Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business smelled of espresso and opportunities as Saxbys held their grand opening in the Business Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
This specific Saxbys cafe is the first Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform (ELP) Cafe in New Jersey. The cafe is entirely and exclusively run by Student CEO Melody Wozunk and 35 Rowan students.
Susan Lehrman, the dean of the Rohrer College of Business, welcomed Saxbys to the Business Hall with excitement.
“Today we officially welcome Saxbys Cafe to the Rowan family, and, from a selfish and personal perspective, we welcome them to the Business Hall,” Lehrman said in her speech.
Lehrman noted how much students will be learning under Student CEO Wozunk’s lead, including skills in entrepreneurship, business, teamwork and leadership.
According to CEO and Founder of Saxbys Nick Bayer, Wozunk is not taking classes this semester, but is instead getting a full semester of academic credit as a student CEO who will learn how to run her own business.
“That is tremendous bravery,” Bayer said in his opening speech.
Bayer himself is a fan of Rowan University.
“This university, as probably everyone in this building knows, is humble yet hungry, and has continually focused on being able to be willing to stand out of the pack in higher education,” he said during the speech.
According to Bayer, the idea of having a student CEO and student staff is centered around helping them gain business-ownership skills that some do not gain until they are 30 to 40 years old.
“What happens when you make a poor decision? What happens when something in the business doesn’t work? Do you fall apart and sort of feel bad about yourself, or do you rise up and learn and get better? That’s what has to happen here,” Bayer said.
Bayer is hopeful about Saxbys and proud to represent student CEOs — such as Melody Wozunk.
“I believe that when higher education and business come together and run an impactful business, with young people at the forefront of what we do, great things happen,” he said in closing.
Rowan University President Ali Houshmand spoke as well, reminding the students of the great opportunities that the university has to offer.
“Let me tell you this campus is ready for your ideas. If you have creative ideas — if a few of you can get together and do something exciting in business that will make your life better — come to me. I promise you, I will help,” President Houshmand said.
After President Houshmand, Student CEO Melody Wozunk expressed her gratitude for Saxbys and everyone who helped turn the vision into reality.
“The experience of being a Saxbys student CEO expands far beyond the classroom. So, that means I’m getting real-life experience, which is allowing me to be launched into a world of real life professional experience,” Wozunk said.
Wozunk thanked the leaders, investors, decision-makers and anyone else who was involved in the process.
“Thank you all for your steadfast belief in our mission, and I’m very excited. Let’s make life better together, Profs,” Wozunk said.
The Dean of the Rohrer College of Business Susan Lehrman, Student CEO Melody Wozunk, President Ali Houshmand and Founder and CEO of Saxbys Nick Bayer lined up and cut the ceremonial ribbon to signify the formal opening of Saxbys.
After the ribbon cutting, they all were given small cups of espresso to taste in celebration.
Wozunk’s parents were also present at the ceremony and, as expected, were extremely proud of their daughter.
“We can’t express it enough — we’re so proud of her, her leadership and communication, and we’re so confident in her and her ability to do this,” her mother Kim Wozunk said.
According to her mom, this isn’t Melody’s first time working in a cafe.
“Her very first job was a barista when she was 16, and she loved it. And she always wanted to, someday, own a coffee shop,” Kim Wozunk said.
We’d like to congratulate Melody Wozunk on behalf of The Whit staff for this awesome opportunity. Visit Saxbys on the first floor of the Business Hall.
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