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Alumni Spotlight: Ted Papit

Graduation Year: 1970
Major: Political Science
Current Position: Adjunct Professor, Business Department, Evangel University
City and State: Reside in Nixa, MO

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Most of my working career was in the restaurant industry managing chain restaurant companies. I served as the Chief Operating Officer of Jerrico, Inc. which operated 1,500 restaurants throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries. I also served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Unigate Restaurants and Furr’s-Bishop’s cafeterias. After retiring from business we moved to Springfield in 2002 and I began teaching as an adjunct professor in the business department at Evangel. Having taught Organizational Design and Management for 20 years, I am now teaching International Business. Also, in January of 2000 I joined the national board of directors of Teen Challenge and have stayed involved with that ministry and presently serve as the Treasurer for the national board.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

Most of my memories are about working every semester except the last semester of my senior year. I did not have the financial resources needed and did not want to borrow a lot of money, so working was a necessity. My best memories are about meeting my wife Diana my senior year and also making life long friends. Diana brought me dinner while I was working as a security guard at the Mall which was under construction at that time. I knew then she was a keeper.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I had no clue what I was going to do when I graduated. I decided to propose to Diana, so I started looking for employment. I went to work in a business and the general manager became my mentor and gave me a business education which helped me realize that my calling was in business management. My Evangel experience helped me develop my calling in several ways. The re-enforcement of my Christian foundation and principles of integrity while treating others with fairness, along with working long hours toward accomplishing your goals were essential to my success.

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

I started at EU in 1962 and completed my freshman year. I then dropped out to work full-time for a year and returned to EU in 1964 and took 12 credit hours per semester for 3 years. I then dropped out again to work full-time for 2 years. I finally returned to EU in 1969 and graduated in May 1970. It was a grind! However, the grind prepared me for the real world with all of the ups and downs. Through all of this God has been faithful and answered many prayers. Always remember God’s telephone number – Jeremiah 33:3.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Develop personal discipline in your faith, your relationships, your work, your hobbies, and your life. Discipline is necessary to make the best use of the limited time we have.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

First would be character and integrity with a willingness to continue learning. People without character and integrity are a wrecking ball in an organization. Graduation from EU is just the beginning of your learning experiences. No matter what your calling is you need to stay in a learning mode. When you are green you are growing and when you are ripe you are starting to rot. Second would be their track record of work and accomplishments during their time in high school and Evangel. Personal history is important and reveals a lot about a person.