By Avonlea Brown
Cedarville University’s Integrated Business Core focuses on giving students the opportunity to show their leadership, organizational and interpersonal communication skills in a fast-paced environment. This year two groups of students strive to succeed in their business ventures.
Proclaim The Name: Refuge is one of those businesses starting this fall.
Proclaim The Name: Refuge is a branch off of a previous business, just labeled Proclaim The Name. The mission of the larger corporation is to encourage and provide opportunities for evangelism.
The journey for IBC students begins in the spring semester when they take several classes to better understand what it means to start a business before coming up with a business plan. Then they split into groups and brainstormed what their mission would be and how to go about reflecting it in a business model.
Cierra Hershey, a junior Finance major and head of Proclaim the Name: Refuge, and her team chose Refuge as their theme. Through this topic, they want to encourage students and the general Christian community to always remember God as their refuge.
Every branch of Proclaim the Name has a Bible verse used in the product and connects to the central message. This year the scripture that they are focused around is Psalm 142, about David in the cave hiding from Saul and asking God for refuge. Proclaim the Name: Refuge uses imagery on its products to show the meaning of this psalm.
“Our theme is represented in our design,” Junior Marketing major Sarah Rhoades said. “Refuge is printed on the front in broken letters which is a reminder to us that we are broken and only God can put us back together.”
While past businesses under this name have made the mission of evangelism their own, this year the group of students working with it decided to go a different route. Instead of turning the focus outward, they wanted to use their outlet to emphasize building community and faith among believers.
“This is especially important for college-age students, who are leaving home and figuring out what they really believe.” Said Katie Williams, a junior Finance major and a part of the marketing team. “You leave home and you realize life is really hard and that is when we can fall into a lot of fake refuges. So just acknowledging and taking a hold of and acknowledging that God is our refuge, is really important.”
The design will be printed on T-shirts, mugs, and stickers. Rhoades and the marketing team of Proclaim the Name: Refuge have another goal, one that has recently been added to the goals of many IBC businesses. Refuge hopes to go off campus.
“Especially as social media has developed, it has become easier to reach out,” said Andrew Wonders, Assistant Professor of Sports Business Management. “It’s been something for the past two to three years, we have been trying to say ‘your products have value outside of this campus.’”
While Refuge has just begun selling on campus, they have to move quickly to make a profit before the fall semester is over.
Any additional profits, after paying off the loan that they used to get started, will be donated to charity. Hershey and the Refuge team will be donating to GROW(Grace Refuge Outreach Global) and volunteering in Dayton and Xenia. While the main focus of the IBC is to give students the experience they need to enter the professional world, they also give back to the communities around Cedarville
“I’ve grown in the reason I had for joining the IBC,” Williams said. “Wanting to work on a team and work on something that is real and not just a figurative class project, it really matters.”
Proclaim the Name: Refuge can be found online and on social media.
Social Media: @proclaimthename
Avonlea Brown is a sophomore Journalism student and editor of the Campus News section of Cedars. She loves watching Netflix, traveling, and hiking in her hometown of Southwest Harbor, Maine.