impact a community and I am excited to potentially have such an impact on people.” 

If her work on the creed — an in-depth, high-profile and lasting project — is any indication of ability, Daniels will certainly go far and be remembered. 

“While her authorship of the creed was eloquent and foundational to the outcome, her willingness to solicit input and seek editing was equally valuable in assuring a representative and inclusive document,” Hershatter says. “Following the creed’s ratification, Ashley led a series of sessions with incoming business students each semester during orientation, helping them not only to understand the intention and meaning of the core values but also to think about ways to authentically incorporate them into their own business school experiences.

“I firmly believe that Ashley Daniels has fundamentally and permanently positively impacted the culture of the Goizueta Business School BBA Program.”