Reflecting on the Legacy of Carl H. Lindner Jr.

In October 2021, dean Marianne Lewis took time to reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the passing of our college's namesake, Mr. Carl H. Lindner Jr.

Photo of five very tall screens with photos of Carl Lindner and facts about his life.

Photo of the Lindner Legacy Area in Carl H. Lindner Hall, located at 2906 Woodside Drive, Cincinnati.

As dean, I often reflect on our college’s namesake, Carl H. Lindner Jr. His business approach and personal model continues to serve as a powerful example, blending exceptional work ethic, determination, civic responsibility and faith. His vision has fueled our college’s rise to prominence — and, more personally, prompted my return to the university and community I love. Yet more fully, his vision continues to inspire me and our faculty, staff, students and alumni today.

Dozens of adults wearing a black shirt stand in a group in front of a brick building with a black sign on it that says Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Various students, faculty and staff gather around the temporary banner that was hung on the Lindner Hall located on Campus Green Drive to celebrate the announcement of the college's naming to the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Photo/UC Photography, 2011.

It has been a decade since we named the college in honor of Carl H. Lindner Jr., in June 2011. Too soon thereafter, we mourned his passing that October. I remember vividly joining my colleagues, along with our students and alumni, to surround the college as Mr. Lindner’s funeral procession passed our campus on a beautiful day in October. It was such a powerful experience of collective gratitude and pride.

But my memories of Mr. Lindner’s impact start well before then. 

When I first met Mr. Lindner, it was through his visits with our students. He was passionate about business education, and stressed our critical role in developing future leaders — that was his aim for the college and ultimately what led him to fund the original Lindner Hall on Campus Green Drive. His sons Carl H. Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner — both Lindner alumni themselves — exemplify his goals, and were recognized with the prestigious Lindner Medal of Honor at the 2010 Cincinnati Business Achievement Awards. 

young woman wearing a brown blouse and light brown printed suit receives a deck of cards from man with white hair glasses white shirt, dark tie and dark grey suit in a classroom setting with the presence of other people in the background and a red decorative posterboard

Tashina Williams, one of the students in the inaugural Honors-PLUS class, receives a set of cards from Mr. Lindner imprinted with guiding principles. Photo/UC Currents, 1997.

In Mr. Lindner’s words, “My dream is to put UC's business college on the map as one of the finest in the nation.” I am confident that Mr. Lindner would be proud of the last decade — our rise in student profile, enrollment, student success and reputation.

  • Student profile: Our student body grows more impressive with each new first-year class. We have seen the average student GPA increase from 3.21 to 3.72, as well as ACT scores jumping from the average of 23.5 to 26. Mr. Lindner’s initial honors program, Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS, has sparked continuous innovation that benefits all students. 
  • Enrollment: Lindner has nearly doubled in size over the past decade — from 2,899 to 5,761 students — thanks to new programs, online options particularly in specializations. One of those specializations of note is insurance and risk management, largely powered by the Carl Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management.
  • Student success: A vital enabler of student success was the development of Lindner Career Services. Mr. Lindner championed co-op, and would be pleased to know that Great American Insurance Group and American Financial Group have been the college’s largest co-op employer over the past five years. Furthermore, today, our growth in co-op and career development has fostered a remarkable undergraduate student job placement rate of 90%, even during the pandemic. 
  • Reputation: One of Mr. Lindner’s guiding principles was, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Sustained leadership, curricular improvements, and impressive faculty achievements in research and teaching have all contributed to rising rankings. Our undergraduate business program has jumped more than 20 places in U.S. News & World Report. Specialized programs, such as our MS in Business Analytics, Applied Economics and Marketing, have skyrocketed in their discipline-specific rankings as well. 
Six men and women wearing business professional and dark attire line up for a group photo in a conference hall

The Lindner family at the 2010 Cincinnati Business Achievement Awards, when Craig and Carl III were honored with the Lindner Medal. From left: Frances Lindner, Craig Lindner, Edyth Lindner, Carl Lindner Jr., Martha Lindner and Carl Lindner III.

Carl H. Lindner Jr. gifted our college, Cincinnati and the world his legacy — a model of energizing entrepreneurial mindset, disciplined business acumen, caring philanthropy and steadfast integrity. Our college’s mission and purpose — to empower business problem solvers to tackle the world’s greatest challenges — aligns with his fervent belief in business as a power for good.

In Mr. Lindner’s words, 'My dream is to put UC's business college on the map as one of the finest in the nation.' I am confident that Mr. Lindner would be proud of the last decade — our rise in student profile, enrollment, student success and reputation.

Marianne W. Lewis, PhD, Dean, Lindner College of Business

I am grateful today to have a dedicated space commemorating Mr. Lindner and his family in our beautiful building. The Lindner Legacy area showcases Mr. Lindner’s inspiring life and is a space ideal for reflection. In my first month as dean, I had the privilege of hosting Mrs. Edyth B. Lindner, Carl III, Craig and their beautiful families in our new Lindner Hall in a moment of shared appreciation. 

If you haven’t done so recently, I invite you to visit us at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Take time to enjoy and reflect in the Lindner Legacy space, consider the college’s tremendous rise over the past decade and join us in continuing to make Mr. Lindner’s dream a reality and raise the bar higher for our future.