The clatter of silverware on dishes gradually died down as attention was directed to the front of the room. For months, anticipation had been building and now it was time for Professor Danko Turcic to present his research to leaders of St. Louis business and industry. After Senior Associate Dean Todd Milbourn’s glowing introduction, a hush fell over the audience, the projector flashed to life, and Praxis Luncheon Series No. 7 was underway.
At one of the tables, Professor Panos Kouvelis, director of BCTIM and co-author of the featured paper titled “Hedging Commodity Procurement in a Bilateral Supply Chain,” looked on with a nod of approval. Around the room, he observed brows furrowed in concentration and eyes squinting to focus on plotted lines dancing between X and Y axes like butterflies on a barbed wire fence. The research was complex and timely, thus it’s selection for the Praxis series, but the purpose of the presentation was to cover the salient points so as to give the audience some practical knowledge to carry back to the workplace.
After the presentation, the visitors departed one-by-one like vibrant autumn leaves falling from their branches. A handful remained in hopes of gleaning a few more drops of wisdom from the authors, and from Richard Mahoney, the benefactor of the Praxis series.
But soon, even they had sufficiently sated their thirst for knowledge, so they shook hands with Dorothy Kittner, the event’s organizer, and made their way out of the Knight Center and onto the pristine Washington University campus.
As the door closed behind the last to exit, the lights dimmed and the room was once again enveloped in silence. And through the windows, the hopeful light of the midday sun cast wineglass-shaped shadows across the white tablecloths and onto the floor.
By Evan Dalton