Big Lots CEO contributes award, $25,000 to Columbia College

Donation and award celebrate Big Lots-Columbia College internship program

COLUMBIA, Mo., Sept. 15, 2011 — Steve Fishman, Fortune 500 retailer Big Lots, Inc. chairman, president and CEO and a 1974 Columbia College graduate, presented the Columbia College Business Administration Department with a check for $25,000 today on the Columbia College campus. Fishman also presented Dr. Gerald Brouder, Columbia College president, and Dr. Sean Siebert, assistant professor of Business Administration, with the firm’s exclusive Exclaim Award — one of the first to be presented outside the organization. The Exclaim Award features the company’s logo, an exclamation mark.

“I was delighted and surprised to receive the award and the $25,000 check for the Business department,” Brouder said. “Dr. Siebert and the faculty of the Business department are to be commended for creating and promulgating this internship program. It speaks to the quality of our faculty, to our ability to create strong bonds with the business community and to the enduring affection and gratitude graduates such as Mr. Fishman have for alma mater.”

Fishman said the gift was presented in appreciation of the fine work Columbia College had done with the Store Management Internship Program, a pilot managerial internship program with Columbia College students. Columbia College collaborated with Big Lots to create the program for students interested in a retail career with the company. The program currently has two student participants, one in Seattle, Wash., and one in Crystal Lake, Ill., but both entities hope to expand it in the near future.

Big Lots, Inc., headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, currently has revenues of approximately $5 billion and 1,400 retail outlets in the contiguous United States and will soon be expanding to Canada.

A store will open in Columbia, Mo., in early November. Fishman noted the company has opened 90 U.S. locations this year alone and has generous cash reserves but not enough qualified employees.

“We want to give talented and qualified individuals opportunities to grow and develop with our company,” he said, adding that with qualified employees, the firm could be a $10 billion firm.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. With more than 30 Nationwide Campuses across the country, 18 of which are on military instillations, students may enroll in day, evening or online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Columbia College educates more than 30,000 students each year and has more than 70,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

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