April 01, 2016

Susquehanna University students in the Sigmund Weis School of Business’ London Program visited Bahrain for the second time to meet with Tim Murray ’93, CEO of Aluminum Bahrain (Alba), one of the largest aluminum smelters in the world.

The group, comprising 16 students, along with Marsha Kelliher, dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business; Jerry Habegger, associate professor and chair of the accounting department; and Barbara McElroy, professor of accounting, toured Bahrain for five days.

“Providing our students with this kind of cross-cultural experience is incredibly valuable,” Kelliher says. “Our world grows smaller every day and this trip demonstrates that cross-cultural understanding is integral to a successful career in business, and that there are no limits to where you can go in the pursuit of your career.”

This year’s trip was sponsored in part by the James ’65 and Carole App Fund for Global Business Study. The endowment was established in 2009 and funded through the generosity of Jim and Carole App, of Selinsgrove. Through the years Jim and Carole have been great friends and supporters of Susquehanna University, establishing a scholarship endowment designed to support economics majors in their junior and senior years. The App Fund for Global Business Study supports the efforts of the Sigmund Weis School of Business to provide students with experiences that expose them to international business and commerce, preparing them for success in a diverse, interconnected and highly competitive global marketplace.

While in Bahrain, the group had exclusive access to all of Alba’s facilities and spent extensive time with Murray, who joined Alba in 2007. Since then he has worked to broaden the profile of Bahrain among students and faculty at Susquehanna.

“We are grateful for the generous support of Tim Murray, Alba, and Jim and Carole App,” Kelliher says.

A small island country off the coast of Saudi Arabia approximately 3.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., Bahrain has moved away from oil production to become a global banking center. The goal of the trip was to introduce business majors to the growing potential of the country, and the role Alba has played in diversifying Bahrain’s economy.

During their visit, the students toured Alba’s operations and were briefed on its state-of-the-art production processes, expansion plans, culture of safety and the environmental values of the company. They also visited downstream aluminum companies and numerous tourist destinations in Bahrain.